How Accelo’s Female Leaders are Challenging Bias in Tech

8-Mar 2022

This year’s International Women’s Day theme is “Break The Bias” and here at Accelo, women are doing just that! Our leadership team is 40% female compared to the 28% of leadership positions that women hold across the tech industry. 

According to Boston Consulting Group, ​​women make up almost half (47%) of the U.S. workforce, but they hold less than one-third of the leadership positions in the tech industry. But with female leadership like the team of women leading at Accelo, that change is being made from the top down. 

Today, we are proud to celebrate the achievements of five of our best and brightest on the leadership team and highlight how they are paving the way for women in tech for years to come. 

Q: What initially sparked your interest in the tech industry, and what has been your greatest achievement in the years since?

Chris Higgins, Co-Founder and Software Engineering Lead

My mom was a programmer. I grew up with stories of debugging punch cards. I wanted absolutely nothing to do with computers! Mom, knowing my love of math and puzzles, encouraged me to take a computer science class and when I finally did, of course, I was hooked. I love the creativity and problem-solving of developing. Even better when what I create is useful to others.

As for my greatest achievements, it’s hard to look past co-founding Accelo. Being one of the initial developers of Accelo, it still gives me goosebumps to think there are thousands of people all around the world using something I built and that something is helping them. Add to that, the team we built up around us being such amazing, caring, intelligent people. It’s all pretty special.” 

Mandy Anger, VP of Product

As most product managers do, I side-stepped my way into the career path that ignited my passion, centered around my skill set, and it allowed me to do what I love. I started out in the tech industry as a technical writer, which is what my undergraduate degree is in. 

I had joined an early education software company that was a small division of a larger organization, about 60 employees, as a senior technical writer. About two weeks after joining I was asked if I wanted to take on the product manager role of a new pre-K product for children in India. At that point in my career, (the mid-2000s) I didn’t even know what product managers did, but I accepted the challenge. I’m so glad I did! I found that product combined all my favorite things: communication, collaboration, strategy, problem-solving and working with lots of different people.

Since that first product role, I’ve worked in both the early and post-secondary education, cloud services and work management spaces. I’ve been lucky to work with wonderful product managers who shared my love of product and have mentored me and helped me grow. I have launched brand new products, overhauled and relaunched flagship products, led and developed product teams, managed localization for multiple products, talked to hundreds of users and presented my products at multiple conferences. And after over a decade, I still love product just as much!”

Alex Mahoney, Director of Sales

"Technology is constantly changing and it challenges you to continuously grow, adapt and find new ways to innovate. That’s what drew me to tech! You have the ability to solve some of the world's most difficult problems in new ways - it's incredibly exciting to be a part of and contribute to in a meaningful way.

As the Director of Sales, the most rewarding part of my career has undoubtedly been the opportunity to build a team and culture of incredible individuals and watch them grow as professionals. If I can be one small piece of their journey and impact their career in a positive way, then I've done my job as a leader.”

Not every day is easy, and it takes perseverance and determination, but together, we can accomplish so much more than we can alone. Believe in yourself and what you are capable of; the sky is the limit!"

Tasneem Nomanbhai, Director of Customer Success

As a transplant to the Bay Area, I was initially drawn to the tech industry because of how technology revolutionizes our everyday lives - to be part of this impact on society is such a privilege. 

Throughout my career, I’ve worn different hats and played different roles, but by far my greatest role is leading our team of Customer Success Managers at Accelo. As Director of Customer Success, I get to combine all the things I’ve learned in my various positions and apply those skills as a leader. It validates the fact that there is no wasted opportunity - any project that you work on helps cultivate your skills and rise to your potential. Be open to all the possibilities and don’t pass up on any opportunities to better yourself!”

Jenny Laughlin, VP of Finance

I spent most of my early career working for large global companies - generally public registrants. I loved the fast pace and got to experience a number of different industries as well as contribute to several very significant M&A transactions. Eventually, though, I felt like I could have a bigger impact with earlier-stage companies. With the proliferation of tech companies - particularly growth-stage tech companies - it was an obvious direction for me to turn. The capital markets currently favor technology which means more resources to drive faster growth and the type of fast-paced environment I enjoy! This allows me to be a part of the build rather than just the maintenance.

Accelo is the first company I’ve worked for where I am actually a daily consumer of our platform. It’s the tool I truly needed in my previous companies! I have had so much fun dreaming up new ways we can use Accelo’s operational platform to improve our current financial functions so that we are ready to scale our business. That is an ongoing and daily journey that I will look back on as the most satisfying achievement of my career.”

Looking Forward

As Accelo continues to grow and provide thousands of service businesses with the technology to manage their client work more efficiently, it’s critical that we have strong leadership like the women above to keep us aligned and prosperous. They are helping to shape the future for our employees, customers and partners alike while also making space for women like themselves to follow their lead. 

Together we can forge women's equality. Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias.

Do I Belong Here? The State of Gender Diversity in Tech

About International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day provides an important moment to showcase commitment to women's equality, launch new initiatives and action, celebrate women's achievements, raise awareness, highlight gender parity gains and more.

The day is celebrated and supported globally by industry, governments, educational institutions, community groups, professional associations, women's networks, charities and non-profit bodies, the media and more.

Collectively every person and all groups can make a difference within their sphere of influence by taking concrete action to help build a more gender-equal world. From small powerful grassroots gatherings to large-scale conferences and events - International Women's Day is celebrated everywhere. It's a big day for inspiration and change.

Read more about International Women’s Day herstory here.


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