[PODCAST] Cultivating Inherent Soft Skills To Help Women Excel In Technology Leadership


About this Discussion:

Ellen Sundra has an interesting background of paring her love technology with the ability to teach it, to now lead a team of engineers at Forescout.

Her path wasn’t linear, and at first, she had no idea what a Sales Engineer was, let along that she had the perfect set of skills to excel in this career. Now, leading a team of 80, Ellen shares so much with us in this latest Women in Tech Leadership Series episode.

Just some of what she discusses is:

– The pivotal moments in her career, and how she didn’t even realize she should have been offended by some of them

– How Ellen had to review her hiring process to be more inclusive to women and encourage more diverse applicants

– The important traits Ellen looks for when hiring (and her impressive attrition rate)

– How we can encourage more young women to explore other tech positions other than just coding

– The current state of Cybersecurity

– Plus so much more!

About Ellen Sundra:

With more than 20 years of experience in the cybersecurity industry, Ellen leads the Americas System Engineering team for ForeScout Technologies. Together, Ellen and her team are responsible for designing customized security solutions for Commercial and Public Sector customers. Prior to joining ForeScout, Ellen was a network architect and security advisor with iPass, UUNet and WorldCom. Ellen earned a Bachelor of Arts in computer science from Rollins College and is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP).

Here is the official breakdown:

5:35 – Ellen discusses her background and her interests as a child that led her down this path

8:10 – How Ellen found her way into sales and systems engineering because there is no actual degree in sales engineering

9:40 – The pivotal moments of Ellen’s career, where she was put into roles because of her gender, but realized what she didn’t want to do

13:10 – The ah-ha moments that Ellen had growing up that really helped set her on her path

13:50 – How did Ellen get on the Cyber Security path from training

16:30 – Ellen’s team structure (and the shocking balance of men to women)

20:15 – The impressive number of women on Forescout’s leadership team

21:70 – The issues within sales engineering and how more people can get in this field

23:50 – How can we begin to solve the problem of developing and educating women at an earlier level

25:30 – The awesome program that Ellen has developed at Forescout to help interns get exposure to all kinds of different aspects of a technology company

29:05 – Are four-year degrees no longer required for various roles within Forescout, and Ellen’s view of leadership and hiring

31:15 – Ellen’s view of leadership and being imperfect

32:55 – The secret sauce of hiring a great team

36:10 – The view of ‘balance’ and how Ellen has a leader encourages finding that for those who work for her

41:50 – Agency and women in leadership, and where we are perceived as lacking

52:00 – How technology is having an impact on our lives, but the new threats it causes

53:10 – GenX and leadership and Ellen’s viewpoint of the role of this generation

The article that they were talking about: https://qz.com/work/1670468/women-seen-to-be-as-smart-as-men-but-not-ready-to-lead/

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