The tech industry has expanded by a significant 79% in the last 30 years, and according to recent studies, women account for only 25% of that expansion (cio.com). While this underrepresentation serves as a marker for how far we are from reaching equality in the workplace, it’s also costing companies. Research consistently shows that companies with a higher percentage of women in executive roles have above-average profits (weforum.org)
At KUDO, diversity is in our DNA. We are proud to celebrate the women in our leadership team in honor of Women’s History Month. This week, we sat down (digitally) to talk to Rebecca Schuette, VP of Marketing at KUDO, about her start in the tech world, the challenges she’s faced as a woman in tech, her experience working at KUDO, and what she envisions for a language barrier-free future.
Hometown: Dedham, MA
Languages spoken: English and basic Spanish
Position at KUDO: VP of Marketing
Hobbies/ surprising facts: I’m a mom of four who loves all things active: hiking, biking, running, weightlifting, and playing field hockey.
How and when did you get into the language/tech world?
While I’ve been in the tech world for the last 15 years of my career, joining KUDO last year was my first exposure to the language tech industry. The pandemic made me realize that while I wanted to stay in the tech industry, it was important to me to work towards a mission I could be proud to explain to my children. KUDO’s mission of removing language barriers and ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to participate in the conversations that matter is one that resonates with me deeply.
What challenges have you come up against as a woman in tech?
As a woman who has held leadership positions in early-stage startups for the last 15 years, I’ve frequently been the only woman in the room. Luckily, I worked with men who were great mentors who respected my seat at the table. Considering women comprise only 25% of the global tech workforce, I’m trying to do my part to promote the tech industry as a great professional option for women.
What is one of the most valuable lessons you’ve learned in your professional career thus far?
One of my previous CEOs had a motto that in the early-stage startup world, you should always be executing on “Plan A,” testing out “Plan B” and dreaming up “Plan C.” I think this is a great model for innovation and is valuable in all different scenarios, from product development to marketing campaigns.
How is working for a global remote company like KUDO different from your previous work experiences?
I love the diversity of opinions we have at KUDO due to the variety of life experiences, backgrounds, and languages of origin of our staff. As a marketer who’s looking to build a brand that resonates globally, it’s great to be able to bounce ideas off of co-workers whose backgrounds differ from my own. My counterparts in APAC and EMEA are able to quickly let me know when an idea that resonates well in North America will not work in their region, and then we can adapt messaging before even getting in front of prospective customers.
What does a language barrier-free future look like to you?
I envision a world where there are a variety of solutions to remove language barriers. For high stakes business and governmental meetings and events, professional conference interpreters will connect people across language. If I’m traveling abroad and would like to order a glass of wine and a meal in another language, I’ll be able to do that with AI-driven solutions like Google Translate. And if a grandchild would like to connect with his grandparents who live half a world away and do not share a native language, they’ll be able to do so in a way that enables them to forge connections with one another.
What is KUDO?
Are you ready to have more accessible and inclusive meetings and events? Join a live demo, and learn how to expand your reach globally, ensuring you have the power to understand and be understood.