Pledge 1%’s #WomenWhoLead series celebrates female leaders who are paving the way for the next generation. While our featured leaders come from a variety of backgrounds and industries, they are united in their efforts to promote equality for all women in the workplace. We’ve asked them to share a bit about their journey to success, as well as lessons they’ve learned along the way.

What is your name and title?

Bárbara Corvacho, Salesforce Consultant at cynqed.

Briefly (1-2 sentences) describe your current role.

I’m a Salesforce Consultant. Basically, I help companies reach their full potential with the help of Salesforce.

How did you get here? Please share any quick stories from past work experiences.

Despite being young, I already have different work experiences in very different companies. Soon as I finished my bachelor’s degree, I went to live in Prague and worked there. Then, came back to Portugal, worked in one of the biggest Portuguese companies, moved to a Big4 and then joined a start-up. All of this in 5 years.

In your opinion, what’s the #1 decision or move you’ve made that has helped advance your career?

Never settle. Don’t settle for a job you don’t like, a job that gives you a zero percent chance of growing or a job that doesn’t suit you. And the same goes for the company you work in. It is very important to be aligned with the company’s values and policies. Nothing worse than waking up and dreading to go to work because you don’t like it there.

What is the most important lesson you’ve learned this past year?

It’s really important to be in a job that you like and a company where you can be yourself and speak your mind. Working for a company that I had to change so I could fit in was one of the worst experiences I had in my life.

What’s the number one challenge you face as a woman in your industry?

There is a lack of representation of women in the tech industry. Tech is mostly a male-dominated company, whether we’re talking about the workforce or the executive ranks.

Do you have any mentors? What does mentorship mean to you?

I had one mentor that made me realise there is nothing wrong with speaking my mind and saying what needs to be said. And that was one of the best advice I’ve gotten so far.

What advice do you have for women who are just starting their career?

Be bold and fierce. Don’t be afraid to stand out and speak your mind. And don’t apologise for having your own opinion and sticking to it. Speak with assertiveness. In the work place, women speak in a different manner compared to men so they can be considered friendly — don’t do it. You can be both friendly and assertive. Do not let people belittle you and think less of you for being a woman.

What is one thing companies can do, big or small, to help create an environment that advances women into leadership positions?

Create an environment where women feel comfortable. Give the same opportunities to men and women, the same salary. Once, my mentor told me that women don’t ask for pay raises, they simply find a new job thus, avoiding the confrontation. While men, even if they aren’t qualified, they ask for a raise. It is important to have the same openness to men and women. Let women lead, assign a female mentor to the women that just joined your team so they can share experiences and advice. Give women an opportunity.

What is one thing you hope to accomplish in the next year?

I want to raise awareness of mental health issues within my company. Together with a teammate, I’m working on a plan where we will have different team activities each month, with a different topic but mainly related to mental and physical health.

Is there a cause that is particularly close to you? If so, why this cause and how did you get involved?

I don’t have a particular cause close to me. However, if I had to choose one I’d say the LGBTQIA+ rights since it still shocks me regarding the prejudice felt by the community.

When did your company join Pledge 1%? What does your impact program mean to you?

My company joined Pledge 1% last year. I’m very proud to be a part of a company that cares so much and is willing to donate a part of their time to non-profit organisations. I’ve done some volunteering work whilst I was studying and everyone should do it. People should open their eyes to the difficulties other people live with and try to help. We shouldn’t turn a blind eye.

What do you like to do outside of the office? Any interesting (or unique) habits or interests?

I love to bake. Last year, in the pandemic I created an Instagram page @Happeameals_ where I share all my recipes and I sell cakes. Apart from baking, I try to travel as much as I can.

Are you reading/listening to anything interesting at the moment? Please share your most recent favorite book or podcast!

I love detective novels, so for anyone who likes them, I suggest reading the whole series by Camilla Läckberg and Jo Nesbo. Last year, I also read “The Colour Purple” and “I Know Why the Caged Birds Sing” and I believe anyone should read them to really understand what it was like to be a woman of colour in the United States. And lastly, Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi was one of the best books I’ve read. It portraits the life of slaves and the repercussion throughout the generations.

What’s been the one (or two!) things that have helped you navigate this past year? Any tips or tricks to dealing with remote work?

Don’t focus just on your work. When you don’t have anything else to do for work, just close your laptop and enjoy your time. Find a hobby so you can be entertained. Take breaks, do your lunch break entirely without always checking your email. Call your loved ones in your breaks, enjoy the company of your family and/or pets.