Wendy Zveglic

Wendy Zveglic is VP of Engineering at Fluent Commerce, where she is responsible for shaping the future of the Fluent Commerce core platform and leading the product development team working on it.

Before joining Fluent Commerce, Wendy was Lead Solutions Engineer at Salesforce, where she showcased the company’s cloud platform and became a trusted advisor to many Financial Services customers. Prior to Salesforce, Wendy spent six years in various leadership roles at St.George’s Bank, Westpac and Westpac’s Wealth Management brand, BT.

Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role:

I’m currently VP of Engineering at Fluent Commerce, where I’m responsible for shaping the future of the Fluent Commerce core platform and leading the product development team working on it. Headquartered in Sydney but with growing teams across the globe, I lead a team of engineers, technology specialists and product development professionals across locations including London, Sydney, Paris and New York, serving brands such as JD Sports, L’Oréal, LVMH and Dulux.

My path to engineering was a bit different than most, starting less than five years ago. Having mastered various roles and divisions in banking and finance, I was extremely curious about how technology could change things for the better, so I decided to change course. I started at Salesforce University, became a solution engineer and fell in love with technology. I joined Fluent Commerce from Salesforce where I was a Senior Manager of Solutions Engineering and responsible for the delivery of the company’s Marketing Technology solutions across Financial Services, Comms Media & Utilities, Retail Consumer Goods and Emerging Markets.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

I always wanted to grow up to become a problem solver and had a deep desire to make things better. Now in tech and as a business leader, I am proud to say I am doing what I had dreamed of doing: Problem-solving, guiding, innovating and making things work better for the people I serve. However, my career path has been far from linear. I was working in finance when there was a Royal Commission looking into the banking and finance industry. It was a depressing time, as I was dealing with customers who had lost everything in their life. I started to question how this could happen, why there were no mechanisms in place to protect them, and if technology could have been able to prevent this. This disappointing time in my finance career coupled with a curiosity in technology led me to give up the only career I’d known so far and become an engineer. I am so grateful I changed course and entered an industry I now love.

Have you faced any career challenges along the way and how did you overcome these? 

The biggest challenges have come down to realising that the person holding me back was often myself. Many times, I would know I was ready and eager to take that next step at work for a promotion or role, and I would say “no” to myself. I would look at the job criteria and disqualify myself based on one competency I was missing, rather than looking at the strengths I do bring to the table and going for it. I took the time to work on my mindset and professional development and sought key business mentors to help move me forward. This investment in myself has always paid off, helping me overcome my own setbacks.

What has been your biggest career achievement to date?

Learning to become a mum and still pursuing my growth and development as a working woman. It’s not easy juggling both. I’ve learnt it’s honourable to ask for help, slow down and give yourself the grace to try and do the hard work while finding seasons of balance.  I am blessed to have a dynamic home life with a supportive family and a career I love.

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?

My mindset has been a major factor. I have faced challenging times and setbacks, but it has been my optimistic and growth mindset that I believe has guided me forward. It’s easy to say: I could have, I should have, it’s not fair, or you can choose to work with the gifts you have. For me, it comes down to believing in yourself and wanting it badly enough that you can focus on how to learn, develop, and go for the thing you want.

What top tips would you give to an individual who is trying to excel in their career in technology? 

The best thing you can do is find a culture that supports you. Find the right people and dare to take up space. Remember that you can do it.  We are doing ourselves a disservice if we do not confidently share our perspectives. Remember your value and go for it.

What barriers for women working in tech are still to be overcome?

Often, the obstacles begin with the recruitment process itself. Women are socialised to hold themselves back and look at requirements or job descriptions and think they can’t do it. I experienced this challenge when building my engineering team at Salesforce, where I noticed that the applications primarily came from men with similar backgrounds. I took action, utilising Textio to revise the job description, making it more appealing and accessible to women. The results were astonishing—within a mere 72 hours, 20 talented women had applied, compared to 2 applicants using the previous job description. This experience reinforced the notion that companies must adapt their hiring strategies to attract and empower women.

What do you think companies can do to support and progress the careers of women working in technology?

Organisations must invest in their people and foster inclusive cultures to address this gender disparity effectively. Introspection is key, organisations must question how inclusive they truly are. Workplaces are often hostile environments for women so businesses need to play their part in changing this, creating a culture where women feel safe and supported so they can assert themselves and grow. Organisations should confront unconscious bias, nurture talent, facilitate professional development opportunities, and reevaluate traditional norms to spearhead the change needed.

In an ideal world, how would you improve gender diversity in tech?

Tech offers an incredibly rewarding space for women. It allows them to challenge the status quo, shape a better future, and make an impact across various industries and facets of life. We need women’s voices and perspectives in the industry. But they must be encouraged to speak up.

I want women to feel confident to stay in their own truth without shrinking or bending. Too often, men get more or all the credit for something proposed by a woman. However, we are doing ourselves a disservice if we don’t confidently share our perspectives and knowledge. I want women to know their competency and value to the conversation. It is fundamental to business success.

What resources do you recommend for women working in tech, e.g., podcasts, networking events, books, conferences, websites etc?

Any investment time is valuable, whether it’s listening to podcasts or reading books and whitepapers. A willingness to try new things is crucial for growth. Networking is a must as it allows women to make connections with like-minded people. Friendship and mentorship serve women in tech well, helping them to be understood and pushed to learn and apply for new roles.

The main ingredient is that no matter how much you learn and listen and attend conferences, there comes a time when you must back yourself and take the leap of trying. There is no failure in trying if your intention is one of moving forward, even if it’s a 1% change over the course of a week, month or year. If you are willing to keep trying and improving, then who will stop you?

Read more from our inspirational women here.