Women in Tech Global Conference Voices 2022: Speaker Kate Maxwell at Microsoft

Kate Maxwell is the Chief Technology Officer for Defense & Intelligence in Microsoft’s Worldwide Public Sector. She is an accomplished technology leader and strategist with almost 20 years of experience supporting Defense & Intelligence customers around the globe. Kate is a recognized digital transformation thought leader, innovator, and passionate STEM advocate. Prior to joining Microsoft, Kate held various technical and engineering leadership roles within Raytheon Technologies, including Tech Director, Innovation Center Director, and Chief Engineer.

Kate was named one of 100 Women in Tech Leaders to Watch in 2022 by WomenTech Network, and #40 on the global list of the Top 100 Women in Tech by Technology Magazine in 2021. She was also honored with Indiana Business Journal (IBJ) Forty Under 40 and Woman of Influence recognition, as well as multiple Society of Women Engineers national awards.

Especially for the WomenTech Network, Kate agreed to give an interview, share her story and experience.

Watch Kate's talk "Cultural drivers for digital transformation", and other inspiring sessions on our YouTube channel.

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⚡️ Save the date: Women in Tech Global Conference 2023 will take place on May 9-12!


Tell us about your experience as a Women in Tech Global Conference 2022 speaker.

It was an honor to speak at the Women in Tech Global Conference, and the experience was wonderful. The conference platform offered flexibility for participants to join wherever and whenever they liked, and audience participation was great – there was a lot of chat happening in real-time during my session, and the questions were thoughtful and engaging. The follow-on was excellent as well; I was pleased to see the discussion continue on LinkedIn afterward. Overall, the conference was a great opportunity to network and learn from thousands of other technology leaders across a wide range of industries and from all over the world.


What is your favorite thing about working in tech?

My favorite thing about working in tech is that it affords me the opportunity to make a difference in the world. My job is all about serving up technology to Public Sector customers – Defense & Intelligence in particular – and I love seeing those customers leaning into digital transformation, speeding up their innovation cycles, and realizing improved mission outcomes as a result. Ultimately, that’s good for all of us, and it is an opportunity to use technology to drive positive change in the world. 


What advice (and tips) would you give to women who want to start a tech career?

To those women considering a career in tech, let me start by saying this: You belong here. There has never been a better time to dive into tech, and there is so much opportunity in the tech sector. The world is full of hard problems, but hard problems represent a call to action for innovation and creativity.  That’s where we need you: to help bring fresh perspectives, diversity of thought, and big ideas to some of society’s biggest challenges. And I am confident that if we work together, we can solve them. 

If you want to start a career in tech, start by investing in yourself, and work to build up your baseline technology skills. You might enroll in a coding bootcamp; find learn-to-code resources online; pursue a certification program; and/or enroll in a degree program for the technology path of your choosing. Also, keep in mind that there are non-technical skills that will serve you well when working in tech – skills like communications, time management, organization, collaboration, and problem-solving. Additionally, I highly recommend building a network for yourself in tech and engaging trusted individuals to serve as mentors for you. These mentors can help you fill skill gaps, provide candid feedback, act as a sounding board, and support you through your tech journey. More than anything else, keep after it! A career in tech is not always easy, but that’s the fun part, because you will always be learning and growing, and you will never be bored. This tech community needs YOU, and I can’t wait to see you here!


Who would you recommend to join the WomenTech Network?

I recommend WomenTech Network to anyone who wants to learn more about technology, invest in yourself and others, and expand your network across the tech sector. It is a wonderful community, and every engagement I have leaves me feeling inspired and empowered. Despite its name, this network is not just for women – everyone is welcome, and allyship is encouraged (and needed!). 


To recognise the achievements of our community and beyond we are hosting the annual Women in Tech Global Awards 2022. Nominate yourself or someone else:

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Wednesday, August 10, 2022 By WomenTech Editor