After building a highly successful commercial career across three different continents, JustEgg’s national solutions director Harpreet Kibbe found herself redundant and far away from her support network during the pandemic. Ahead of B&T’s Women In Media Awards, she spoke to B&T about what it takes to be successful in technology sales.
Speaking to Kibbe, it’s clear to see she is someone who sees the opportunity in everything – even in the face of depressing statistics.
“I went to an event, maybe five years ago, where they said only five per cent of people working in technology were women,”she said. The statistics were even worse when it got to leadership – just one per cent of technology leaders were female at that time.
She didn’t let it deter her, however.
“I thought it was an exciting opportunity to kind of break the norms, as they say, you know, smash that glass ceiling. I’m a very driven person. So give me a challenge. And I’m happy, happy to take it on”.
This drive helped her build a successful sales career across the UK, Dubai and Australia.
It was during Covid, however, that Kibbe faced her biggest career lesson to date.
“When you’re going out and winning business, there’s a lot of big egos that come with that role,” Kibbe says. During Covid “everyone suffered in many different ways”.
Having been born in the UK and being in Australia without any relatives, Kibbe found herself in an especially vulnerable position.
“I was made redundant in a foreign country, I didn’t have my family or friends to fall back on. And I think it really grounded and humbled me, that’s one of the biggest lessons that I learned during that time”.
“I had to take a really big look at myself and look at what my key skill sets were and how I can do that in the industry that I’m in”.
Hearing her friends describe her as a “survivor”, Kibbe finally saw her strength and decided to become her own advocate. She encourages more women to do the same, identifying that often societal blocks can make it harder for women to shout about their achievements and strengths.
“We’re always thinking about whether we should or shouldn’t be saying certain things”, she says. “We’re only 80 per cent of ourselves”.
“Meanwhile men can go out there and speak at 110 per cent”.
This resilience is important in the ever-changing world of technology sales where you’re “learning something new every day”, she says.
Whilst Kibbe has managed to defy the statistics, she says that one thing she would like to see is more diversity in the industry.
“I think seeing women of colour in higher positions in leadership in tech would be such a beautiful thing. And I’m a huge advocate for that. So I would love to see a bit more diversity”.
If you would like to come and celebrate Kibbe and other women in the industry, you can attend our B&T Women In Media awards which are taking place on the evening Friday 25th of August at the White Bay Cruise Terminal. You can buy your tickets HERE.
You can see who had made it onto the shortlist here.
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