This series features profiles of some of the top women leaders within our enterprise technology community here in NYC. We hope by highlighting their terrific work, stories, and career trajectories within some of the top venture-backed startups and operating functions will encourage more women to consider careers in enterprise software.
Join us on February 28th, 2018 at our first-ever Navigate 2018: Women in Enterprise Tech Summit here at Work-Bench with Salesforce Ventures in New York City to meet and connect with these impressive women and more.
Meghan Gill is VP of Sales at MongoDB
What were you doing before your current role in enterprise technology? How did you get to this role?
I joined MongoDB in December 2009. Prior to that, I worked at a large financial services company, but I wanted the opportunity to work at a startup. I reached out to Eliot Horowitz, the founder and CTO of MongoDB, whom I knew from my undergraduate time at Brown University. When I met with him, it was for career advice, and I didn’t expect that he would have a role for me at MongoDB. But he explained that the company was very small (8 people) and all engineers, and he was looking for someone to help with “everything else.” It was an opportunity for me to see every aspect of an early stage startup, and I am grateful that he took a chance on me!
What pain point is your company solving, and what gets you excited to go to work every day?
MongoDB is a modern database. It uses a data model that is intuitive for developers and enables them to build applications quickly. Empowering developers is what excites and inspires me the most about what we do. I think it’s really cool that MongoDB is used for everything from student hackathon projects to mission critical applications at large enterprises.
What do you wish you had known earlier in your enterprise career?
In Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg talks about how you should think about your career as a jungle gym, rather than a ladder. That advice resonated with me. The most important thing is to work at a great company that is growing fast, where there are frequently new opportunities and you can experience many new things. When I joined MongoDB, it was a small team and I did a little bit of everything — marketing, sales, finance, HR, admin. I gravitated toward marketing, where I later had multiple leadership roles, and I recently took on a position running sales operations. As the company has grown, I have been able to experience new things and broaden my skill set.
Give us one piece of tactical advice (small or large), as a page from your enterprise tech playbook — that you would give to another woman considering a career in enterprise tech?
Make time to network — but be targeted in who you meet with, and plan to give as much as you get. I try to meet with someone new at least once a month for coffee to share my experience and advice, or to get advice on the specific problems that I am facing. I find that most organizations are facing similar challenges and evaluating the same tools and processes. To meet the right people, I ask for introductions through our investor network and my colleagues. Attending events like Navigate 2018 is another great way to connect with peers.
What do you love about enterprise tech?
Enterprise tech companies solve real problems for businesses and people. People ultimately buy software, even in a B2B context, and they purchase because it will make a difference in their ability to do their job. Sometimes the problems enterprise tech solves aren’t glamorous, but the solution can make a huge difference in the day-to-day lives of the end user.
Take Expensify as an example. Expense reports are a pain, but we all have to do them. Expensify made them easy by providing a better user experience for each individual submitting a report. It solves a real, day-to-day problem for the employees.
Similarly, MongoDB helps developers be more productive and build more applications. Many developers are building and advancing their careers around MongoDB. I think that is pretty cool.
What do you wish would change?
I wish there were more enterprise tech companies in New York City! Though I think that is changing with the work Work-Bench is doing.
Our inspiration for this series comes from Digital Currency Group’s terrific profiles of Women in Blockchain — thank you!
Join us on February 28th at Work-Bench for our Navigate 2018: Women in Enterprise Tech Summit in NYC and get your ticket here. #navigate18
Know a woman leader in enterprise technology whose story we should feature? We’d love to hear from you.