Women in the cloud are some of the most resilient pioneers in the business landscape today. Although 40% of all new businesses are women-owned, only 5% of tech startups are owned by women. This shows a need for better integration of female leaders in tech, but also further incorporation of the female population in the cloud—as Gartner predicts that worldwide public cloud revenue will grow by 23% in 2021 for a total revenue close to $332.2 billion.
Bridging the gender gap first originates from the implementation of more educational opportunities for women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), but can also be encouraged by the showcasing of trailblazing women in this industry today. Let’s take a look at some of the fearless female leaders who are currently making waves in the cloud marketplace in 2021.
Abigail Alfaro, Tbox
Abigail Alfaro is the Director of Marketing for TBox, a company that supports and advises educational institutions by offering students relevant, dynamic, and integrated learning experiences. Their product is a platform that acts as an online classroom for students from elementary to high school and offers skills and developmental courses in technology.
TBox’s mission is to take advantage of technology to meet the challenges of today’s world by providing the essential elements for schools to have concrete innovation alternatives. They implement cloud through the product they offer to educational facilities, providing an opportunity for schools to evolve with the digital times and providing training for students growing up in this age.
Cynthia Sener, Chatmeter
Cynthia Sener is the Chief Revenue Officer of Chatmeter, a local brand management application that offers a solution to local search marketing. The company’s genesis story started as monthly emails reports aimed to help small businesses. It has since grown into an all-in-one local SEO software for multi-location brands and agencies. Encompassing services from listing management to online reputation, to social media—they have partnered with some of the largest enterprise brands and agencies in North America. Sener has fostered this success by embracing a customer-centric methodology to drive business value, growth, and revenue —supporting Chatmeter’s ambitious expansion into new verticals.
Sener has a diverse educational background, attending the University of California, San Diego for a BA in sociology, and then gaining an MBA in executive management from the Paul Merage School of Business at the University of California, Irvine. With previous experience as a VP of operations and product, an SEO, and a myriad of other leadership roles at data-centric companies, Sener brings much knowledge and expertise to Chatmeter’s software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution.
Anna Darlagiannis, Bryley Systems Inc.
Anna Darlagiannis is the VP of Client Services for Bryley Systems, Inc., a managed IT, cloud computing, and cybersecurity services provider. She serves as a full-service technology partner, helping to provide comprehensive IT services to clients, including backup and disaster recovery, private cloud hosting, virtualization, and much more. By optimizing IT infrastructures and securing vital data from both internal and external threats, the company has gained credibility beyond its offerings with partnerships with VMware, Microsoft, Cisco, and others.
Darlagiannis holds a BA degree in English from The University of Connecticut and has been with Bryly for over a decade. Her track record at the company includes client relationship manager, account executive, and director of client services—her success in each of these roles throughout her tenure led to her promotion to VP of Client Services in 2021.
Tiffanie Standard, Stimulus
Tiffanie Standard is the Founder and CEO of Stimulus, a relationship intelligence SaaS platform that uses data and analytics to help companies of all sizes and across industries make better purchasing decisions. Their mission is to help companies build more valuable vendor and supplier relationships, which has gained them noteworthy investors including Google for Startups, the City of Philadelphia, Juno Capital, Darco Capital, and growing support from their partners such as Microsoft.
Standard received a BA from University of Phoenix, and then did continuing studies at Villanova University for non-profit fundraising and digital marketing at the University of the Arts. With a mile long list of accomplishments including being named a U.S. Delegate (2X) for the Global Entrepreneurship Congress, one of the 15 Women Changing the Face of Technology by Philadelphia Business Journal, Innovator of the Year, and one of the Top 100 Women Visionary Leaders to Watch by Innov8tiv Magazine—just to name a few. Standard has also brought her trademark personality and passion for national news and entertainment to the radio and TV as one of the hosts and producers for Philly Speaks with Radio One, Inc. and has been a featured speaker for Microsoft, SXSW, IBM, Techweek, AT&T, and more.
Diane Haines, Mineral
Diane Haines is the Chief Product and Marketing Officer for Mineral—an HR and compliance solutions provider catering to growing businesses. Mineral is a marrying of HR and compliance powerhouses ThinkHR and Mammoth. The company helps to certify HR experts with tech-enabled tools, empowering businesses in putting their people first and taking the ambiguity out of the HR process. Mineral is a one-stop SaaS platform resource for small businesses, filled with everything you need to confidently tackle a broad spectrum of workplace issues.
