14 October 2022

The Women in Tech Excellence Awards 2022: Cervest’s Kate Rodger


By Cervest

The Women in Tech Excellence Awards 2022: Cervest’s Kate Rodger

Cervest’s Head of Customer Success, Kate Rodger, was delighted to be recently nominated for “Team Leader of the Year” at the Women in Tech Excellence Awards 2022. The award goes to the person who best demonstrates how their leadership inspired a team, and directly contributed to their success. Kate’s submission included how her leadership impacted the team, and the challenges she met.

What are the Women in Tech Excellence Awards 2022?

The Women in Tech Excellence Awards 2022 celebrate the stellar achievements of women in the technology industry and they are a key inspiration and motivation for new female pioneers in the technology space. In the sixth year, these awards have championed the successes of over 1,200 women.

The ugly truth is well-documented: Deloitte covers how women are still grossly under-represented in the sector. Starting at educational institutions, there’s a lack of uptake in STEM subjects from women and girls. Further, in the tech workforce, only 19% of roles are held by women.

There is still so much work that lies ahead when focusing on women in technology. The Women in Tech Excellence Awards 2022 aim to be part of the solution: celebrating women in technology and challenging the next generation of female pioneers – so they can reap the rich rewards of a career in the space.

Kate Rodger: a visionary tech woman leading the charge

Kate is the Head of Customer Success at Cervest. Her vision to build and steer a team became reality in 2021 when she was given the opportunity to lead a team of six. In just 12 months, Kate and her team have enrolled over 80 enterprises in Cervest’s product EarthScan™. Kate’s team has done a tremendous amount of work: the team has built a strong customer pipeline and a climate intelligence education strategy to support sales and customer success.

How did Kate and her Cervest colleagues achieve all this? Kate says: “Transparency was really the key for me in leading the team to success. If something wasn’t working, we would discuss why, and ideate how to fix it. We kept the philosophy that everything is an opinion until it has been tested and the more data points the better. We kept open dialogues and created a safe space where we could ask any question. I made it my duty to be as transparent as possible on company updates. Together we built a collaborative and supportive team culture. Our work was high-pressured and constantly evolving, but we stayed connected and had fun. As a new team leader, I believe in being human.”

In her previous role, Kate had success working in India and managing a partnership with the country’s largest online retail business. She grew during this time, as she adapted to a new culture and forged some great relationships in Bangalore. Her experience in India was her first success in investor fundraising and company acquisition discussions. Since then, she has played a pivotal role in investor fundraising at Cervest.

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What is the biggest lesson Kate has learned in her career?

Kate’s biggest lesson is the importance of emotional intelligence at work, she believes it is vital, especially in the hybrid working environment. Having this intelligence is crucial as a team leader: “Having emotional intelligence enables you to understand your team, your colleagues, your leaders, and your customers. It enables person-centric thinking which means you can truly understand what your audience is really seeking or facing. This can be applied to understanding your customers’ pain points, or to solve a challenge a team member is experiencing outside of work.”

Tips for women considering a tech career

What are Kate’s tips for other women considering a career in technology? “Technology is an incredibly inspiring space and a fast-growing sector – we should do all that we can to encourage more women getting into it. Technology intersects with everything, whether it’s climate, anti-racism, finance, or sports. There will be a technology that touches your hobby or passion. Everyone has absolute freedom to choose what they want to do for their careers, so why not find a tech company that actually works on something you love? When I was younger I was a full-time tennis player and I competed internationally. When I stopped playing I decided to build my own tennis technology app. Although the app did not succeed, I was able to bring my passion and expertise to a new career.”

She continues: “We really need gender diversity in the technology sector because technology is built for anyone and everyone. For example, we cannot design an app used by women without insights, feedback, and input from women. This sector has incredible growth opportunities for young women and I am passionate about breaking down the misperception that to succeed in the technology sector, you need to have a technical background. You absolutely don’t need to be able to code to get a job in technology!”

Encouraging more women into the sector

Kate firmly believes we need more women talking about the myriad careers in the technology industry: “The sector can be a fairly daunting space for women who don't have a technical background so visibility, openness, and support are crucial. Women considering this sector need to understand that you don’t need to be a mathematician, good at science or a software engineer to succeed in this sector. There are so many different departments and roles within a technology company: people operations, marketing, sales, and customer success. Representation is key. The more inspiring stories we can share, the more women will see that technology offers a whole world of career opportunities beyond coding and engineering. Seeing is believing and it’s the key to encouraging more women into the industry.”

Next year, January 23, Kate will be joining a panel of other inspiring trailblazers at London Women’s Forum to share what it takes to bring on the next generation of senior women. For the first time, they are opening the event to the next generation of senior women so the forum can actively listen to what they need/desire. A fantastic opportunity to shape the future for female leaders in financial services.

Kate’s work at Cervest

In an article for PBC Today, Kate discusses the role of climate intelligence when building robust assets and infrastructures for the current climate crisis. Kate highlights some sobering statistics: “According to The Global Facility for Disaster Risk Reduction, over the last two decades alone, extreme weather events have impacted more than 4 billion people, caused 600,000 deaths and cost nearly $1.9 trillion USD in economic losses.”

She looks at how we can be more resilient throughout climate change by using climate intelligence to design hardy buildings that can withstand the extreme, unpredictable climate – having the best intel is an essential component to creating the most durable assets. Another of Kate’s climate science focuses at Cervest right now is the pharmaceutical industry and how it impacts the environment – read more about current climate issues in the pharmaceutical sector in our e-book here.

Cervest’s female pioneers

At Cervest, we know how important it is to support and promote women in climate science. Read more, watch inspiring video content from our team, and tap into our insightful library of resources on our Women in Climate Science Hub.

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