For Amber Fields, Women & Hi Tech feels a bit like coming home. Though she first encountered the organization several years ago through networking, Fields said scheduling and work prevented her from making a real commitment to the group. However, after a few changes in positions, as well as some healthy encouragement from voices within Women & Hi Tech, Fields says she is officially back in the saddle.
“I really got reconnected back with Women & Hi Tech because of Rebecca Bormann,” Fields said. “She's obviously a huge advocate for Women & Hi Tech, and works really hard for the organization. Unsurprisingly, it was her who just kept saying, ‘You’ve got to come back, you’ve got to come back!’ Eventually I just realized, ‘You’re right. I do.’”
As a contributing member, Fields plays several roles throughout the organization. Though she’s fairly new to the organization’s volunteer positions, her primary focuses are in securing corporate sponsorships, as well as assisting in flagship events like the Leading Light Awards & Scholarship Gala. But no matter what she’s doing, Fields said it all comes back to understanding and communicating the community-minded virtues of Women & Hi Tech.
“I’m really working on educating businesses about the benefits that come from supporting this type of organization, especially how it helps to get young women into the STEM field. But I also look back over previously missed opportunities for partnerships, and try to identify businesses that are a good fit, even if we didn’t connect in the past.”
Much like her contributions at Women & Hi Tech, Fields’ career path seems to always be evolving. While change is a welcomed constant in her professional world, Fields can pinpoint the exact moment that she says the fields of STEM found its way to her. In 2014, Fields was six years into an established career handling sales and customer service in the logistics industry. Despite having tenures at two well-known companies, Fields said she had reached somewhat of a crossroads.
“I had been doing sales and customer-side work for some time, and I was really in a discovery part of my career,” she said. “I was asking myself, ‘Where am I supposed to be? What am I supposed to really be doing?’ That’s when I got approached by EcoTech, and it was at a time when I was probably more open to new challenges.
Fields found herself on the receiving end of an interesting offer: jump into sales at EcoTech, a local IT solutions company. The only problem? Fields had never worked in the tech space, and said the concept seemed too foreign and unfamiliar.
“Initially I just thought, ‘Oh, I can’t sell that, I don’t know that world.’ But the guy going after me just asked, ‘What exactly do you think you're selling?’ I figured it was selling a product, one where I had to understand exactly how it all worked. But he said, ‘No, you're selling the experience that technology creates for people. You're selling the solution as to how it impacts people's lives.’”
“That was a monumental moment, for me,” she said. “I immediately thought, ‘That's a cause I can get behind.’”
After a year of getting her feet wet selling technology solutions and learning how to speak the language, Fields jumped at yet another chance for growth. For the next three years, Fields worked in corporate sales for Verizon Wireless. Working both on different projects both independently and with a supporting staff, Fields explained that it was here that she got a chance to hone her leadership skills and while the company size, resources, and product lines were vastly different from EcoTech, Fields said it all still connected right back to the first words of advice she got in tech sales.
“It’s all about a solution. What’s the customer’s experience, and how can our solutions help to make it a better one?”
Now, seven years after her start in STEM at EcoTech, Fields is the Director of Corporate Sales at AIS. Fields’ day-to-day centers around providing corporate clients with full-range solutions involving managed services, infrastructure, consulting, and cyber security. She says that the new position also feels like a culmination of her previous roles, as she’s able to pull from lessons learned at companies like EcoTech and Verizon.
“I truly feel like I have arrived. I feel I’m in complete alignment with the role that I have, the place where I work, and the people that I do it with.”
When asked what she sees for the next twenty years of Women & Hi Tech, Fields wants to see just how wide and impactful the organization can go. “My hope is for greater financial support for the organization in order for it to impact more girls in STEM. I would love for Women & Hi Tech to have a higher level of recognition and awareness, and for people to get behind it. How can we just make this a community movement? That’s what I hope for the future of Women & Hi Tech.”