This blog is part of our ongoing Women in Technology series.

With 10+ years of experience in the Legal Services industry, Sarah Surwit serves as a client advocate connecting both inside and outside counsel with the best tools, technologies, and expert resources. Sarah takes a truly consultative approach with each individual client to better understand their needs and ultimately help implement effective solutions that will not only minimize costs but also maximize efficiencies across all phases of the EDRM, including Information Governance, Compliance and Legal Operations.

How did you get into this industry?

From an early age, I was set on pursuing a career in law. While obtaining my undergraduate business degree at the University of Miami, I accepted a part-time job as a Legal Assistant at a local plaintiffs’ firm. This was my first hands-on experience working in a law firm and ultimately swayed my decision to postpone applying for law school in exchange for a more “real-world” work experience. In 2012, I took on my first business development role in the legal technology space, working for a regional court reporting firm in DC. In 2015, I transitioned to a role in eDiscovery when John Finlay and the leadership team at Evolve Discovery took a chance on an industry-neophyte to help them expand into the DC market. I haven’t looked back since.

What were some pivotal moments in your career that helped to get you to where you are today?

I wouldn’t be where I am today without mentorship. I’ve been lucky to have had several mentors throughout my career (both male and female), each with their own skill set, expertise, and way of getting things done. I’ve been able to apply a combination of the approaches I’ve learned from my mentors while adding my spin on things to create a unique approach of my own. Having the opportunity to work with so many of the industry’s top experts has been integral to my success to date. These opportunities for learning and collaboration will continue to be a priority throughout my career.

Have you ever noticed a time in your career where your gender proved to differentiate you?

In the beginning of my eDiscovery career, being both a young woman and new to the industry, it was at times difficult to get prospective clients to take me seriously in a predominantly male industry. However, because of my perseverance, I’ve become a trusted resource to all my clients, regardless of gender.

As my career has progressed, I have also become more active in women-led associations and trade organizations which provide numerous opportunities for networking and growth (professionally and personally).

What is your advice for someone working in a predominately male workplace?

Don’t be afraid to speak up and add value where you can. Remember, you earned your seat at the table and your input always matters. On the other hand, don’t be afraid to ask for help and always keep an open mind when it comes to opportunities to collaborate with both male and female colleagues.

What do you think companies could do to motivate more women to pursue careers in technology?

What used to be a predominately male industry, is now much more diverse across the board. That being said, I still believe companies should be continuously developing and expanding their diversification and inclusion programs. Companies should also be mindful of having strong female representation amongst the leadership team. Lastly, I would advise companies to make sure they are supporting women-led associations and trade organizations. These groups provide significant networking and career growth opportunities for female employees which can ultimately lead to substantial revenue opportunities for the company itself.