Cloud Girls is honored to have amazingly accomplished, professional women in tech as our members. We take every opportunity to showcase their expertise and accomplishments – promotions, speaking engagements, publications and more. Now, we are excited to shine a spotlight on one of our members each month.
June’s Cloud Expert of the Month is Kat Rudd
Katharine “Kat” Rudd is a senior technology adviser focused on turning emerging technology opportunities into formidable business results. She is currently serving as Partner for global technology advisory firm ISG, leading West Region Sales and Operations. At ISG and its predecessor companies Alsbridge and Telwares, her contributions include client management and sponsorship, the launch of a profitable new service line, and leadership roles in sales and delivery. Rudd’s career in technology started at MCI (now Verizon) in 1997. She grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and currently lives in Alamo, Calif., with her husband and two daughters.
When did you join Cloud Girls and why? I became a Cloud Girl in 2016 after a provider I was working with suggested I connect with Cloud Girls Co-founder Manon Buettner. Being on the consulting side of IT, I am always looking to stay connected and current on emerging technologies and trends. Having a group of like-minded professional women with the same goals was the perfect fit!
What do you value about being a Cloud Girl? Having the group to share industry knowledge with, balanced with a good dose of personal growth through mentorship and education.
What career mistake has given you the biggest lesson? Very early in my career I made a bad judgment call and spoke poorly about my current boss on social media. While I didn’t name the person, it was pretty obvious. A coworker saw it and reported it to her. It was the most embarrassing moment of my career. She brought me into her office and read the post, word for word. What made it so awful was that I really do consider her a mentor and friend. We just didn’t always see eye to eye. At the time, I was already looking to make a move, so needless to say I moved on. We have since reconciled, but it took several years. Beyond the obvious lesson about social media, it taught me that words can cut to the bone and you may never be able to recover from them. It could have a lasting or permanent impact on your career.
What research did you do to prepare for your current role? My current role leading ISG’s West Region sales and operations is relatively new as of January. I had to do a lot of initial research to capture the market size and alignment with our services. This has been a great opportunity for me to re-center around California and research the real diversity of industries in the market. The assumption is that the West is all tech, which couldn’t be further for the truth. This has positioned me to hit the ground running and have a real grasp on what we need to do to expand and grow the region.
What will be the biggest challenge for the generation of women behind you? Being present in STEM is still the biggest gap I see. I have both my young girls in a few weeks of camps this summer: mad science and LEGO for the 5-year-old and Roblox coding for the 10-year-old. The percentage of girls is astoundingly low, about 20 percent (in the Roblox class, it’s even less!). I really believe it’s because girls don’t want to enroll because they know it will be ALL boys. My girls are loving it and all these girls are missing out on the opportunity. Get involved in technology in a class environment early, that will give you the tools to be confident and sit at the table later.