Receiving a BA from Cornell University and then an MA in management and economics from the University of Oklahoma Prior to Mineral, Haines filled executive marketing positions for a variety of companies, including OpenSesame, Sage, OHSU, Agilent Technologies (Stratagene), BioCarta, and BD. Haines played a pivotal role in the launch of Mineral’s game-changing product “Mineral Intelligence”, which is an HR and compliance engine that generates proactive recommendations to hundreds of thousands of businesses.
Namita Dhallan, Brightcove
Namita Dhallan is the CPO of Brightcove, a Boston, Massachusetts–based software company that delivers world-class video solutions to organizations around the world. She leads the product management, engineering, and operations functions at Brightcove. Bringing deep engineering experience and market insight, Dhallan is responsible for driving Brightcove’s product innovation and past your average video platform.
She is a proven leader in the high-tech world with an outstanding track record for leading product teams. Prior to her work with Brightcove, Dhallan was senior VP and CPO at Ellucian, where she headed engineering, product management, and cloud ops/dev ops. She was previously EVP of product strategy and engineering at Deltek. Preceding that, she held several positions in product management and product development at Blue Yonder. Dhallan earned a Bachelor of Science in computer science from the University of Maryland College Park.
Andrea Short, Ingram Micro Cloud
Andrea Short is part of the Marketing Executive Leadership Team in North America for Ingram Micro Cloud, the cloud division of Fortune 500 technology distributor, Ingram Micro. Andrea manages a nationwide team that helps promote the future of cloud within industry, and positions Ingram Micro Cloud as a leading marketplace for the latest technology products and services for the enterprise. Andrea has a storied career in helping to bring cloud software and managed services to market.
By facilitating and managing the cloud’s complex digital value chain, Ingram Micro Cloud operates in 64 countries offering more than 120 cloud solutions. Andrea’s positive impact at this company was seasoned by nearly 20 years of extensive experience in overseeing the marketing for major technology and channel businesses. Andrea assumed her role at Ingram Micro Cloud in 2020 and has since helped the organization continue to position itself as a cloud leader, bringing back its flagship cloud conference Cloud Summit, to Miami in May of 2022 after an in-person hiatus due to the global pandemic.
Nancy Wang, Advancing Women in Tech
Currently General Manager at Amazon Web Services, Nancy Wang leads P&L, product, engineering, and design for its data protection and governance businesses. Before working for the top dog in all things cloud, she led SaaS product development at Rubrik, the fastest-growing enterprise software and cloud company that helps government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, securely manage data. Wang is the Founder and CEO of Advancing Women in Tech (AWIT), a global 501(c)(3) nonprofit with 16,000+ members spanning three continents. Through skills-based workshops and executive mentorship from our ambassadors in the community, AWIT is dedicated to empowering women to attain more leadership roles in product and tech.
She earned a degree in computer science from the University of Pennsylvania and is also on the Board of Directors for the UPenn School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. On top of that, she is an angel investor in data security and compliance companies and is an LP of seed- and growth-stage funds. She is also the advisor for Felicis Ventures, working closely with startup teams on product and early tech stack development. Through the collective of all of these accolades and efforts, Wang is a disruptor in the cloud industry and is a catalyst for advancing more women into technical roles.
Dessislava Tsvetkova, Transmetrics
Dessislava Tsvetkova is the Head of Product Management at Transmetrics, a state-of-the-art AI platform developed exclusively for the supply chain with strategic locations in Sofia, Bulgaria, Amsterdam, Netherlands, and Dubai, UAE. Transmetrics optimizes transport planning by leveraging the power of predictive analytics, with top-tier logistics companies worldwide that have experienced an up to 25% reduction in transport costs while increasing their fleet utilization up to 14%.
Tsvetkova started her resume in editorial as an editor and freelance columnist, then progressed to becoming a business analyst and then on up the food chain to product manager, coordinator, and then finally head of product management. Tsvetkova will be a woman to look to as solutions in AI help shift the paradigm in the very newsworthy supply chain.
Amanda Fennell, Relativity
Amanda Fennell is Chief Security and Information Officer at Relativity. Equipped with a master’s degree in forensic science from George Washington University, Fennell joined the legal and compliance software company back in 2018. In her dual roles, she is directing security strategy in risk management and compliance practices. Prior to joining Relativity, Fennell served as the global head of cyber response and digital forensics at Zurich Insurance Company.
