“Collective intelligence exponentially outperforms any one person or idea:” An interview with N-able’s John Pagliuca.

Why do you support Computing’s Women in Tech Excellence Campaign?

I’m proud to support Computing’s Women in Tech Excellence Campaign because, it’s no secret, we need more women in tech! It’s imperative for the success of any business, and especially in tech, to have women represented throughout all levels of the company. The work Computing’s Women in Tech Excellence campaign is doing to elevate and recognize top women in our industry gives visibility for future generations to see themselves reflected as leaders in the IT community. On a personal level, I have a daughter and nine nieces. Supporting organizations that are driving a better tomorrow for the young ladies in my life is a no brainer.

How did you get into IT industry?

I caught the “IT bug” early on in my career via a finance track with a special focus on assisting startup and hypergrowth companies in the software and SaaS marketplace to bring new groundbreaking technology to market. Later on, I was a CFO at a tech company that was acquired, and became the President of a division that was spun off to become, what is now, N-able, where I currently serve as the CEO.

What you think is the main reason why the IT Industry is mainly male, especially in technical roles and senior positions?

Women have historically been underrepresented in STEM careers, and we need to work together as an industry to encourage more women to pursue these fields. There has been some progress made in this area over the past few years, so as more women do go into STEM fields, we need to ensure we’re keeping that momentum up to actively seek out talent that is fully representative at all levels of the business. Young women can now begin to look at successful female tech leaders as role models and a proof point for what is possible, and we collectively need to promote this upward movement and improvement.

What is the biggest lesson you have learned in your career?

That collective intelligence exponentially outperforms any one person or idea. Listening, really listening, and gathering feedback from peers and team members with different experiences will lead to the right result, eventually. As leaders we need to foster an environment that encourages healthy debate and optimize the intelligence of the collective team.

What are your top tips for women looking to start a career in IT?

  • Seek out a mentor – someone who can be a guide and teacher. As you build a relationship with your mentor, and they get to know you and your work, they can tailor their advice to specific situations or questions you have.
  • Have a growth mindset, and be a continuous learner. Whether you’re just starting your career, or are more tenured – being inquisitive and wanting to grow your skills will be important throughout your career.
  • Find companies and industries that are also focused on growth.Be a multi-tool athlete. Understand how the business makes money and apply your technical skills with the business goal in mind.

What advice would you give to young women aspiring to take on leadership roles?

Get comfortable being uncomfortable. Research has shown that women may not apply to jobs if they feel they don’t meet 100% of the qualifications, but if you’re at a point in your career where you have the core skills and are ready to take that next step – put your name in for consideration. It may feel uncomfortable, but that is what growth feels like. My advice would be to take that step forward.


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