Women in Tech with commercetools and Valtech

Business Blog Talking Shop at Shoptalk (part 1): Women in Tech

commercetools speaker image Anita Temple
Anita Temple
April 2022

At Shoptalk 2022, commercetools focused on the power of modern technology and its ability to deliver limitless commerce possibilities. Everywhere you looked, the booth captivated what’s possible with all different ways to say ‘yes!’ 

In a world where legacy tech continues to shut down innovative commerce ideas, commercetools firmly believes ‘no’ is no longer an acceptable answer. commercetools solutions enable brands and businesses to say yes, so they can meet the demands of consumers today.

Brand showcases around the commercetools booth spotlighted how our portfolio is allowing our customers to bring their ideas to life. In addition to physical merchandise and personalized videos on display, we hosted a series of fireside chats to empower our customers to share more about their digital transformation journey— from advances in eCommerce capabilities to improvements in diversity.

Highlights from those conversations will be featured as part of an on-going blog series.

Women in Tech with commercetools and Valtech

Women in Tech

In our first chat, Jen Jones, CMO of commercetools, sat down with Mihaela Mazzenga, SVP of Technology Strategy at Valtech, to talk about the evolution of women in tech companies. Both Jen and Mihaela began their careers in the tech space over 20 years ago, at a time when, according to Mihaela, “There were a lot of jokes about me being the token woman in the room.”

Jen said she feels things have improved for women, noting, “the conversation has changed.” Mihaela agreed that there’s more diversity in tech today, but thinks, “We’re truly only scratching the surface, we still have a lot of work to do.”

Part of that work, said Jen, is the responsibility of women in leadership — which includes herself and Mihaela.

The ranks of diversity seem to thin out the higher you go, so when you get to a certain level, you have a responsibility to continue building a diverse team and setting the tone.
Jen Jones

CMO, commercetools

When building a team, Mihaela explained, “It doesn’t have a face. It is truly about getting the best person in the role.” She said she focuses on creating a culture that values opposing viewpoints. “Otherwise you get really stuck in an echo chamber.” She believes having varying viewpoints is key to team success.

Ensuring your team is highly diverse is a way to resolve problems — there are lots of different problems and if you only solve them one way, you’re only going to get one result.
Mihaela Mazzenga

SVP of Technology Strategy, Valtech

Women in Tech with commercetools and Valtech
Building diverse teams is not just the ‘right’ thing to do, or a ‘good’ thing to do, it’s the right business decision and makes for better business outcomes in the long run.
Jen Jones

CMO, commercetools

In Mihaela’s opinion, the technology industry is doing an “OK” job in terms of diversity. She pointed out that she believes improving diversity in tech will take more than just companies hiring more women. “Changing the bias against women has to start at home with parents.” She looked to the parents in the audience, encouraging them to “truly look at how you treat your daughters in terms of what their futures hold.”

Although according to Deloitte Insights, the number of women working in tech is steadily increasing*, Miheala feels tech companies need to put more energy into promoting a culture that is truly inclusive and places values on opposing viewpoints.

Getting different people in the door is the first step, valuing what they have to say and integrating how they want to operate through the entire organization is much, much harder. You need a lot of flexibility and an adaptable management team, because there’s no point in inviting people in if you are going to shut them down.
Mihaela Mazzenga

SVP of Technology Strategy, Valtech

Sitting on a comfortable couch in the commercetools booth, Jones mentioned she loved that the pair was surrounded by ‘yes’ messages. She said her hope was for women to feel encouraged and never feel like ‘no’ was something they had to hear very often. Wrapping up the conversation, Miheala added, “I hope in 10 years, I can sit here again and say we’re doing an OK job at inclusion and a wonderful job at diversity.”

Get the full story, view the Women in Tech fireside chat video.

commercetools speaker image Anita Temple
Anita Temple
April 2022

Anita J. Temple is the Corporate Journalist at commercetools. She was a fashion editor at Women’s Wear Daily (WWD) and W Magazine before launching a career as a freelance writer and creative producer. She has written content and worked on a wide range of marketing projects for companies including Dreamworks, Walmart, Coca-Cola, Verizon, and Adidas.

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