Pledge 1%’s #WomenWhoLead series celebrates female leaders who are changing the world. Our leaders come from a variety of backgrounds and industries, and are all doing their part to have an impact in their communities and at their workplace. We’ve asked them to share a bit about their background and path to success.
What is your name and title?
Neha Sampat, Founder and CEO at Contentstack.
Briefly (1-2 sentences) describe your current role.
The main focus of my role as CEO is to represent the company and our interests, facilitate sustainable growth and unblock things to help my team and organization move the ball forward towards our vision and mission.
Vision: Our vision is to pursue equality and use technology to break down barriers for better human connection.
Mission: Our mission is to make Contentstack indispensable for organizations to tell their stories and to connect with the people they care about through inspiring, modern experiences.
What’s the best decision you’ve ever made?
Hire smart people who give a damn, and learn from them everyday.
What’s the number one challenge you face as a woman in your industry?
I thought it would be appropriate to call out a few key challenges that women CEOs in tech often face.
- Access to funds: For example, males are 63% more likely to raise capital than women, with all other things equal. Research also shows that 95% of venture deals and dollars are going to companies without a single woman in the top management suite.
- Subconscious bias: We live in a society that has been trained subconsciously to think about the capabilities of men and women differently. There are organizations making real change and taking action by analyzing and correcting salary inequities or removing names from resumes to prevent gender bias in screenings. With awareness, this is slowly changing but there’s more work to be done.
- Uneven playing field: According to Center for American Progress, women hold almost 52% of all management and professional-level jobs, yet they lag substantially behind men in terms of their representation in leadership positions. I strive to help the technology industry overall become a more level playing field. There are organizations like the Girl Scouts that help to train girls into leaders, and organizations like Springboard that turn women into incredible CEOs.
Do you have any mentors? What does mentorship mean to you?
I’m fortunate to have great mentors throughout my career, including many of the women of Springboard, an organization that supports entrepreneurial companies led by women.
Mentorship is about taking what you have learned and paying it forward. I try to pay it forward by helping budding female entrepreneurs get to the next level in their businesses. I help guide entrepreneurs with investor decks, customer relations programs, customer growth, hiring strategies, and more.
What advice do you have for women who are just starting their career?
The best life advice I’ve ever received came from an entrepreneur I truly admire. I only wish it had sunk in even earlier in my career. This individual has impacted his entire community and literally millions of people with his work. He once said, “Don’t think about what you can get from someone or something. Think about what you can give.”
He gave several examples of how he has given back selflessly and relentlessly in his world. This mentality has shaped how I think about building my career, my companies, my home and all of my relationships. It has not only made me a better entrepreneur, but a better citizen of the world.
What woman inspires you the most? Why?
None other than the Notorious R.B.G. Ruth Bader Ginsburg dedicated her life to fighting for women’s rights, LGBT and racial equality. Her role as a justice in the Supreme Court has shaped history and she will always be known as a woman who beat the odds to make her mark. Regardless of her health and personal struggles, she shows up and continues to be a force to be reckoned with — and in my opinion — one of the most admirable people alive today.
When did your company join Pledge 1%? How long have you been working on your impact program?
We took the Pledge in 2018. Our impact program has taken several forms since we started our series of companies, most regularly in the community in India where our engineering office sits.
Today, we are focused on COVID-19 relief for that region in India, supporting a local trust that has committed to feeding over one million people in this region. The Trust is also committed to providing PPE and additional facilities for overrun health institutions for the isolation and care of COVID-19 patients.
Are you reading/listening to anything interesting at the moment? Please share your most recent favorite book or podcast!
I’m currently reading Shoe Dog a memoir by Nike co-founder Phil Knight. The book chronicles the history of Nike from its early struggles to its evolution into one of the world’s most recognized and profitable companies.
I’m also watching various Masterclass lessons these days and am especially loving the authentic tutorials from some of the most talented chefs in the world!
What’s something coming up that excites you?
Besides pandemic relief and the ability to start interacting with people again, I am looking forward to launching my new project, Dreammakers.
This podcast will feature interviews with change-makers, visionaries and interesting people who happen to enjoy drinking wine together. In addition to conversations with inspiring people, the podcast aims to broadcast unique dreams of individuals around the world and potentially connect them with someone who can help make that dream come true. The combination of #Dreammakers and #MakeItHappen will be used to share these dreams in the Dreammaker community.