Ashley Capps is a marketing communications change agent, providing strategic vision and support to internal teams for a leading B2B technology company in Phoenix. She works closely with executive and C-level teams to manage project timelines, develop product roadmaps, and interface with key stakeholders to execute market strategies for new and existing product lines. Relying on her 8+ years of public relations experience, she navigates brands through rapid growth and unexpected hurdles alike.
Tell us about your first job in tech. Who did you work for, what was your role, and what excited you about the work you did?
My first role in IT was here at Trapp Technology as a content marketer. I’d come from a blogging and social media background specializing in B2C marketing, so I was excited to dive head first into learning the inner workings of the tech industry. I knew that Phoenix was quickly becoming a hub for IT innovation, and I wanted a seat at the table.
Describe your job in technology today.
Today, I’m responsible for leading the vision, strategy, and execution of our corporate brands and their product portfolios. Developing brand stories for products that I deeply believe in is my dream job, and I’m thrilled to have earned the trust of my executive team to have a lot of creative latitude in my role.
If there was point in your childhood when you first became interested in technology, describe that event or experience.
I was a teenager in the early aughts, before the dawn of present day social media. Without apps like Snapchat or Instagram, my friends and I used tools like LiveJournal to keep in touch. It was then that I taught myself the core basics of HTML, and I learned how the backend of publishing platforms really worked. I had no idea I was learning skills that would eventually shape the early stages of my career!
What do you believe is the biggest hurdle women face in pursuing a career in technology?
Women in any industry are more susceptible to impostor syndrome – the feeling that you aren’t capable of your role even when you clearly have the skills to pay the bills! It can be intimidating to be the only woman on a team, or to keep from holding yourself to higher expectation than your male or childless colleagues. Remember to embrace positive feedback and to celebrate the wins. You are here because you’ve earned your seat at the table.
I’m not ashamed to say that I struggled with this at the beginning of my career. I was a young mother working in an industry that was heavily male-dominated, and I was under a totally self-imposed microscope. With the cloud of impostor syndrome looming over me, I had become consumed with proving myself.
While I understand now that I was seeing my situation through the lens of impostor syndrome, at the time, my anxiety about being a woman and mother working in the IT industry was very real. Through this lens, it was tough to believe colleagues when they gave me praise for the successes earned through my hard work. I was reading between the lines for subtleties or doubts that simply weren’t there.
Reflecting back, it’s heartbreaking to realize that the feelings I had are shared by so many other women across all industries. Thankfully, I’ve grown into a confident leader with the help of mentors, coworkers, and my own perseverance. Because of my past experience with impostor syndrome, it’s critically important to me to be a resource and advocate for women in the early stages of their career. As I continue to grow and see success, it’s my mission to bring other women up alongside me.
To learn more about Ashley Capps, visit linkedin.com/in/cappsashley/ or follow her on Twitter at @cappsash. Be sure to register for the Girls in Tech Phoenix email newsletter at www.phoenix.girlsintech.org.