Asha Wright is an Inside Sales District Manager at Hewlett Packard Enterprise, leading a team of Inside Sales Account Managers for Canada’s Commercial Segment. With 6 years of IT sales experience, Asha stands at the forefront of the fast-moving industry and enjoys every second of it. Last year, Asha was nominated for HPE Women’s Excellence Award and continues to strive for greatness. WCT spoke to Asha about her career goals, inspirations, and staying positive during the pandemic.
WCT: Can you tell us a little bit more about your career trajectory?
Asha Wright: While studying at Ryerson University, I worked at TD Canada Trust as a part-time Customer Experienced Associate for 2 years. Upon graduation, I wanted to find a full-time job as soon as possible. At that point in time, my father worked at Hewlett Packard Enterprise and suggested I apply to Inside Sales. I got the job as a Sales Support Coordinator and within a year got promoted to an Inside Sales Representative for Central Ontario. Throughout the years I managed accounts across Canada and gained more team seniority. Last year I was promoted to Inside Sales District Manager leading a team of 14 reps covering our Canadian Commercial Segment. When I joined HPE my hiring manager asked me where I see myself in 5 years, I told her “In a leadership role.” After hard work and dedication, I managed to get there.
WCT: What or who has been a major influence on your career journey? Who do you look up to?
AW: My father has been a major influence on my career journey as he also works in the IT industry. He has guided, mentored and coached me throughout every step. I look up to both of my parents; they moulded me into the woman I am today and I can’t thank them enough. They are extremely supportive and always challenge me to do better. I also admire Michelle Obama - Former First Lady of the United States who continues to encourage young people around the world to work hard and become future leaders.
WCT: What are the current opportunities and challenges for women in your field? Do you have advice for your younger self, or for your women who are studying and working in these environments?
AW: Current opportunities for women in my field are organizations such as WCT where we can mentor, network and support each other. Since there is a small percentage of women in IT, it's important that we hire, expand and diversify with different nationalities. We’re slowly changing the game, but we still have a long way to go.
I believe maintaining a work/home life balance and equal gender pay remains one of the biggest challenges we face in this industry. If I were giving advice to my younger self I would say: find your passion, find yourself a mentor and never settle! Having a mentor has helped me progress and develop personally and professionally. We as women can do amazing things, but most of us fear failure or to voice our opinion. Never give up on your dream as you control your own destiny.
WCT: What is your long-term professional goal?
AW: My long-term professional goal is to become a C-Level Executive, mentor and inspire women to achieve greatness. Every day I look at my vision board as a reminder to stay focused. I am very determined to bring my future goals and aspirations to life.
WCT: What motivates you? Do you have any tips for staying motivated during a particularly difficult period (Covid-19, anyone?)
AW: As a sales manager, driving and impacting results motivates me. Helping our customers digitally transform their businesses puts a smile on my face. My family also motivates me as I want the absolute best for them.
Staying positive isn’t always an easy task (especially during this past year) but I‘ve learned to focus on one thing at a time and set smaller attainable goals. In addition, focusing on my physical & mental health such as yoga or going for long walks has tremendously helped. I’ve adopted new hobbies and concentrated more on self-love.
WCT: Do you have a quote or a book you live by?
AW: “Step out of the history that is holding you back. Step into the new story you are willing to create.”- Oprah Winfrey. We as women have so much to show the world. Let’s stop living in the past and create a better future for us all!
Thank you, Asha!