Sara Stamas (formerly Sara Breeding) is the Director of Marketing at Axosoft where she manages overall strategy and execution of marketing initiatives for two software products: Axosoft and GitKraken. She is also the co-creator of #ItWasNeverADress, a viral campaign fostering important conversations about diversity and inclusion in tech.
Sara is a Summa Cum Laude graduate from Arizona State University, trained in Marketing at the W.P. Carey School of Business and Design Studies Management at the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. She has united her passions to bring a creative spirit and analytical mindset to her successful management of small to Fortune 500 client accounts.
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 full-time position in tech was as a Marketing Coordinator at Lucid Agency, an interactive marketing agency specializing in digital marketing and web technology solutions. I had interned at more traditional marketing and advertising agencies prior to that position, and when I started working at Lucid fell in love with the fast-paced nature of digital marketing. I loved that the timeline from ideation to execution was dramatically shortened for PPC campaigns compared to traditional medium of advertising, and that there was so much to learn about the ever-changing online platforms for advertising and SEO.
Describe your job in technology today.
Today, I lead the marketing team for a fast-paced software company called Axosoft. Axosoft develops two software products: Axosoft, an agile project management tool for dev teams, and GitKraken, a cross-platform Git GUI client for devs. As the Director of Marketing, I manage our overall strategies for everything from brand awareness to lead generation for both products.
At Axosoft, I also became the co-creator of the #ItWasNeverADress campaign, which we launched in 2015 to shift perceptions about women in the tech industry and beyond. The campaign went viral on major news outlets like CNN, TIME, Yahoo! and New York Times. My team continues to help support this cause through storytelling, community building, innovation and creative disruptions. On our website, itwasneveradress.com, merchandise sales benefit the scholarship we created at Arizona State University for need-based students entering STEAM fields.
Who has been the most influential individual or mentor in your education or career and how did this person help advance your role in technology?
Lawdan Shojaee has been (and continues to be) one of the most influential people who has shaped my career in tech. Women are underrepresented in this industry, especially in high-level roles, which is why I gravitated toward Lawdan’s bold personality and self-confidence as a female CEO in tech.
I’ve been fortunate to work with her for four years at Axosoft, and learn from her through hands-on experience. She gave me her trust and guidance while working through new opportunities and challenges, which has been the best way to quickly learn what it takes to be in a leadership role at a software company.
What do you love most about working in the tech world?
I love the ever-evolving, competitive nature of the industry. There is always knowledge to be gained and a better solution to be discovered. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and collaborating with some of the most intelligent, hard-working people in tech. I love having a career in tech because I’m constantly challenged to push my knowledge, skills, and creativity to the next level.
What do you believe is the biggest hurdle women face in pursuing a career in technology?
Personally, self-confidence has been one of my biggest hurdles. There are plenty of biases and stigmas that exist for women entering male-dominated fields like tech. From what I’ve experienced, people judge women in leadership roles more harshly than their male counterparts. Things like appearance and demeanor seem to be remarked on more frequently when assessing the competence and capableness of women leaders.
I think it’s important to be confident in our knowledge, our skills, the way we carry ourselves, our communication style and our self-worth. It’s easy to undervalue ourselves and let others do the same, but this is not only doing ourselves a disservice, it’s also unintentionally enabling this behavior to persist. When we undervalue ourselves, we allow the wage gap and biases to continue to exist.
If you could change one thing about your education or career path, what would it be?
I would have explored computer science courses in high school or college.
If you could give advice to other girls in tech, what would it be?
Be open-minded, brave, persistent and confident!
For more information on Sara Stamas, connect with her on LinkedIn or follow her on Twitter @sarastamas. To learn more about the Computer Science Scholarship Axosoft is offering to women in Arizona, read our FAQs here.