SamKnows is now part of Cisco | Learn more

Women's History Month: Kristina Kanter and Sophie Gordon

We’re continuing to celebrate Women’s History Month by interviewing more of our female colleagues. 

Purposefully building a diverse team naturally improves our cognitive diversity

Today we talk about the importance of women in tech to Kristina, our product designer and Sophie, who is new to the marketing team.

Where has your career path taken you before SamKnows, and what’s one of your favourite things about your career or what you do?

Kristina: I'd love to say that life has taken me on a round trip. I got a degree to become a Product Manager in the tech industry. But then I went through the stepping stones of working as a project manager, a marketing assistant, a web developer, a UX designer and now a product designer. But I don't think I will close the circle by becoming a product manager as I really like what I do as a designer.

Sophie: Unlike Kristina I started in Marketing and have stayed in Marketing. But the things I have marketed have differed significantly. From magazines to TV channels, to On Demand services to broadband, and here I now am at SamKnows.

What’s a piece of advice you’d give to your younger self?

Kristina: Learn how to embrace the uncertainty, there will never be 100% clarity and definitiveness.

Sophie: That’s good advice Kristina. Something a wise person told me, when I was frustrated with my progress, your career is like a marathon and not a sprint. I wish someone had told me this at the very start of my journey.

What does women’s empowerment mean to you?

Kristina: Eliminating the divide but respecting the differences. And it's not only about women, it's about everything.

Sophie: To me, it means that as a woman I should be able to be who I want to be and not be afraid to show my human side, do what I want to do and how I want to do it and not be judged, held back or considered “soft” as I care about my impact on others.

What is your hope/dream for younger women entering the tech industry now?

Kristina: I hope to see them loving their jobs, getting support and recognition, realising their potential and becoming good and fair leaders.

Sophie: That they see the exciting opportunities for them in the tech industry which is growing fast and that they see how important it is for women to enter the industry; to help diversify and make it better.

Who’s one of your favourite woman/women role models?

Kristina: Hedy Lamarr. Controversial actress and clever inventor. She developed a frequency-hopping system which gave way to things like WiFi, GPS and Bluetooth.

Sophie: Not sure I can top her. But I’ve had 2 female bosses who have inspired me and shown me how to be a good leader, and one bit of advice that has stuck is that it’s not what you do but how you do it, and the impact you have on others.

Do you have any good reads you’d recommend for Women’s History Month?

Kristina: Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World by Pénélope Bagieu

Sophie: The Squiggly Career by Helen Tupper and Sarah Ellis. It makes you answer 3 core questions to help you figure out where to take your next step: What am I good at? What do I stand for? What motivates and drives me? Where do I want to go in the future?