Kristin Christensen was recently appointed to Group Management of Hexagon as Chief Marketing Officer. I spoke to Kristin about her role and her experiences as a woman in the information technology industry.
KH: Describe your current role at Hexagon.
KC: Well, simple terms, I lead a very passionate, talented and creative bunch of people responsible for educating the market on who Hexagon is, what we have to offer, and why customers benefit from buying our solutions. We work to develop and execute marketing strategies that ultimately drive marketing’s contributions to revenue growth and positive, bottom-line impact.
KH: Can you briefly discuss your work background and the career path that led you to your current position?
KC: I’ve worked in marketing for technology companies for the majority of my career. Not surprisingly, it wasn’t always my plan. Marine biology and law were originally in my sights. But the right time, right place led me to my first job after college – a marketing role at a bank. But it didn’t take long for big rounds of mergers and acquisitions to guide me away from banking and to a technology start-up. The rest is history.
KH: What do you like most about working for Hexagon?
KC: Change. I find change exciting and necessary for staying one step ahead. It helps you avoid the complacency trap. Change keeps you on your toes and forces you to think smarter and work smarter. I also enjoy marketing what Hexagon has to offer. It’s exciting to be a part of something that’s shaping change in vital industries around the world – we have such great stories to tell.
KH: What do you find the most challenging?
KC: Work-life balance. It’s something I must constantly work to improve. I can’t help it that I love what I do. I’m thankful for it. But I also know that work is not my life. This one is a constant struggle for me to keep in check.
KH: What are some of the goals and objectives you have defined for the work you do at Hexagon?
KC: Well, there are far too many to get into here, but one of the most important that affects the progress and success of others is constantly challenging the status quo – building a culture that’s committed to positive change and open to taking calculated risks at the appropriate times.
KH: Many might say information technology, particularly Hexagon’s focus of geospatial and industrial enterprise applications, is still male-dominant. What changes have you seen or are seeing in the industry that are allowing women to take a more prominent role?
KC: In my opinion, taking on a more prominent role starts with playing by the rules while maintaining a sense of authenticity – regardless of industry. You need to seize opportunities and not be afraid to take risks or worry about what others might think of you. You must be patient and build trust over time, proving your value along the way if you want to effectively move the needle.
KH: What should companies like Hexagon be doing to bring more women to the forefront of their operations?
KC: Roughly 25% of Hexagon’s workforce is female, which I think is similar to other companies of our size that play in the same space. Obviously, anyone that wants to increase this percentage needs to focus on recruitment strategies. But personally I feel retaining female talent should be the primary focus, providing an environment where both male and female employees feel secure and are pushed to succeed, grow, and stay with the company.
KH: What inspires you?
KC: Lots of things inspire me. But something that inspires me most is music. It helps me think and it’s very therapeutic. I’m also very inspired by challenge and risk. I like new. I like change. I like starting something I have no idea how to finish or creating something out of nothing. Stories about people who overcome odds are both motivational and inspirational in my book.
KH: What advice would you give young girls who are now starting to think about life and careers?
KC: Anything is possible and nothing is out of bounds. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t know exactly what you want to do at first. Take the time to work for what you want but don’t be afraid to change your mind or alter your course at any time. Do what interests you – life’s too short to spend it doing something else.
Marketing Communications Manager