Women Leaders in Tech and Loyalty Share Key Insights

By Alice Duthie
on 7 March 2024

In the ever-evolving landscape of technology and loyalty, women are not just breaking barriers but reshaping the future. As we celebrate International Women’s Day and rally behind the theme of investing in women to accelerate progress, we made a conscious choice to forego the statistics that underscore the ongoing journey towards true gender parity. Instead, we’ve opted to celebrate how far we’ve already come, highlighting the powerhouse women shattering glass ceilings and acting as a beacon of hope, inspiration and empowerment in our community.

Carly Neubauer, Co-Founder and Director of Elevate Loyalty

Neubauer brings more than two decades of experience in national business management, senior leadership and C-level executive positions in fintech and loyalty. She’s shattered glass ceilings and paved the path for women in traditionally male-dominated industries.

Her advice to women looking to join her in breaking barriers and redefining success on their own terms: “Say yes and figure the rest out later.”

“Too many women I speak to say:

  • ‘Not yet’
  • ‘I’m not qualified’
  • ‘How will I manage that?”

Or other versions similar to this. My question to them is, how do you think the ‘qualified’ ones got to be that way? Most people learn on the job; so if an opportunity comes your way, say yes and figure it out later.”

Carly Neubauer tech and loyalty
Carly Neubauer

“If you’re stuck, reach out to your network. Get a mentor and ask for help. But don’t say no because you are doubting yourself.”

Neubauer also shares the premise of “pain versus damage” and the distinct difference between the two. “In life and career, identify what you will push through and what isn’t worth it. Feeling pain doesn’t always mean to stop and give up. Work hard, drive hard, deliver results. But also know when to walk away. Understand the difference between hard work and pushing through versus pain that is disrespectful and damaging.

Lastly, she shares that the best way to pave your own path is to ignore everyone’s advice – even hers. “At the end of the day we are all different, and what works for one person may not gel for the next person,” Neubauer explains. “So listen to advice, but be selective about what you absorb and ensure it aligns with you, your values and direction.”

Kate Ratcliffe, Head of Product Management at Eagle Eye

Ratcliffe is living proof that women can have it all. A working mother, inspiring leader and mentor to others, Ratcliffe is passionate about the tech industry, which is evident not just in her current role where she helps to define and develop products and solutions that deliver true value to clients but also in her involvement with the Purple Women community – a platform to develop women’s careers in tech and allow them to reach their full potential.

Her advice to aspiring females in the tech space: “Firstly, don’t be intimidated if you are entering a male-dominated field. Diversity brings a breadth of skills, approaches and viewpoints. Therefore, if you are one of only a few women, you add so much value,” she points out.

“Don’t be afraid to ask someone for help. Find a mentor who can point you in the right direction, someone you respect and that you can learn from.”

As emerging technologies continue to reshape the landscape, Ratcliffe believes women have an important role to play in shaping the future of loyalty. “Advances in AI are going to make creating truly personalised customer experiences a reality. Successful loyalty strategies will be those that drive engagement and loyalty by creating incredible experiences for their customers that make them feel understood and valued,” she shares.

“We need more women in product, engineering and data science to make sure emerging tech is representative and free of bias.”

Kate Ratcliffe tech and loyalty
Kate Ratcliffe

Ratcliffe also shares the pressing need for organisations to continue investing in their female talent to accelerate progress. “If they’re not already, organisations should create mentorship programs where women in leadership can help aspiring talent,” she says.

Research also demonstrates that women leaving the workplace or slowing progression when they look to start a family is a huge problem. Flexible work environments and benefits are critical to combat this; not just with strong maternity provisions but offering remote/hybrid working and flexible work options. Companies must support women as they return back to work after having children.

“Creating a buddy system with fellow parents can make a huge difference. Our Purple Women group was established to represent the incredible ladies in our business and make Eagle Eye a great place for our Purple Women to work. It’s a community that is everything from a friendship group and support network, to a platform for us to develop our women and allow them to reach their full potential.”

Sarah Jarvis, Communications and Propositions Director at Eagle Eye and co-author of Omnichannel Retail

Jarvis has more than 15 years of experience as a retail marketing leader in the loyalty industry, working with some of the world’s largest retailers and FMCG brands to help them drive profitable growth by prioritising the customer in their decision-making processes. In that time, so much has changed. But for her, that’s one of the best parts.

“The industry is always evolving, which is one of the reasons I love it,” she shares. “More than a decade ago, I remember discussing the vision of 1:1 personalised marketing with retail clients. At the time, we weren’t sure it would ever be a reality. However, today, this is exactly what is happening at a massive scale thanks in part to developments in AI.”

Sarah J tech and loyalty
Sarah Jarvis

Reflecting on the industry’s evolution, Jarvis considers its future and the critical role women will play in shaping it. She says, “We always need innovative and creative minds to help build the future of retail marketing. In the tech sector, particularly, we need a better representation of women in product and engineering teams as we know diverse teams create more value.”

To achieve this, Jarvis insists that organisations must ensure strong female representation from the board level down. Even more, she believes senior team members should be made available to provide coaching and mentoring to more junior employees.

For aspiring women, aiming to break into the loyalty, tech and marketing industry, Jarvis encourages them, saying, “Go for it!

“It is an amazing industry with so much breadth, which means there is a lot of choice in terms of what you can actually do, even once you narrow down the sector.

“In my career in the loyalty industry, I have worked in commercial roles, been a client director, and am now running marketing and communications. I’ve managed to grow my skill set and experience across a huge range of activities, which has kept me learning something new every day. There’s never a dull moment,” she beams.

“So my advice to other women would be to stay open to growing within an organisation, exploring a variety of roles to expand your experience and help you craft the right role – one that enables you to deliver the most value to the company while gaining the most job satisfaction.”

About Eagle Eye

Eagle Eye is a leading SaaS technology company enabling retail, travel and hospitality brands to earn the loyalty of their end customers by powering their real-time, omnichannel and personalised consumer marketing activities.

Eagle Eye AIR is a cloud-based platform, which provides the most flexible and scalable loyalty and promotions capability in the world. More than 750 million personalised offers are executed via the platform every week, and it currently hosts over 100 million individual loyalty members for businesses all over the world. We are trusted to deliver a secure service at hundreds of thousands of physical POS destinations worldwide, enabling the real-time issuance and redemption of promotional coupons, loyalty offers, gift cards, subscription benefits and more.

The Eagle Eye AIR platform is currently powering loyalty and customer engagement solutions for enterprise businesses all over the world, including Asda, Tesco, Morrisons, Waitrose and John Lewis & Partners, JD Sports, Pret a Manger, Loblaws, Southeastern Grocers, Giant Eagle and the Woolworths Group.

In January 2023, the Group acquired France-based Untie Nots, an AI-powered personalised promotions business, adding Carrefour, E. Leclerc, Auchan and other leading brands to its European customer base.

Related News

More WLT News