On International Women’s Day (8 March), and every day, Smokeball is committed to celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. International Women's Day also marks a call to action for accelerating women's equality. This year’s theme is #choosetochallenge. Choose to challenge invites us all to seek out and honour women’s achievements and create an inclusive world.
This week, we are recognising key female members of Smokeball’s leadership team, who are proudly forging innovation through technology, supporting our clients, and making Smokeball an inclusive and fun place to work each and every day.
We are kickstarting the celebration with Smokeball's Chief Revenue Officer, Jane Oxley. Want to get to know Jane a little better? Well, we asked Jane about her approach to building a successful career as a woman in tech, and what helpful tips does she have for other women looking to do the same.
Who is Jane?
Smokeball's Chief Revenue Officer, Jane Oxley, has worked with Smokeball since its inception. With over 20 years experience in Legal Tech, Jane leads the strategic direction of Smokeball's sales, account management, and marketing teams worldwide. Jane is also a wife and a mum of three teenage girls, and her whole family returned to Australia at the end of 2019 after 6.5 years building Smokeball's US office from the ground up. Sounds busy!
"It is busy! But I love it. I thrive in a fast-paced, ever-changing environment so Smokeball is a great place for me. But we're also a values-based company. Our number one value is "Caring is not optional" and that extends to us all as individuals. We understand that we have families and other priorities, so while there's always a lot going on, we also make it work within our larger lives!"
How did she get into Legal Tech?
"Well, much to my parents' disappointment, l dropped out of university early on. And I had to get a job! I worked as a legal secretary for a couple of years and then, looking for more, saw an opening with a tiny legal technology company called LEAP. After LEAP I worked in sales, then back in legal tech with a UK company, Axxia, then back to LEAP and then onto Smokeball which I was so excited to be involved with from day one."
Why have you stayed in Legal Tech?
"It's a couple of things I think. First, the team that I work with is one that I'm excited to work with every day. And secondly, it's the market that we serve. Small law firms do such important work in their communities, and it's clear to me that it is really difficult to do a great job of being a lawyer as well as a great job of running a business.
"I see Smokeball's place as not just being software to get work done faster or bill more, but also a community with the tools and guidance to help small law firms do a great job of both the law and running the business!"
Jane's tips for those wanting to build their career
"When I was younger, I expected that if I did great work it would be noticed and I would be promoted into new and interesting positions. The struggle with this is that, if no one in your leadership team knows that you are interested in pursuing new challenges, they really can't do anything about it! And further, if you're doing a great job in a role, often managers can be very happy leaving you exactly where you are.
So, my tip is to put your hand up. Make it very well known what your career aspirations are! And even if you're not exactly sure what your aspirations are, make it known that you want to take on more. Work with your leaders on a path to get you where you want to be. You never know what is going on behind the scenes in a company and, for leadership, knowing that you have great talent on your team who is eager to take on challenges can be extremely helpful when a company is growing fast or pivoting. "