Sreejata Chatterjee, CPO, LeadSift
I work at LeadSift Inc., a high-tech ICT company based out of Halifax. I am the co-founder, as well as a research engineer and product officer. I also happen to be the only female at the office. It is only natural, I suppose, to sometimes feel alone.
More often than not, the non-inclusive nature of the tech world goes unnoticed by my friends and colleagues, but this bias starts to affect careers of women in male-dominated sectors. This didn’t seem like a big deal to me until I started LeadSift and landed into a leadership role.
Being chosen by Digital Nova Scotia (DNS), Canadian Women in Technology (CanWIT), Atlantic Canadian Opportunity Agency, and the Centre for Women in Business (CWB) to be part of their pilot Mentorship program to support women-led businesses in Halifax has changed the way I deal with my business, colleagues, and clients, and how I approach leadership in a male-dominated sector. I was matched with an amazing mentor, Maureen Campbell, a very strong and passionate woman who has “been there-done that” and continues to share her invaluable experiences. Whether it’s about conflict resolution or giving me tips on hiring and measuring, she has been a tremendous influence on both my professional and personal life.
It’s not just the mentees that benefit from this exercise. As Sheryl Sandberg mentioned in her bestseller, Lean In, Maureen mirrored very similar emotions: “I’ve been privileged to work with some wonderful mentors and I feel very fortunate to mentor some great leaders. Mentoring allows me to learn about myself and my business as well – it helps me keep attuned to what’s going on in the industry and to stay up to date with the latest trends. Most importantly, it forces me to look at challenges that I may face in the future.”
It is very relieving and rewarding to be accepted for who you are and to get the one-on-one attention to improve yourself, while being appreciated for your hard work. As Maureen said: “working with like-minded people who are passionate about what they do, who strive to be better and never give up is inspirational and fulfilling. Sreejata is a bright, dedicated, entrepreneurial professional that is driven to succeed — and helping her to achieve her goals is an incredibly rewarding experience.” Knowing that I always have her ears to bounce off ideas and work on my weaknesses, makes my work-life quite a bit happier and stress-free. Before this mentoring engagement, I never would have guessed this could happen!
At LeadSift, we identify engagement opportunities for businesses from social media while extracting insights from the consumers as they go through the different buying stages of a product.