This blog is part of our on-going Women in Technology series.
Meggan Capps is a Vice President of Business Development here at Consilio. Although Meggan became a member of the Consilio family through the Advanced Discovery merger over a year ago, she has been in the industry for fifteen years. Meggan earned her bachelor’s in Criminology and Sociology as well as her master’s in Legal Studies from Washington University. Meggan is a member of Women in eDiscovery (WiE), the Mid-Atlantic Technology Alliance (MATA), and a nonprofit called I Pour Life. To Meggan, the most exciting aspect of Consilio is the ability to offer a global solution to clients with multi-jurisdictional matters.
What motivated you to get ahead early on in your career?
Right after 2008 and the bottom fell out for everyone. It was a really difficult time in New York, and people were concerned about where business was going to come from and by how much businesses were shrinking. However, I felt that if I could get in front of the right people, I could educate them on how I could help. This made me realize I needed to think more creatively to identify clients and help them.
There were, of course, times where I may have had some self-doubt, but I stayed true to the confidence and knowledge I had.
Can you discuss any people who were instrumental in helping you get to where you are today?
My mentor, my Yoda, is the first person that hired me. I spent three years as the senior director of a nonprofit, and the CEO took the time to advise me. I think working in a nonprofit taught me to be the ultimate problem solver. You have to do so much with so little, which pushes you to get things done creatively. It’s a very transferable way of thinking when you move into sales.
What is your advice for women working in a male-dominated workplace?
I believe that we, as women, are more empathic and able to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes. The downside of this, however, is that we can also tend to take things more personally. Understanding that it’s just business and even if you go through a difficult time or you disagree with a client, doesn’t mean that the relationship has been eroded. It does mean that there are things that need to be worked out, and you must understand that your input is still important.
What is your approach to self-organization?
I have a quote that hangs over my computer that I keep in mind every day. “My experience is what I agree to attend to” -William James. To me, this quote means to be calm amongst the chaos. Sometimes, I may get a call from a client in the 11th hour. I have to be the person that is level-headed and able to put the pieces together to solve the issues they’ve called upon me for.
Additionally, I formulate my schedule for the next day before I go to sleep that night. Although this does change from time to time, I try to stick to my original plan. This makes it so that I can take charge instead of letting chaos in and lead me down the road.
What do you think companies can do to get more women into technology careers?
Well, there are a couple of things that come to mind. In my work with MATA, I’ve learned about several programs in place encouraging young women to get into careers in technology. Many Fortune 500 companies have implemented diversity or hiring programs to pick up on this talent. Companies like ours piggyback off of these initiatives to show women that there are other places. You don’t have to be into coding, but there are plenty of other roles like mine or analysts’.
I spoke with a young woman who had a psychology degree, and I explained that my role would be perfect for me. Although she may not have had an interest in technology in the past, a lot of my roles do involve getting into the clients’ heads to be able to figure out their needs and anticipate them ahead of time.
When you are not working, how do you spend your free time?
I spend a lot of time with my step-kids, and now that my daughters are preteens, there is a ton I enjoy doing with them. I love to cook, play music, shop, and travel with my family. The more I travel, the happier I am.
I also really enjoy working with I Pour Life. I go to Ethiopia each year with a women’s empowerment group, which gives microloans to women starting their own businesses. While there, we help care for their children during the day while they are getting out and growing their brand. When I am not in Ethiopia, my brain is usually in the zone of thinking of ways to support the women I have met over there.