As we wrap up our 2022 International Women’s Day celebrations, we welcome our final guest Jane Oxley, Smokeball’s Chief Revenue Officer. Jane sees things differently with twenty years of work experience under her belt. Jane believes businesses are missing out if they don’t support women in leadership, as diverse boards with different voices lead to better outcomes.
“Success lives beyond your comfort zone, and confidence is an integral part of your success. Confidence gives us the strength we need to accomplish almost anything.”
In this interview, we learn why Jane believes all businesses need more women in leadership roles and why It’s not just the morally right thing to do; it’s a financially smart thing to do.
How did your career in legal technology begin, and what led you to this position?
In the very beginning, I worked as a legal secretary. Before Smokeball was born, I got together with a collective group of innovators who were eager to build a new software offering for small law firms.
My journey into legal technology has been very organic. In the early legal tech start-up years, I was heavily involved with building out the product, which included working on the legal content (forms, precedents, and special features for different practice areas). I then went down the path of sales and marketing for several years, which was then followed by general management.
When Smokeball first started, the job opportunity was in the United States. We saw a huge gap in the market as we didn’t see anyone who was delivering a product that merges the productivity side of the software with the billing functionality to create this beautiful, coherent package for small law firms. I was Smokeball's President for six years, and when I returned to Australia, I became Chief Revenue Officer.
How have you seen the world change for women in legal technology?
I think there are many women out there who are not aware of the amazing opportunities in the legal technology space, as we often think of it as computer science and coding. However, there are many different roles within the company, and I would love to see more female developers joining the Smokeball team.
At Smokeball, we are fortunate to have employed many women coming from legal backgrounds (e.g. legal secretaries, paralegals, lawyers). The world of technology is very male-dominated, but I love seeing the continuous change of more women entering the sector, especially at Smokeball, where our leadership team is at least 50% women across the board.
Why is it important for women to be in leadership?
It is important for numerous reasons; however, I believe it makes the company stronger. There is extensive data available that demonstrates that companies with more women on their boards are more successful. Diversity of thought brings great strength to businesses, and therefore it makes sense to have more women in senior leadership roles.
What advice would you give?
Success lives beyond your comfort zone, and confidence is an integral part of your success. Confidence gives us the strength we need to accomplish almost anything. We need to work hard on improving our self-confidence and back ourselves if we want to be the type of leaders that employees look up to.
I believe everyone should take a mentoring position in their own world. I encourage people to put their hands up for opportunities to move ahead. When you are at a job interview, and they ask, “what do you want to be doing in five years?”, this is where you should think about where you are today and what you should be doing to work towards those goals.
What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
International Women’s Day is about taking the time to reflect on what makes a thriving workplace culture. Here at Smokeball, we think about our company culture a lot; we believe if you get the culture right, you will build the business success behind that. It is an excellent time to think about our own journeys and what we do as a business internally. Such as what makes us more robust, and what are the things we should do better and stop doing.
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