Discover the Impact: 3 Women Leaders at Sisense Share How Community Makes All the Difference

Three women in leadership share their insights and perspectives on how to thrive in tech through mentorship and a strong community.

Written by Taylor Rose
Published on May. 14, 2024
Discover the Impact: 3 Women Leaders at Sisense Share How Community Makes All the Difference
Image: Sisense
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When Lisa Hammack thinks about 20 years ago, she sees starting in tech as one of the best choices she ever made — but it hasn’t come without adversities. 

“I’m not going to lie, it has not always been easy,” said Hammack. 

Early in her career, Hammack was on a team that experienced significant gender bias. “We had to go through twice the hurdles of our male counterparts at the time,” she noted. “But every single one of us has had the resilience, the belief in ourselves and each other and the work ethic to have successful careers.” 

She went on to note how grateful she is to look back on that time and now see examples of women in tech who inspired her to not give up. 

“I have learned to seek out relationships and mentors that have similar values to my own and celebrate each of our successes,” she said. 

Hammack has definitely found success. After a 19-year career with Oracle, she spent the last seven years overseeing sales teams across two other companies, before joining Sisense in 2022. Today, she is the company’s director of global sales enablement. 

 

WHAT DOES SISENSE DO?

Sisense’s platform enables companies to embed analytics into any application or workflow. Sisense analytics tools assist IT and business intelligence teams to analyze, explore and collaborate to uncover business insights.

 

“It has been a whirlwind since I have been with Sisense the past year and a half,” Hammack noted. She added that the company has focused on expanding into a hybrid strategy for both product- and sales-led growth, which has allowed her to collaborate with other departments and revisit the sales strategy — shaping how it applies to the customer journey. 

Hammack is by no means alone as a woman in leadership at Sisense. As of 2023, women represented 60 percent of the company’s executive leadership team.

Another woman leader at Sisense, Sarah Lessire, the director of marketing, has been able to lead projects that have had a true impact on the business, working “cross-functionally on high-level and high-visibility initiatives,” she said.

“There is no shortage of female talent in tech,” Lessire noted. “Often there is an innate understanding that occurs between women in the tech space. The tenacity and resilience that most successful women in tech possess are symptoms of having to navigate an environment that wasn’t built for them and still fails to recognize their equal contributions and particular strengths.” 

 

“There is an innate understanding that occurs between women in the tech space.” 

 

Lessire, like Hammack, credited other women leaders and mentors as having made a huge impact in her life. 

“I’ve had the privilege of having strong female role models who opened my eyes to what discrimination can look like, and how the double bind works,” said Lessire. “Having this understanding has allowed me to grow the skills I needed while pushing back on gender-based stereotypes and expectations that people would put on me.” 

 

Sisense
Sisense 

 

 

A large part of Lessire’s focus is now to pass that guidance on to junior employees, mentoring them in self-advocacy skills, helping them boost confidence in their abilities, navigating which battles to fight and setting clear boundaries at work. 

To her, being able to have these kinds of open and honest conversations is what actually leads to meaningful change in creating an equitable workplace. 

“My go-to has always been more about the personal relationships I can foster and less network-oriented,” she added. “Making true friends and allies in the workplace and finding my ‘work wives’ has gone much further than joining networking groups which, in my opinion, always end up being a little bit too stuffy and feel-goody to open a truly honest dialogue and foster real solutions.” 

 

Sisense team members, a majority of them women, eat at a long dining table in the office kitchen space.
Sisense 

 

In addition to the bulk of leadership roles held by women, Sisense is taking active steps to create a more equitable workplace for women. The company’s employee resource group, #WomenAtSisense, was created to offer a space for women to share their experiences and compare insights from their colleagues.

Priya Srinivasan, general counsel at Sisense, also emphasized the role that community and mentorship have played in her career. 

“Working in tech, I’ve had many opportunities for career growth and progression, including growing into a leadership role at my current company,” said Srinivasan. “I’ve also been fortunate to work alongside many smart, talented and driven women who have provided me with support and mentorship that has been invaluable.”

Srinivasan shared how the #WomenAtSisense ERG is an active space for the community at Sisense, with frequent in-person events and a dedicated Slack channel. 

The role of community is an important one to note, especially considering it’s often missing for women in leadership roles. A study by TheLi.st, Berlin Cameron & Benenson Strategy Group found that 53 percent of women in the workplace experience loneliness, the severity of which increases as women’s roles are more senior in the company. Thirty percent of senior-level women who responded said they “feel as if they don’t have anyone to talk to about work and that lack of support is taking a toll.” Nearly double that number mentioned feeling burned out, stressed and overwhelmed.  

“For me personally, I find the most support from my fellow female colleagues with whom I have created true friendships within the workplace,” Srinivasan continued. “Women at all levels at the company, including other executives, are whom I can rely on for support and advice.” 

 

Group photo of Sisense team members.
Sisense 

 

When Srinivasan first joined Sisense, she was hired on as senior counsel, but over the last four years with the company she has taken on a broader scope of work “touching every part of the business” and “honing my skills as a true generalist,” she said.  

“I also had the opportunity to grow the legal team, actively recruiting and training the more junior lawyers and taking on a leadership role within the team and company.”

These opportunities eventually led to her taking on the general counsel role and joining the executive leadership team at the company.

“I’ve been fortunate to work with great managers throughout my career who have provided me with incredible mentorship and real opportunities for growth and learning,” she concluded. “They also have been great at giving me visibility to the business and exposure to senior leadership early in my career, which naturally led to more opportunities for advancement. I try to do the same for the others.” 
 

READ MOREAt Sisense, Women Find Their Voices And Shape The Organization

 

 

Responses have been edited for length and clarity. Images provided by Sisense.

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