7 Questions With Fuze’s Payal Cudia
It’s time for another highly anticipated 7 Questions WIT blog! With Transform 2021 less than 3 months away, our celebration of women in technology (and our other awards categories) is ramping up!
This edition features Payal Cudia, Senior Director, Product Marketing & Market Intelligence at Fuze! Payal shares insights about her role, what she thinks about the current state of opportunities for women in technology, and even offers advice to younger female generations.
1. Please list your 3 qualities or characteristics that you are most proud of.
Empathetic, Loyal, and Passionate
2. What do you enjoy or find interesting about the technology field in which you work?
At Fuze, I’m not only a marketer, but also a power user. I’ve been working a flexible work schedule since 2006; however, before Fuze I was using a lot of disjointed applications and devices to get my work done. Fuze changed the way I work and, for the first time in my career, I feel a sense of work/life balance, while also being very productive. I believe in the product and the movement of the future of work and am grateful to work in a space I feel so passionate about.
3. What changes have you noticed in your work-life balance since the shift to remote work?
Fuze has always had an official flexible work policy and I was half in the office and half at home, so lucky for me, the transition was seamless. Two noticeable changes are the blurring lines between work and personal hours (though, arguably, that was an issue pre-pandemic) and losing my regular routine. As I settled into the pandemic and accepted it was here to stay, I realized that maintaining a regular routine was really important (e.g. wake up/bedtimes, daily exercise, etc.) and that’s helped me find balance between work and personal time since the 100% shift to remote work.
4. What is a major challenge you’ve faced in your career and how did you overcome it?
As a working mom, balancing being a committed marketer and striving to be better, while also being a good mom is an ongoing challenge. I’ve learned the key to my “success” is about teamwork. Whether it’s about working with my team at Fuze to hit our goals and deliver results or my “team” at home, which includes my husband, two boys, and our extended family to succeed in life. I would be nowhere without my teams.
5. Are there enough opportunities for women in tech? How would you assess the progress women have made in the tech industry?
I have been fortunate to have a number of leaders in my career that are big supporters of women and diversity. The market as a whole is making strides towards elevating women in tech, but there is still work to be done.
According to AnitaB.org, a global organization for women technologists that surveyed over a half-million U.S. technologists from 51 companies, there has been a slight increase from 26.2% in 2019 to 28.8% in 2020 of women in tech. If the numbers continue to increase at the current rate, it could take 12 years to see equal representation. Then there is the issue of the gender wage gap, which according to Pew Research Center, is holding at 15 cents to the dollar.
Like I said, there is work being done to help diversify organizations–such as looking in different places for new hires, regularly conducting pay equity analyses, evaluating recruitment, promotion, and talent development systems for bias–but we are not done yet.
6. What are some things you think should be addressed on macro, peer, and educational levels to encourage women to feel empowered in the tech industry?
I see this as an ongoing effort of assessing gender diversity, including analyzing the challenges women face and making improvements, supporting female tech leaders by providing professional development and mentoring, and elevating successful women leaders to help educate and inspire younger generations.
7. What would you say to younger generations of girls or women that are interested in entering the technology industry?
In my 20+ years in the technology industry, I have been fortunate to meet and work with women in many leading positions from CEOs to the Lieutenant-General of the U.S. Marine Corps. My advice to the younger female generations is to know that the career opportunities for them are limitless. Seek female leaders and learn about what they’ve been through and how they have gotten to where they are today. Take those learnings and use it to build your own path.
Thank you, Payal!
Enjoying hearing from women leaders with different backgrounds and roles? Register for Transform 2021 to hear even more!