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Dana Thews

National Partner Technical Manager, US

Dana Thews attributes her success as a woman in technology to building an openness to outside opinions and ideas. The myriad of managers and co-workers who have inspired and taught her has given her the confidence to shine - and hopes to pave the way for future women.

"Being successful is an opportunity to pay it forward in hopes that the next woman's path will be a little less rocky."

What does it mean to be successful as a woman in technology?

Dana: Because there are fewer women in technology, what we do, whether good or bad, is seen through magnifying glass—making it that much more impactful. Being successful (thanks for that, by the way) can influence so many people. Whether it’s naysayers who start to realize that women can be top performers in this field or other women who see it as inspiration, it is an opportunity to pay it forward in hopes that the next woman's path will be a little less rocky.

How have you grown in your role? What has helped you?

Dana: The most significant way I've grown is building an openness to ideas and opinions outside of my own. The reality is, I'm not always right and I don't always consider all the factors. Hardest of all is acknowledging that I missed something. I've always said I'd rather get it right than be right. In the end, holding that ideal has been what helps me every day, because it is a daily struggle to maintain openness to other ideas.

Have you had any mentors or inspirational women that have had an impact on you?

Dana: I haven't really had a single mentor. Instead, I've had a host of managers and co-workers who have passed along moments of clarity that were turning points for me professionally. They have taught me to always look for solutions to problems, to have confidence in my critical-thinking abilities, and how to break things down into manageable pieces.

Do you have any advice for women starting in their careers?

Dana: Know yourself and your abilities. If they're not where you want them to be, work on getting them there and own them. If you assess yourself and your abilities fairly, then don't let doubt or anyone else allow you to back off of that for one second. How you present yourself will determine how others perceive you.

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