This blog is part of our on-going Women in Technology series.
Pauline Shilk is a Regional Director with Consilio, working with law firms and corporations to assist with eDiscovery needs. Pauline has been with Consilio since July 2019, but she has worked in eDiscovery for five years and the industry itself for more than twenty. Pauline studied communications at California State University Northridge and belongs to the Los Angeles chapter of Women in eDiscovery. To Pauline, the most exciting part of working at Consilio is the tight-knit team.
How did you get into this industry?
Right out of school, I worked in medical sales for a couple of years and later joined a startup. It became a pretty hot startup to be a part of, and after a couple of years, I was doing well at the company. One day I got an email on LinkedIn asking me if I would be interested in doing sales for discovery. I had no clue as to what discovery was, and I was trying to Google it, but it was still a little unclear to me.
Despite not knowing much about it, I took a leap of faith and went in for an interview and thought that it was an elevated type of sales. I came to realize that it involved getting to work on exciting cases. When I was in school, I kind of always wanted to be a lawyer but never made that happen. So, this work allowed me to be involved in this part of law, which was very interesting for me.
What has been your experience with mentors during your career?
Most companies I have worked for have had some mentorship program, so I have been fortunate in that sense, especially in eDiscovery and working in a field that is typically male-dominated. However, every company I have worked for has had women in leadership positions or programs that encourage leadership and promotion of women in the field.
Have you ever noticed a time during your career where gender was ever an apparent obstacle?
Yeah, definitely. I think that working with a majority male setting, sometimes you are not taken seriously, or they might want to have coffee or lunch with you and not talk about work as much. You have to change the conversation and prove yourself as an expert. I think that women have to prove themselves a little bit more than men have just to be taken as seriously.
What is your advice for women working in a predominately male workplace?
Take opportunities that come your way, but definitely be yourself, be an expert, and be confident. I think confidence is the key – if you know what you’re talking about, people will take you seriously.
What is the best part about being a woman in technology?
I think that now, there are so many opportunities for women in technology. And, in the last couple of years, there has been a big move to showcase this. Working at Consilio with Meredith Kildow and other women in leadership positions shows that business is changing for the better. I hope that more women feel that they can come into other male-dominated industries and change things for the better there as well.
What can companies do to motivate more women to go into technology?
It is super important to have women in leadership, which is something I saw when I came to Consilio. Seeing lots of women in leadership positions was a significant factor for me. Promoting women and having mentorship programs will definitely attract more women to male-dominated industries.
What are your techniques for dealing with the inherently chaotic industry of eDiscovery?
I do Pilates about five times a week, which helps manage stress. I also find it very important to have a work-life balance, so I make sure to carve out time to be with my husband and our two little French Bulldogs.
When you’re not working, how do you spend your free time?
I love to be with my dogs, outside traveling, working out, and just unwinding here in LA on the weekends.