Inspiring Women in Tech: Three talented executives from our Croatian affiliate
Midis Group aims towards diversity in the tech workplace
The Croatian management team at Hewlett Packard Enterprise operated by Selectium has three young female sales executives that have grown and prospered within the company. Read on to hear how Ana Lučić, HPE Pointnext Sales Specialist, Dina Markić, Enterprise Account Manager, and Martina Matoš, HPE Education Sales Specialist have worked their way through to prominence in the industry.
Working in IT sales isn’t always easy to get into. Two of our three successful executives went straight in as interns or students after college, but one, Ana, already had some business experience.
Dina Markić: “I started working at HPE as an intern right after college. The internship position was as a Sales Enablement Assistant. Before even finishing my internship, I got a position in HPE Inside Sales in Prague hub. After sharpening my sales skills in the hub, I grabbed the opportunity to work in the local market as an Account Manager.”
For Martina Matoš, the starting point was quite similar to Dina: “Before taking over this job I worked in HPE for six years in several positions. Started as a student, then working in Customer Operations department for several years and later taking over in a sales position.”
For Ana Lučić, the move into IT wasn’t such a leap in terms of experience. “I worked in various industries and departments prior to this position. I have experience in finance, sales and operations,” added Ana.
It’s impressive to read how qualified all three women are – all three have Bachelor degrees and Masters as well.
“I graduated from the University of Zagreb, in the Faculty of Economics and Business with a Bachelor degree in Business Economics and then a Master’s degree in Accounting and Auditing” said Dina.
Martina: “I graduated from the University of Zagreb, Faculty of Economics and Business with a Bachelor degree in Business Economics and a Master degree in Accounting and Auditing.”
Ana has an impressively international flavor to her education CV: “I have a Bachelor’s degree in International Business from IMC University at Krems in Austria. During my studies in Austria I completed a semester of exchange in Madrid, Spain. I also have a Master of Science degree in Service Leadership and Innovation from Rochester Institute of Technology.”
So all three have really advanced educational qualifications – which makes one wonder if they ever thought they would develop a career in sales when studying?
Dina was philosophical about this question: “I never thought that my career would be in sales, especially not in IT sales, as I don’t have technical background. But where there is a will, there is a way.”
Martina always wanted to work in an international company, but never imagined it would be in the IT industry. “Working here made me realize how happy I am with my position, the company and the industry. Now, after so many years, I could never imagine working in a different industry.”
For Ana, working directly with the public was important, right from the start: “I always knew I wanted to work in a customer-facing role as part of a multinational company since cultural diversity is something I greatly value and appreciate. IT as an industry is very exciting and competitive and I am happy I get to work in this area.”
All three are clearly destined for continued success in their roles, and have worked hard to get where they are today. We asked them about their career high points, so far. What’s been your biggest success in the job – what have you been most proud of?
According to Dina, the job is very dynamic, and there is constantly something new happening. “I am proud of the progress I’ve made from an intern in Sales Enablement to the Account Manager working with both public and private sector. As they say, I am the youngest Account Manager (for HIT part) in our local office ever.”
Martina: “My greatest accomplishment was setting up and developing the Education Business from scratch after a company transferred to Hewlett Packard Enterprise operated by Selectium. I’m mostly proud that now we have good business results, we are constantly delivering our technology training to our customers and continuing to grow even further.”
For Ana, the success she found has been about people. “I am most proud of our team and the people that I get to work with every day. When you are surrounded by such great individuals, you are able to thrive and provide an outstanding service to your customers and partners.”
Over the last two years, during the challenge of the pandemic, new kinds of technology have kept the business world spinning. What digital/business/industry innovations excite you the most?
Dina thinks technology is part of every industry and has even been part of a lot (if not all) aspects of our lives, but she’s thoughtful about how it should be used. “I guess artificial intelligence as a technology trend is very fascinating. It improves our lives and jobs in so many ways, but on the other hand we need to use it wisely. Also, working from home has become broadly possible. It will be interesting to see how professional and social dynamics might change with more and more people working remotely.”
Martina and Ana both get excited about a new product they are both keen to see and sell, as Martina says: “Currently I’m mostly excited about our new consumption-based model for IT infrastructure that brings financial flexibility based on pay-per-use. I believe this is a great innovation in this industry and will bring simplification and agility.”
Ana added, agreeing with Martina: “Our new consumption model, known as HPE GreenLake – Selectium Program, is something I am very much looking forward to. I believe this is the future of service delivery and there is a growing demand on the market for such a model.”
So what keeps Ana, Dina and Martina coming in to work each day – what is great about working for HPE/Selectium?
“Working for HPE/Selectium is great because I work with a lot of great people and excellent professionals. I am also happy with the work-life balance that we have here,” said Dina.
For Martina, “the greatest thing about working for Hewlett Packard Enterprise operated by Selectium are the people. We have a great team, such excellent colleagues to work with, which inspires me to do my job the best that I can. We all have a common vision: the ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives.”
Ana finds the company and job brings many learning opportunities: “Apart from the team itself, the dynamics of the job is what excites me the most. Every project and customer is different and that gives me an opportunity to constantly develop and obtain new skills.”
As we wind the interviews down, it is clear these successful women each have some useful insights and skills that have helped them get this far in the industry. Is it about being female? Would you say that being a woman in a traditional male industry gives you a unique view or a competitive edge?
Dina: “I would say that being a woman in a predominantly male industry gives me a unique view. People usually don’t expect a young woman to talk about technical solutions, but I’m happy to see that there are more women present in IT. In the end, success in the job depends on person’s skills and knowledge.”
For Martina, it’s definitely a help being a woman in the sector. “Some leadership behaviors, observed more frequently among woman than among men, have a positive impact on a company’s organizational performance. In this way women complement and enhance the range of leadership behaviors that are critical to corporate performance, especially in IT.”
Ana agrees. “I would say that it certainly does. Soft skills and emotional intelligence are some of the key competitive advantages for women in business. Although characteristics such as effective communication, empathy, and self-awareness are difficult to measure, they are highly valued and are all essential skills for effective leadership and management within the workplace.”
So there we have it, when there is a will there is a way, as Dina noted in her interview. At Midis, we are happy to be at the forefront of the trend of successful female executives, grown from the company’s own employment pool. Cultivating a company’s own employees and giving them an opportunity to show their strengths and capabilities is something we deeply value and cherish. Thanks to our three willing participants – Ana, Dina and Martina – for giving their time and offering such valuable insights. We wish them well and good luck in their future endeavors.