On this week’s episode of Women Talk Tech we are joined by Aparna Natarajan. Aparna is an accomplished strategy and sales leader with over 10 years experience across enterprise sales, partner development, and operations. In her role as a solution specialist at Microsoft, Aparna works with Canada’s largest enterprises to drive business and social value through innovation and transformation. Passionate about equality, she serves on the National Board of Lean In Canada as Director of Corporate Sponsorships. Together with an amazing team, she is determined to fix the broken rung among female executives and help Canadian organizations build a truly strong and diverse workforce.
While Aparna holds an MBA from Ivey Business School, she did not always foresee a career in business or tech. After juggling ideas from law to fashion design in high school, Aparna decided to pursue an undergraduate in business as a way to find her passion and decide what path she wanted to pursue in life. What Aparna unexpectedly found throughout the course of her education was that her passion was in business.
“I developed a preconceived notion that I had to be an engineer or somebody with coding experience to break into the industry. I thought that ship had sailed for me.”
Aparna has found great levels of fulfillment from working primarily in the sales function of the tech industry. By loving her job and loving what she sells, Aparna feels a sense of achievement from facilitating her clients on their innovation journeys.
For Aparna, the transition into sales from an operations role started first and foremost from sitting down and understanding who she is and what she can offer the world. The next step was mapping this out to mentors who were able to give Aparna advice and guide her on the right path. And finally, Aparna developed a plan, declared it, and was intentional in every action to achieve it.
“I learned the importance of owning your narrative. There were people who said ‘I don’t think you can do it’, or ‘I think you should think about other roles’ […] But I was very committed, and I had belief in the fact that a sales career was exactly where I wanted to be.”
Aparna additionally works with Lean In Canada, an organization dedicated to empowering women and helping them achieve their ambitions. With over 14,000 members across Canada, Lean In Canada educates and supports women on topics of financial independence and literacy, how to advocate for oneself, negotiating pay raise, navigating power dynamics, etc.
Within her continued work, Aparna actively helps women develop and own their narratives in the tech sector.
Connect with Aparna on social media!