Inspirational Woman: Kate Emery-James | Sales Director, Trend Micro

Kate Emery-James

I’m Kate Emery-James and I’m a Sales Director at Trend Micro, specifically leading the Large Enterprise (Major Accounts) team.

My team are responsible for the relationships between Trend Micro and some of the largest FT100 and Government accounts in the UK.  My background in sales spans 20+ years with a diverse mix of companies from Cybersecurity leaders, tech start-ups and an entrepreneurial business who secured funding on Dragons Den!

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

At some points yes, absolutely, and then other times no – I just explored the opportunities that have come my way.  My main ethos has always been to work hard, make an impact and help others thrive, whether that be clients or colleagues.  This has meant that my career choices have always been more about the people I get to learn from rather than being at a certain point in my career or having a certain job title.

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

Yes many! From unexpected acquisitions, juggling a career and small children to working with difficult customer situations – career challenges have come with lots of different guises along the way.  I’ve always just looked at them to reframe a situation, say “plot twist!” learn and move on!

What has been your biggest career achievement to date?

I’ve been very fortunate to lead teams who have closed out market making deals for the companies I’ve worked for. One particular deal involved a large virtual team, our CEO and multiple product managers, technical leads and commercial/legal experts.  We crafted a solution that was transformational for our customer and the satisfaction of seeing everyone involved grow, develop and celebrate the win was very special.

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

That I don’t have all the answers. It’s important to be humble, constantly be learning and to work with the resources around you to support your goals.  My success depends on the success of those around me,- I believe that by focussing on helping others we all win.

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

My passion is people and the ways in which technology can transform their lives, whether that’s making the world safer for the exchange of digital information or ensuring children are safe online.  Focus on the end goal of what the technology can do for the greater good and an area that excites you.

Do you believe there are still barriers for success for women working in tech, if so, how can these barriers be overcome?

Being a woman in IT has helped rather than hindered my career. In a predominantly male environment I’ve often been the only woman in the room or call. What this has brought is a different way of thinking in team meetings or projects which has helped us reach a better end goal.  That being said, I do think women need to think big and put themselves forward for roles for which they may have the ability but may not necessarily have all the experience.

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

Be flexible.  This isn’t just about working practices but more about looking at the whole person.  I’ve been very fortunate to work for some amazing male leaders, who have given me opportunities for which I may have not fitted the “traditional” mould in terms of tenure or experience, but they believed in my core skills and ultimately my ability to do the job.

There is currently only 15% of women working in tech, if you could wave a magic wand, what is the one thing you would do to accelerate the pace of change for women in the industry?

More investment at the education stage, technology isn’t all about being in development.  There are masses of other roles, in sales, marketing, customer success, design and support which are all IT related.  I also believe companies should actively invest in inclusion groups and mentor programs, which allow younger employees to learn from experienced colleagues both male and female alike.  This also raises the bar and profile of those involved.

What resources do you recommend for women working in tech?

Go to as many events as possible (Women of Silicon Roundabout) be active on LinkedIn and adopt a learning mindset.

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