Relativity is a single source SaaS platform for new lessons on legal technology, e-discovery, compliance, and the people innovating behind the scenes in these fields. On top of her integral roles as CSO and CIO, she also hosts Relativity’s Security Sandbox podcast, which explores the links between non-security topics and the security industry. She has also served as an adjunct professor at Tulane University and Capitol Technology University.
Preeti Menon, Happiest Minds Technologies
Preeti Menon is the Senior Vice President for Happiest Minds Technologies, a managed IT services and digital transformation company. Based in Bengaluru, India, the self-proclaimed “Mindful IT Company” is trailblazing when it comes to next-generation technology services while also prioritizing consciousness with their customers. With clientele including AWS, IBM, VMware, and Microsoft, it’s no wonder that the company can not only live up to its name but has also earned a “Great Place to Work” certification.
Menon has a BS in physics from St. Xavier’s College, a graduate degree from the Indian Business School, and a graduate certificate from the National Institute of Information Technology in Bombay. Bolstered by a background in over 20 years of experience leading large teams and delivering multi-million-dollar projects, she leads the units of product engineering and services business—mainly overseeing engineering and quality management. Previously, she served as a technical director for AOL India and as a project manager for Symphony Services.
Tonya Chin, Nutanix
Tonya Chin leads her team as both Senior Vice President of Marketing and Chief Communications Officer at Nutanix, an American cloud computing company that sells software, cloud services, and software-defined storage. Nutanix was also just named a five-time leader by Gartner for 2021—a noteworthy accomplishment that attests to Chin’s leadership success. Chin spearheads the company’s corporate communications, investor relations, and corporate marketing teams. Wielding over 20 years of experience in finance, investor relations, marketing, and communications, she serves as the guiding liaison in cloud expertise to public and private companies for Nutanix.
Other accolades include a BS in accounting from Santa Clara University, and she also sits on the Forbes Communication Council. Her list of resume bullet points includes VP of investor relations at Aruba Networks, head of IR for companies including ShoreTel and Genesis Microchip, and director of IR at Solectron and Exodus Communications.
Alyssa Lahham, CloudBlue
Alyssa Lahham is a huge catalyst for the leading ecosystem orchestration platform CloudBlue, which works in connecting vendor and go-to-market platforms by automating the distribution of traditional and digital products and services across partners in the value chain. As the Global Marketing Director, Lahham is currently focusing on building a new team and global strategy to accelerate growth for Ingram Micro’s channel revenue management portfolio.
Alyssa has an MBA with a Marketing emphasis from Chapman University and a BA in Communications from Cal State Fullerton which has fostered her success at the company and made her an integral part of their success. She leads her team in driving go-to-market strategy, refreshing branding, building product marketing, and generating demand for Ingram Micro Cloud software. Lahham also serves as the VP of Marketing of the Chapman University Alumni Advisory Board and as the Vice President of the Ingram Micro Orange County Philanthropic Committee.
Sara Baack, Equinix
Sara Baack is the Chief Product Officer of Equinix, a managed IT services and data center provider out of Redwood City, California. A digital infrastructure company seeking to enable its clients to capture the power of technology, they have noteworthy partnerships with Fortune 500 companies such as Netflix and Cisco and annual revenue of over $5 billion.
With a BA in History and Management from Rice University and an MBA from Harvard, Baack is a seasoned technology executive and corporate board member that has led data-driven strategy development and execution across multiple functional domains. She has industry expertise in communications and technology with an emphasis on next-generation networking and cloud services. Baack is solely responsible for product management and all development and engineering across Equinix’s portfolio.
Inga Latham, SiteMinder
Inga Latham brings a diverse and longstanding wealth of digital business expertise to her role as Chief Product Officer of SiteMinder, an Australia-based company that provides cloud-based software to the travel and hospitality industry. Leading a global team of more than 70 professionals across product and design, Latham’s team creates unique experiences for its clients.
With a BA in English, German, and politics from the University of Cape Town, Latham first started as a journalist—stumbling upon user experience and product management in the early years of the dot-com boom in London. She has extensive experience working with multi-faceted teams in fast-moving and challenging environments and specializes in defining product strategy, implementation, product launch, and optimization programs for complex, content-rich, transactional websites.
Elisabete Mleczak, Connectis (Getronics)
Elisabete Mleczak is both VP and Regional Managing Director of Client Services for Connectis, a managed IT provider and subsidiary of Getronics, a Dutch-headquartered technology services company. Connectis is the Latin America division that provides end-to-end technology capabilities calculated to build digital experiences that drive real business outcomes.
