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Profile: Lynne Doherty, President of Worldwide Field Operations, Sumo Logic

Women in Tech: “Your career path is in your hands”

Sarah Schlothauer

Four years ago, we launched a diversity series aimed at bringing the most inspirational and powerful women in the tech scene to your attention. Today, we’d like you to meet Lynne Doherty, President of Worldwide Field Operations, Sumo Logic.

research study by The National Center for Women & Information Technology showed that “gender diversity has specific benefits in technology settings,” which could explain why tech companies have started to invest in initiatives that aim to boost the number of female applicants, recruit them in a more effective way, retain them for longer, and give them the opportunity to advance. But is it enough?

Four years ago, we launched a diversity series aimed at bringing the most inspirational and powerful women in the tech scene to your attention. Today, we’d like you to meet Lynne Doherty, President of Worldwide Field Operations, Sumo Logic.

Today’s Woman in Tech: Lynne Doherty, President of Worldwide Field Operations, Sumo Logic

A strong advocate for her clients, her team and women in technology, Lynne Doherty is passionate about building inclusive and diverse teams, who consistently deliver a premium experience to customers and thrive on the creativity that drives world-class innovation.

As President of Worldwide Field Operations at Sumo Logic, Lynne is responsible for sales, pre-sales, channel and customer success teams, driving revenue in one of the fastest growing markets in the technology space. In the rapidly evolving work environment, companies increasingly look for solutions to help them simplify, drive efficiency and stay secure. Sumo Logic is the industry leading solution to solve these challenges, as the first and only cloud-native, SaaS technology, with a Continuous Intelligence Platform that puts the power of machine data analytics in the hands of everyone.

Lynne has been leading sales organizations and driving positive business outcomes for customers for more than 20 years. Lynne joined Sumo from McAfee, where she was Executive Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing where she was responsible for their enterprise sales, pre-sales, channel and marketing teams. In her time at McAfee, she led them through their initial public offering, sale of the enterprise business, spin-out as a new company, and acquisition of FireEye Products.

Prior to McAfee, Lynne spent nearly 15 years at Cisco and most recently was Senior Vice President of US Commercial Sales- Cisco’s largest, single-market sales organization. In this role, she oversaw a team of more than 2,000 employees, drove $8B in revenue annually, serving 400,000+ accounts. Prior to that, Lynne was Vice President of Americas Security Sales, responsible for over $2B across the US, Canada and Latin America.

Throughout her career in various leadership, sales and engineering roles, Lynne has built a reputation for leading high-performing, international organizations that capitalize on competitive opportunities and cultivate innovative initiatives to disrupt markets and drive technology adoption.

Lynne has a B.S. in Mathematics and Computer Science from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. She lives in Denver, CO with her husband, is an avid cycler and loves to bake in her spare time.

When did you become interested in technology? What first got you interested in tech?

I always liked math – even as a young kid. So, I think I focused on that because I liked it and could do well at it. I really got into technology during college when I added Computer Science as a second major.

How did you end up in your career path? What obstacles did you have to overcome?

My degree was in Computer Science and Mathematics, which naturally started me on a path toward a career in STEM. I ended up starting my career as a programmer doing a lot of coding, and over time that led me to pivot to become a pre-sales engineer and then an engineering leader. I eventually decided to give sales a shot and made the pivot to selling – moving my way from being a rep to a sales leader and many jobs in between – here I am!

Truthfully, I’ve always looked at obstacles as opportunities. Being the only female in my major in college – to being one of the first female programmers – didn’t intimidate me being the “one and only.” Instead, I took it as an opportunity to work hard, show up and stand out.

Did you receive support from your family and friends? Do you have a role model?

I have so many role models. Most definitely my parents, and my brother and three sisters. I truly believe no one “does it on their own,” and you need a team of people around you – helping you, supporting you, and giving you confidence throughout your life and career. I also have many professional role models who I have learned from and been mentored by. Having support and advice from others makes a big difference!

Did anyone ever try to stop you from learning and advancing in your professional life?

