UPDATED 14:00 EDT / FEBRUARY 19 2020

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Networking, embracing differences key to success in tech for women

Dao Jensen (pictured), founder and chief executive officer of Kaizen Technology Partners LLC, started as a finance analyst at Sun Microsystems Inc. and had no background in technology. But she has gone on to become CEO of Kaizen, which was ranked #7 for IT service companies on Inc.’s 5000 list in 2017.

So what advice might she give other female entrepreneurs and leaders? Never underestimate what a seemingly unrelated skillset like finance might have to do within the technology landscape of leadership.

“I actually have a finance degree and had no idea what technology was,” Jensen said. “Having the finance background is very important because … cash-flow management is one of the biggest reasons companies fail. Before they can get their next round of funding, they run out of their overhead costs.”

Jensen spoke with Sonia Tagarehost of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s mobile livestreaming studio, during the CloudNOW Awards event in Menlo Park, California. They discussed networking, leadership, and advice about how women can embrace their strengths and differences. 

Connect in person; embrace skillset

Seeing one’s skillset as an asset is crucial no matter what background a person might come from, and networking is also another crucial aspect of building leadership and a business. It’s important for female leaders to strategize for events and set goals for networking, according to Jensen.

“We have social media, but the best way to meet people is through other people,” Jensen said. “So going to events like this and really having an idea of your goals at the event when you’re going there. Prepare and plan … triple the time that you’re going to be even at the event.”

And one of the most important things for women is to simply embrace their differences instead of trying to hide the fact that they are female actually goes a long way for success, according to Jensen.

“Why make it a negative?” Jensen asked. “The positive is you are female and you stand out. You better have your ideas in line and your resources, and you better be kick ass. But use it to your advantage that you are different and that they’re not used to hearing from women.”

Watch the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of the CloudNOW Awards.

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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