Mleczak has a BS in telecommunications engineering from Anhembi Morumbi University and an MBA degree in information technology from Fundação Getúlio Vargas in São Paulo, Brazil. Previously, she was also the director of global services with BT and a network delivery leader with HP Enterprise Services. This gives her a multi-faceted perspective to drive all aspects of a digital workspace, including smart spaces, security and compliance, cloud computing, and more. As a leader, Mleczak is passionate about building successful teams, always putting customers at the center of her decisions and at the core of Connectis’ business.
Adriana Sandoval, RKON Technologies
Adriana Sandoval is the Chief Financial Officer at RKON Technologies, a Chicago-based managed IT services and cloud computing company that provides IT transformation for private equity and enterprise clients with Quiet IT. One of the earlier cloud-based companies founded in 1998, RKON transforms companies’ IT infrastructure, and is designed to help lower IT costs, mitigate risks, support business growth, and protect business and customer data. Sandoval is a vital part of a team of proven IT experts recognized across the industry for their experiences, in-depth knowledge, and track record of driving organizational impact.
With a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Robert Morris College and a Master of Financial Accounting and Management degree from Keller Graduate School of Management of DeVry University—Sandoval was built to run the numbers. An experienced CPA with diverse knowledge in business, accounting, and financing, she has been overseeing the firm’s accounting and finance teams since 2018.
Sairee Chahal, SHEROES
Sairee Chahal is the founder and CEO of SHEROES, a platform aiming to nurture a safe online community for women—with a mission to put 100 million women on the growth road map by 2022. A SaaS platform built out of India, SHEROES offers high trust, high empathy content, connections, and commerce experiences via its ecosystem of communities, micro apps, and utilities. This platform is particularly aligned in using the internet as a tool for change, especially for women in high gender gap countries offering a space for appreciation, recognition, growth, and interactions.
Chahal studied at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) for the Russian language course. While in her second year of college, she got her first ‘project’ with a couple in the Indian Foreign Services who were being posted to Moscow, so by the time she graduated from her five-year course, she already had an experience of four years with her. She started her entrepreneurial career when she spearheaded Newslink Services in 1999, which catered to those working at sea. She built two other companies, namely SAITA Consulting and Fleximoms, before launching SHEROES.
Renee Fry, Gentreo
Renee Fry is the founder of Gentreo, a financial estate planning, web-enabled software solution. This SaaS platform compiles all of the important faculties and tools needed to make preparing an estate plan both approachable and reassuring. Fry started in the political sphere and is now in the startup world, which gave her both the legal and business savvy needed to make a process as complex as constructing a last will and testament not only digitized but legal-proof.
Putting people back into the center of this sensitive process, Gentreo combines legal savvy, technology, and financial understanding into one all-encompassing package. They provide these tools via an easy and understandable SaaS platform that is integrative both on desktops and mobile devices.
Christine Puccio, F5
Last but certainly not least, our last leading lady is Christine Puccio. Puccio currently serves as F5’s Global Vice President, with a focus on Cloud Alliances and Go-To-Market (GTM) programs, and is in charge of partnership expansions with global cloud service providers such as AWS, Microsoft, and Google. She leads high-performing sales teams and has built strategic partnerships for Fortune 500 companies such as F5, Red Hat, Sun Microsystems, AT&T, and Lockheed Martin. Puccio is also a strategic advisor to Women in Cloud, a Seattle-based organization dedicated to bringing $1 billion in economic access to women-led STEM businesses by 2030.
Puccio graduated with a BS and BA in Business Administration in Marketing from California State University, Hayward. Her industry expertise is vindicated with being quoted in the book You had me at Hello World alongside technology executives from Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft. Outside of her leadership in the cloud industry, she has a daughter with autism which has driven her ground-breaking work of more than a decade advocating to give autistic children the best life possible in the U.S. legal and education systems.
The share of women working in cloud computing has only had a slight increase in the past two years, making 14.2% of people working with cloud computing as of 2020. These women are forging the path and helping to change those numbers for good.
Women in the Cloud, a foundation designed to do exactly as it is titled, is a community-led economic development organization taking action to generate $1 billion in net new global economic access for women entrepreneurs by 2030 through partnerships with corporations, community leaders, and policymakers.
Writing a new script for women, Women in the Cloud is hosting their annual summit for 2022 from January 27th-28th—this event will be worth attending for all those who want to see just how innovative the female pioneers of the cloud community can be.
Disclaimer: This article mentions a client of an Espacio portfolio company.