Blog > Company & Culture > Precisely Women in Technology: Meet Caroline Anderson

Precisely Women in Technology: Meet Caroline Anderson

Authors Photo Sydney D'Souza | October 4, 2023

Precisely is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging and that manifests in several different ways. Supporting women in tech is at the forefront of what Precisely does, and as more and more women join the industry, there’s an opportunity to highlight the importance of workplace equity and diversity. The Precisely Women in Technology (PWIT) program is a network of women in the organization who share resources, support one another, offer mentorship, and more. Each month, a woman in the program is featured in a Q&A to share more about her experience as a woman in tech. Continue reading to learn more about Caroline Anderson, Senior Product Marketing Manager.

Why did you choose to pursue a career in technology?

My passion for a career in technology has its roots in two seeds: the desire to understand the systems behind the technology I use and the desire to influence the technology of the future. I’ve witnessed the astounding transformations technology can undergo in a mere two decades—from flip phones to smartphones, from hard drives to cloud drives. No other industry has experienced such exponential growth in such a short span of time. Where could the next technological advancement lead us? I wanted to help influence that journey.

Prior to entering the tech field, my reference was limited to a B2C customer experience perspective. I was excited to join Precisely because it offered me the opportunity to explore technology beyond the surface, gaining a better understanding of how businesses respond and adapt to customer needs with strategic solutions.

Who has been your greatest professional mentor? What’s one thing you have learned from them?

I’ve been fortunate to have several professional mentors; from elementary school teachers to college professors and work managers, each contributing to my growth in different ways. However, the most influential mentor of all is my mother. Thanks to her, my first image of a professional, enterprising woman was shaped. In the early days of her career, she owned a successful media-buying company. My mother was President, sales, customer relations, secretary, ad writer, media buyer, and accountant in her business. Then, and now, she embodies an exceptional entrepreneurial spirit. She’s ambitious and driven and I strive to emulate that type of gumption in my work today.

As the one and only face of her company, she carried an enormous amount of pressure balancing family and business. It was with this pressure that she gained the most invaluable quality—an exceptional, hard-charging work ethic. Witnessing her determination and relentless drive to excellence has inspired me to aim for a work ethic that is exactly that.

For many, work is an obligation, a task that needs completion, but for my mother, it’s her passion. I’ve seen firsthand how her dedication and shared vision for success has inspired others to want more for themselves in their careers. It’s motivated me to enter an industry that I’m passionate about.

Professional and effective communication is a key pillar to success, and yet it’s a skill that isn’t always emphasized until later in education or in one’s first job. I’ve been fortunate enough to understand the power and importance of professional and effective communication from a young age. I have countless memories of me in the passenger seat, taking my mother’s email dictation while she drove to her next appointment. I recall listening to her countless phone calls that involved price negotiations with TV stations or sales calls with new clients. Though it may have seemed an annoyance to me at the time, looking back, I realize this exposure was the foundation for my communication capabilities in the workplace today.

Thank you to my mother for serving as a continuous source of inspiration in both my personal and professional journey.

What’s the biggest risk you took in your career? What was the reward?

Transitioning into the tech industry as a Product Marketing Manager (PMM), when I had no prior experience was a difficult decision. Prior joining Precisely, I was with a global media company where I served as a PMM for their email tech product; however, technology was not their core focus or service of the business. At the time, I was beginning to listen to tech podcasts and reading articles on the future of technology that showcased the opportunity for innovation and customer impact.

I was terrified to switch industries. Will the skills I’ve acquired in my current industry be transferable to the new one? Am I ready for the learning curve associated with a new industry? What if I fail? To navigate these uncertainties, I educated myself. I enrolled in online courses on the essential foundations of a SaaS businesses, delved into podcasts about product marketing in the tech industry, and earned certifications in B2B tech product marketing and developing a tech product strategy. When the interview with Precisely arrived, I had the confidence to transform those uncertainties into sources of confidence and knowledge.

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As a woman, what challenges have you faced in the technology industry? How have you overcome them?

