A message from our Women’s Network Leader – Jessica Nava

This past Friday Qualtrics hosted our first ever X4 Experience Day at Provo HQ. We were able to introduce attendees to the Qualtrics way of life and how our success stems from our culture and values.

Upon arrival, attendees were taken on group tours and shown around the office. Content began with a deep dive into understanding our culture and Qualtrics Life from our Talent Brand Leader, followed by an intimate conversation with our CEO, Ryan Smith, and Qualtrics President, Zig Serafin. The attendees were thrilled to hear about Qualtrics values and hear personal stories and perspectives from them both. After lunch, we held the International Women’s Day panel. This was the perfect way to end the event, and an incredible team effort to pull together.

Our panelists included Eglantina Zingg who founded Project Peace Latin America (PPLA), Sara Jones – Co-Founder and COO of Women Tech Council, Jennifer Morgan – SAP President, Americas & Asia Pacific Japan (APJ) and Member of the Executive Board, and our very own Julie Larson-Green, Chief Experience Officer at Qualtrics.

It was an amazing and intimate conversation to engage and inspire female leaders of today and tomorrow!  Here is a brief overview of my thoughts after listening to the panel we had that afternoon.

kin·dred spir·it

Dictionary result for kindred spirit
/ˈkindrid ˈspirit/
noun plural noun: kindred spirits

  1. a person whose interests or attitudes are similar to one’s own.
  2. “I longed to find a kindred spirit”

As I reflect upon our Qualtrics International Women’s Day Panel, this phrase keeps ringing in my mind.  In 19 years of my career, I have longed for a kindred spirit. We happen upon these every once in a blue moon in our careers, and when they happen they are powerful interactions.  As a female leader in tech sales, I’m one of few, surrounded by amazing people, who just happen to be mostly men. But when I meet a woman who has been through what I’ve been through and lived parts of my journey, I can talk to her in a way that is so meaningful.  It creates a deep relationship and belief that I too can succeed.

For so long in my career, I unknowingly thought that Senior Leadership as a Woman was not possible, due to so many stereotypes.  I was not one of the boys, I was not taken under anyone’s wing. I was about to get married, I was about to have a child, I needed to be home to make dinner for my family, I needed to be NICE, I needed to SMILE MORE.  I needed to meet all the prerequisites of being a “good girl”, and when I realized 10 years into my career that I was none of those, I wanted to figure out how to become “one of the guys”, not literally, but figuratively so I could join the ranks of leadership.  But I personally never saw any woman in my sphere do that.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve met and worked with some amazing women in my 2 decades of work, but none that were kindred spirits in Tech Sales Leadership.  

When I came to Qualtrics over a year ago, part of my hope as a Senior Sales Manager was to become that woman for others.  

This past Friday we heard the story of 4 other women who have taken on that role – to be a kindred spirit for others and put out publicly some of the challenges they experience along the way.  It’s raw, it’s real, and there is a huge opportunity for those of us that have thought it wasn’t possible, to now make it possible in our generation, and for the next.

If you haven’t found a kindred spirit yet, go out and be one!  

If you haven’t watched it yet, you can view it on-demand from our FBLive feed here, starting about the 11-minute mark.

If you want to learn more about Qualtrics and how we are passionate about causes like this please visit https://www.qualtrics.com/about/