Blog > Company & Culture > Women on Wednesday with Carly Kristoff

Women on Wednesday with Carly Kristoff

Authors Photo Sydney D'Souza | March 6, 2024

March is Women’s History Month which means there’s no better time to highlight all the women at Precisely and incredible work that they do. The Precisely Women in Technology (PWIT) program was established to bring a network of like-minded women together to support one another, offer mentorship, and collaborate outside of the typical day-to-day roles. Each month, a member of the program is featured in this Q&A to offer insights into her career and offer advice to other women in the same field. Continue reading to learn more about Carly Kristoff, Senior Lead Development Representative, and her career journey.

Why did you choose to pursue a career in technology?

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been obsessed with understanding how things work. I vividly remember taking apart my parent’s computer and being amazed by the intricate network of wires and circuits. This insatiable curiosity naturally led me towards the world of technology. However, my journey began in a different field – education. I found immense satisfaction in teaching and mentoring young minds, but after a few years, I felt a growing desire to apply my passion for technology and problem-solving in a new way. That’s when I made the decision to join Precisely.

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

My greatest professional mentor is undoubtedly my current supervisor, Olivia Rambala. She’s not just a boss, she’s a catalyst for growth. Olivia has a knack for recognizing hidden potential, and she saw mine in the technology space before I even did. She meticulously helped me translate the skills I developed in my previous role, turning them into powerful tools within the tech industry.

Beyond technical skills, Olivia fosters a culture of empowerment within her team. She’s a fierce advocate, ensuring every voice is heard and valued. This unwavering confidence in my abilities, coupled with her unwavering support, has propelled me forward in ways I never imagined.

Olivia’s mentorship extends far beyond mere tasks. She’s a sounding board for even the craziest ideas and is a collaborative partner who breathes life into my wildest brainstorming sessions. She encourages calculated risks, celebrates victories alongside me, and offers a steady hand during setbacks. Her guidance isn’t a roadmap, it’s a compass – helping me navigate my own unique path within the vast landscape of possibilities.

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

The biggest risk I took in my career was leaving a career in education. I have a master’s degree in education and thought that I would be there until retirement. However, I wasn’t satisfied and always wanted more. My career switch to Precisely has been incredibly rewarding. Every day brings fresh challenges that push me beyond my comfort zone, forcing me to learn and grow in ways I never imagined. I’m no longer confined to textbooks and lesson plans; I’m tackling complex data solutions, collaborating with brilliant minds, and seeing the real-world impact of my work. Precisely has opened doors I never knew existed, and I’m excited to see where this path continues to take me.

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

While the technology industry has historically been male-dominated, inspiring leaders like Brenda Kay and Tendu Yoğurtçu are paving the way for greater representation and inclusion. Their advocacy and success empower women like me to confidently assert our voices and claim our rightful place within the industry. Involvement in supportive organizations like PWIT and working for a company like Precisely, which demonstrates a commitment to diversity and inclusion, further strengthens my resolve to overcome the challenges women often face in the tech sector.

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

My father always told me that to get to the top, you need to work hard and be smart, but, you must also be kind. I’ve taken that advice and applied it everywhere I go in life. I always want my colleagues, friends, and family to know that they can come to me with anything, and I’ll treat them with respect and kindness. As Mr. (Fred)  Rogers said, “There are three ways to ultimate success. The first way is to be kind. The second way is to be kind. The third way is to be kind.” It’s a simple, yet powerful statement that I try to incorporate into my daily work.

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

I would encourage young women entering the tech industry to be proactive and articulate their career aspirations. This includes confidently expressing their interests and ambitions, seeking opportunities that align with their goals, and actively engaging in learning and professional development. Continuous learning is paramount in the dynamic tech landscape. Taking advantage of diverse learning opportunities, both formal and informal, is essential to staying abreast of current trends and expanding one’s skillset.

Furthermore, advocating for oneself and fostering an inclusive environment are crucial qualities. By proactively negotiating for opportunities and compensation while speaking up for others, young women can contribute to a more equitable and supportive tech ecosystem. Cultivating strong communication and interpersonal skills allows them to effectively express their ideas, collaborate harmoniously, and ensure that their voices are heard and their value is recognized.

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

I am committed to fostering an inclusive and supportive environment for all women within my professional network. This includes providing guidance and mentorship when possible and ensuring that every voice is heard and valued. My own experience in receiving invaluable support from inspiring women within my organization motivates me to pay it forward and empower others to reach their full potential.

Learn more about us on our Careers and Culture page.