I’m fortunate to be part of a company that places a strong emphasis and investment in diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. However, a challenge I’ve struggled with is imposter syndrome— it is a psychological pattern where doubts about your skills, talents, and accomplishments, coupled with an internalized fear of being exposed as a ‘fraud,’ can linger.

A statistic from the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2023 reveals that women constitute only 27.7% of the global workforce in technology, while men make up the majority at 72.3%. In a predominantly male-dominated industry, I sometimes find myself questioning and, at times, doubting my skills simply because of the gender imbalance around me.

A solution I’ve found to overcoming this obstacle is to challenge the intrusive thoughts I may have around my skills or talents as they arise. For example, when I have doubts about my abilities, I bring myself through the following steps:

  1. Acknowledge the thought: Acknowledge that it exists and doesn’t have to define you.
  2. Ask yourself: Is there any evidence to support the thought? Is there any proof that you’re not good enough? Or is the thought based on fear, anxiety, or insecurity?
  3. Challenge the thought: Is it realistic or helpful? Is it helping you to achieve your goals? Or is it holding you back?
  4. Replace the thought with a positive one: for example, instead of thinking, ‘I don’t know the answer because I’m not good enough,’ tell yourself, ‘I’m capable of learning the answer. I will learn it and be more knowledgeable for it.’

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? How do you apply it to your personal and professional life?

One of my favorite tech commentary podcasts is called The Prof G Pod, hosted by NYU professor, author, entrepreneur Scott Galloway. On Episode 190 of the podcast, Galloway said something that has undoubtedly changed the way I view most challenging situations in my life now. He said, ‘Nothing truly wonderful, professionally or personally, happens unless you subject yourself to an uncomfortable risk.’ In the quote, Galloway is arguing that the only way to achieve truly great things is to be willing to take risks, even if those risks make us incredibly uncomfortable.

When I encounter difficult or stressful circumstances, I know I’m amid transformative growth. I often refer to these as ‘muscle-building moments.’ How do we grow our muscles? We lift, we run, we push our bodies out of their comfort zone so that they may expand and get stronger. To this day, I’ve put that quote on countless sticky notes and placed it on areas like my bathroom mirror, computer screen, and desk so that I am reminded to both seek out personal growth and reframe how I look at difficult situations.

What’s one piece of advice you’d offer to younger women entering the industry?

I would encourage women to never end their journey of learning and to maintain an unyielding curiosity. One of the benefits of technology is how it democratizes education. In a matter of weeks, if not hours, anyone can refine and acquire new skills on the internet. Your learning shouldn’t end after a diploma; take advantage of edtech companies like LinkedIn Learning, UDEMY, Google for Education, and Coursera. These options are highly accessible and can be incredibly targeted to that skill you are trying to refine or certification you want to gain.

For example, as a Product Marketing Manager coming from media transitioning to tech, I needed to educate myself on what the role requires in B2B tech context. With the edtech tool, LinkedIn learning, I gained a certification in advanced product marketing for B2B tech. Helping me to build new frameworks in competitive positioning, buyer personas, and creating go-to-market product strategies.

As a successful woman in technology, what’s one thing you do to pay it forward and advocate for other women in the field?

Fostering a more equitable and inclusive environment for women is not just a catalyst for our individual success; it also fosters a similarly equitable and inclusive environment for everyone. Investing in women-owned companies is one way I pay it forward to women in the industry. According to a 2022 PitchBook report, women-founded startups received only 2% of all venture capital funding in the United States. To help address this imbalance, I make a point of investing in women-owned tech companies. One resource that helps me achieve this goal is Ellevest. Ellevest is an investment platform and financial literacy program for women One of the many benefits of Ellevest is its collaboration with venture capital funds, facilitating the connection of early-stage women-owned companies with the resources they need to be successful. In addition, I actively engage in mentoring other women in the tech industry, sharing my insights and own experiences to empower them on their own journeys. LinkedIn has proven to be a powerful equalizer, providing a level playing field for professional opportunities and access to resources. Connecting with women on LinkedIn is a great way to reach and network with women from all around the world.

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