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?

Neha Sampat, Founder and CEO at Contentstack.

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

As CEO of Contentstack, I represent the company and our interests, facilitate sustainable growth, and unblock and rally to help my team move our vision forward. Our vision is to use technology to break down barriers for better human connection.

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

In 2007, I left VMWare to found Raw Engineering to help enterprise brands adopt new technologies. We offered a service. In offering that service over time, we became digital trend spotters. Content was critical to building customer relationships, but it could no longer be confined to a website alone. Also, enterprises needed to be liberated from all-in-one suites, which hampered business and tech teams’ creativity and productivity.

The need defined the product. That product is Contentstack. We launched in 2014, created a stand-alone company in 2018, and raised capital in 2019. Since launch, we have partnered with over 100 brands to modernize their storytelling.

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

Splitting my companies. In 2018, we had a profitable services business and several product lines, but limited resources. I spun out Contentstack and sold Built.io to Software AG. It allowed us to scale Contentstack as far as we have. Running Contentstack – building relationships with employees and clients and delivering on a better way to tell stories – has been the most meaningful role of my career.

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

Over-communicating is a must during tough times. In a year of so many things feeling out of control, transparent communication is very much in our hands. No surprises should be the goal – except for the fun kind.

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

1. Be authentically you. Work on understanding the unique value you bring to the table and own that value.
2. Be curious. Use every learning opportunity that comes your way.
3. Build allyship by focusing on what you can give rather than what you can get.

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

Pay women equitably and make workplace flexibility the norm.

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

I relentlessly work toward achieving equity in the workplace. I do this through committing to initiatives like Pledge 1% and Insight’s ScaleUp DE&I pledge, and hiring talent through Gainsight & SVA Academy’s CSYou – which helps underrepresented groups enter the customer success industry. I also focus on broader strategies like looking for talent in undiscovered places and mentoring aspiring female founders on their path to entrepreneurship.

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

We took the pledge in 2018 for all Surfboard companies (Built.io, Raw Engineering and Contentstack). Today, Surfboard companies pledge a combination of 1% Time (Raw Engineering) 1%+ Product (Contentstack) and 1% Revenues $$ via donations (Surfboard) to the communities we serve.

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

I’m a certified sommelier and I like to find ways to share that passion with others. I host virtual wine-tasting networking events and fireside chats with employees and customers that include tastings.

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

My podcast, Dreammakers, of course. I host candid conversations with women that focus on profit, purpose, and what it takes to bridge the two. My guests fuel my creativity. I’ve spoken with a Founder and CEO of an online payments company that also runs a foundation that relocates victims of domestic violence, a product manager writing a second novel and obsessed with creating psychological safety at work, and a founder who facilitates allyship between professional women in Austin. I’m constantly in awe.

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?

I elevated the value of fun. Cultivating happy cultures has always been core to what I do and how I operate. So, while it was a bit of a shock to be physically isolated from my tribe this year, it was also a fun challenge to keep the heart of our culture beating virtually.

Technology helped us do that through: Awards for best pandemic hair and best Zoom backgrounds, a David Hasselhoff Cameo during our QBR, team fitness via Zoom and customer-themed trivia and prizes.