By WiFi HiFi
The latest candidate in our series of Q&As with influential women in the technology business in Canada is Agata Mossop, Vice President, Business Development, Lenbrook International
Name: Agata Mossop
Job Title: Vice President, Business Development, Lenbrook International
Years in the Industry: 15
The Quote That Most Inspires You: You only fail when you stop trying.
What drew you to a career in consumer electronics?
Honestly, I started in CE totally by fluke. Organizational changes at Lenbrook led me down this path, but I fell in love with the industry right away!
Have you encountered any roadblocks along the way that were related to your gender?
Quite the opposite. I was upfront about my lack of experience and industry knowledge from the get-go, but also made my drive and willingness to learn very clear. That actually garnered a lot of support from our dealer base (whom I was interacting with the most at that time), and today, I’m lucky to call a number of those individuals who mentored me, friends.
What unique characteristics or perspective do you feel you bring to your organization as a woman?
A lot of the added value of an employee is represented by their unique personality traits. Some of us excel at public speaking, some are great at analyzing the numbers, others have an ability to motivate and inspire those around them. Most would agree that mine is an insatiable drive to get things done, without delays or excuses, and with minimal errors.
Technology is historically a male-dominated industry, yet the use of tech is fully embraced by women, and many studies even suggest that females are the primary buyers of tech in the home. What do you feel the technology industry needs in order to attract more women, particularly into high-level positions?
The audio industry in general could use a bit of a face-lift. If you compare hi-fi shops in North America to those in Europe, and never mind Asia, you instantly see that there is a clear distinction. We need more focus, clearer messaging, and sex appeal. That happens with a broader representation of fewer brands, which leads to fewer products on the floor in general, and the ability to weave a brand story; something you can’t do when you try to be all things to all people.
My comment differs when we open up the discussion to other tech segments.
If you had to sum up what it is like being a woman in this male-dominated technology industry in just a few words, what would you say?
Many would say it’s more challenging. I disagree. I feel it’s actually an advantage. There are so few of us that we become instantly more memorable! (I’m only kidding.) At the end of the day, we are all measured on the calibre of our performance, which is our ability to follow up and deliver, whether we are male or female. I should point out that of the three newly-minted senior management positions within Lenbrook, two are held by women. Add in our Chairman and CEO, and it’s an even 50/50 split.
Are there other women in the tech industry who inspire you?
Unfortunately, I haven’t had the opportunity to work with many (any) women closely enough to comment. We’re so spread out across brands/companies that the interaction for me has been limited. However, it is interesting that those whom I do know have all earned high-level positions and continue to advance.
What are some of the misconceptions/myths about women working in the technology space that you’d like to dispel?
I never paid attention to myths. I always considered myself an equal to males at the same level position. After all, women and men both use technology, so why would (or should) women’s roles in the industry differ?
Are you optimistic for the future in general and for the industry?
I am lucky that I work for a great company where we’ve built an exceptional team. Further, especially at the more senior management levels, there is a sense of autonomy and ownership. That provides for a good amount of idea sharing which, for us, has led to a number of new initiatives that are already having a meaningful impact on the business.