Esra Akgol Talks Women in Tech and ApplyBoard

Posted April 21th, 2022 in Women in Tech

If you joined us for our Women in Tech webinar at the end of March you would have noticed one of our speakers, Esra Arif Akgol from ApplyBoard was unable to attend, but still wanted to share some tips and advice for women who are interested in getting into tech!

Esra Akgol is the Senior Director of Global HR Business Partner & HR Operations, People & Culture at ApplyBoardEsra has a strong background in Mergers and Acquisitions and brings forward her ethic of hard work, adaptability and strength to times of uncertainty. By working in Human Resources in a global capacity, with over 30+ countries around the world, She also brings a solution-oriented approach and global lens to the table.Esra Arif AkgolWith over 10 experience in the industry, we asked Esra what motivated her to start a career in tech.  "ApplyBoard’s mission resonates with my values and I am proud to work at a company dedicated to educating the world. Since I joined ApplyBoard, I’ve had the opportunity to help manage scaling as well as many organizational changes like remote hiring and working all over the world. I’m excited to be at this company at this time of rapid growth. We’ve grown our team of over 500 in 2019 to over 1,500 employees in 2021."

When it comes to businesses empowering young females Esra mentioned that over the course of her career, she has witnessed the entire tech sector grow and improve significantly. There are a lot of important and necessary conversations happening around gender equality, diversity and inclusion, and workplace flexibility. She has personally benefited from joining women's committees and networks in the workplace and connecting with all types of professionals in the tech industry.

Her advice to junior employees starting out in the field is to ensure you’re surrounding yourself with empowering and collaborative team members.  "It’s important to ensure the leaders you work with are supportive of your skills and also align with your core values.  Your leaders should always empower you to never back down from taking initiative or taking a risk. It’s important as this type of management and leadership style enables growth, curiosity and innovation."

Esra QuoteAs a child of two immigrant parents, she remembers watching her parents experience hardships that shaped her origins. "The importance of higher education and hard work was always instilled to my brother and I at a young age."  Esra values the significance of education and how it can positively change the trajectory of opportunity. That belief in the power of education is what drew her to join ApplyBoard.

When it comes to a work-life balance she believes that the work that you choose should strongly align with your values and goals. It should be something that you’re passionate about and that you look forward to. She touched on the importance of remote work.  "I highly appreciate the flexibility that the remote work setting allows and offers to my entire community at ApplyBoard. This has helped me tremendously to be able to manage my duties as both a mother and as a leader in the workforce. The remote work environment has changed my everyday routine. It’s brought back more time in my schedule than I ever had before. Flexibility in the workplace is essential for enabling more creativity, innovation, and critical thinking and ultimately, more productivity.  Flexibility in the workplace also instills an open and trusting relationship with members of my team."

We asked Esra if she has ever struggled with confidence as most young girls who want to get into the tech world have experienced at some point in their journey.  Esra's advice is to surround yourself with inspiring individuals and leaders so that you can constantly learn and receive advice on how to manage setbacks or any roadblocks you face along the way. "I’ve had the amazing privilege and opportunity of meeting some of the most encouraging colleagues and mentors who I feel like I can turn to for advice for whenever I need it!"

If you have more questions for Esra you can check out her LinkedIn profile below!  If you missed our Women in Tech Webinar check out the recording by clicking the link below!

Follow Esra on LinkedIn!

Women in Tech Webinar


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