I’m not sure anyone ever tried to stop me, but there were certainly people along the way who I think underestimated me – especially when I was early in my career and building my career in tech. I can remember times going into meetings where I didn’t really have a ‘seat at the table,’ and I had to push to get that.

While I have many career accomplishments that I am proud of – from delivering results to taking on new roles and challenges, I am most proud of the opportunities that I have been able to give to others throughout my career.

A day in Lynne’s life

I am currently President of Worldwide Field Operations at Sumo Logic, which means I lead our global sales, partner, pre-sales engineering, and customer success teams. Sumo Logic is pioneering a new category of software called continuous intelligence, which is designed to empower the people who power modern businesses. We do this by enabling real-time insights and analytics across all data types and multiple use cases, delivered from a single cloud-native platform.

Today’s modern technology workforce is truly hybrid. That means that much of how my job looks today is very different than how it used to be. Whether I’m working from home, the office, or traveling, I leverage collaboration tools to connect with my team – see them – and run the business as usual. That said, a typical day for me consists of a lot of video calls!

What are you most proud of in your career?

While I have many career accomplishments that I am proud of – from delivering results to taking on new roles and challenges, I am most proud of the opportunities that I have been able to give to others throughout my career. Everyone has the person who gives them their ‘first chance’ at doing a new job or next step up, and I love the fact that I’ve gotten to do that for so many people.

Why aren’t there more women in tech?

I believe that the technology industry has made progress in the number of women in tech over the years, but there’s still a long way to go. We’ve seen many organizations “lean in” to diversity and inclusion initiatives, making a significant impact. From my experience, you will attract more diverse talent if your team looks diverse – so that first pivot is often the most difficult.

That said, I think the focus that schools have on investing in STEM programs will make a difference in shaping talent for the future and organizations and people giving their time to show the younger generations what a career can be like in our field. It’s all about opening their eyes to what’s possible, and if we continue to prioritize building the talent pipeline for the future, we will have a much stronger, diverse workforce.

Could you name a few challenges (or obstacles) women in tech face?

The challenges women in tech face vary from company to company, but as a whole, a lot of the challenges that we face we put on ourselves. For example, thinking that you aren’t capable or ready to take on a bigger role, go for the promotion, or step out of your comfort zone. I’ve always told the women on my team to ask themselves, “why not me?” – because you are more capable than you think.

How would our world be different if more women worked in STEM?

If more women worked in STEM, there would be great impacts felt around the world. Socially, we would see perceptions shift, mindsets change, and biases go away. Economically, we would see a more equal playing field financially, more women in the workforce, more women leaders, etc. And culturally, it would empower women to be more independent in their lives by valuing their career path, success, and opportunities.

Women should absolutely consider a career in tech because it has the potential for them to build a prosperous, energizing, rewarding, and exciting professional journey.

The discussion about diversity is gaining momentum. How long will it take to see results from the current discussion?

I think we have already seen progress in many cases on diversity, but there is still much to be made! It will take effort and passion from every leader in every organization to create diverse, inclusive teams. From the top, executives can guide company direction and strategy on diversity initiatives, but it will take front-line managers buying into it and creating those teams to successfully attract, retain and develop talent for years to come.

What advice (and tips) would you give to women who want a tech career?

Women should absolutely consider a career in tech because it has the potential for them to build a prosperous, energizing, rewarding, and exciting professional journey. That’s the great thing about tech; you can shape your career to be whatever you want with the number of job opportunities, companies, and growth that the industry is experiencing. Your career path is in your hands, and it’s not always a ladder – it’s a jungle gym!

More Women in Tech:

For even more Women in Tech, click here

Author
Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer

All Posts by Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer is the editor for JAXenter.com. She received her Bachelor's degree from Monmouth University, West Long Branch, New Jersey. She currently lives in Frankfurt, Germany with her husband and cat where she enjoys reading, writing, and medieval reenactment. She is also the editor for Conditio Humana, an online magazine about ethics, AI, and technology.

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