Celebrating International Women’s Day Community Spotlight

The Zenith Community would like to say, Happy International Women’s Day!

Today, March 8th, 2023, in the Zenith Community we are proud to celebrate International Women’s Day. This is a global annual holiday that aims to celebrate the achievement of women all over the world, as well as bring awareness to issues such as gender equality, and violence and abuse against women. #EmbraceEquity

In honor of Happy International Women’s Day, we want to shine a special light on one of our Zscaler employees, Cindy Binette. Cindy is a Senior Sales Engineer and has been with Zscaler since December 2019. Hear directly from Cindy on how she got started in tech and her advice for women looking to break into the field.

“Everything started when my Barbie dolls wanted to buy and sell things and needed bank accounts managed with spreadsheets. Much later, in college, I hadn’t given much thought to a technical degree, but my father was a Georgia Tech graduate and he encouraged me to try a computer class. After only one class, I found my new passion. Technology showed me an exciting blend of science, math, art, and communication. I graduated from Georgia State University with a BBA, majoring in Computer Information Systems.

After graduating, I worked for a few organizations in various roles including network, application, and security engineer. I made a shift into technical sales engineering by joining a small value-added reseller, which led me to work for a few manufacturers as a sales engineer.

As a sales engineer, I am able to learn about technologies that help our customers and then determine when and how to best articulate the technologies in a way that is relatable to the individual according to their role, responsibilities, and area of expertise. I love how different the day-to-day can be as a sales engineer; each day is a unique adventure.

My days include learning about new technologies, solving customer challenges, helping my sales partners understand customer use cases, encouraging and assisting my peers and newly hired sales engineers, meeting face-to-face with customers, coworkers, and partners to build friendships, teaching partners about Zscaler and so much more.

Early days of college and my career, I was almost always the only female. One college professor approached (only) me and asked if I was in the correct class, or if I was lost. I often experienced having to prove myself technically to earn the engagement my male peers were offered without the same process. In customer meetings, the technical questions often went to the (male) sales rep, and I patiently waited for him to divert the question to me. Although I didn’t love this obstacle, it did encourage me to learn at a deeper level than some of my peers. I felt I needed a deeper understanding to be able to survive in this male dominant space.

I would encourage any female interested in sales engineering to go for it! Finding a mentor would be super helpful. As for technical skills, I learned end-user computing, networking, and lots of security technologies. One thing that helped me immensely was working part-time in a technical role while in college. This allowed me to hit the ground running with some experience right out of college.

I love knowing that every day I can make a difference for my customers and coworkers. I enjoy knowing that I will always be learning, and I don’t need to feel intimidated by new technology. New technology is a learning opportunity. When I’m not working, I love to play outside! I left the convenience of the Atlanta suburbs for a 27-acre farm in a slightly more rural setting. I have enjoyed learning how to grow things and play with farm equipment.”

Thank you, @Cindy, for sharing your story with us, and for being an invaluable asset to our clients and our team. Here’s to all the Women in Technology. Cheers!