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Women’s History Month Spotlight: Ciara Roca
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Women’s History Month Spotlight: Ciara Roca

Women’s History Month Spotlight: Ciara Roca

In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re publishing weekly interviews with four outstanding Fivetran women.

By Katie McEllistrim, March 22, 2021

Today we continue our celebration of Women’s History Month. Throughout March, we’re sharing the experiences and perspectives of four Fivetran women. Based in Bengaluru, Dublin and Oakland, they’re natural leaders who make Fivetran a stronger company and a better place to work. We asked for their thoughts on a range of issues, including how to sustain professional growth, where to look for career inspiration, and what advice they would give to their younger selves.

We’ve already heard from Lead Customer Success Engineer Kiran Sharma and Senior Analytics Technical Product Manager Veronica Zhai; today we’re checking in with Dublin-based EMEA Marketing Director Ciara Roca.

Can you name someone who’s had a significant positive impact on your career?

One was the CMO of a company called GSM Association, which runs the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona which attracts over 150,000 C-level executives. She taught me about the importance of trusting and caring for your team. As a leader, you want to give people very clear roles and responsibilities, and then have total trust in them. This is the key thing that I've taken to every single job that I have done. 

Another is my sister, who's the CTO of Vodafone. She decided when she was 16 to leave school and just focus on three Leaving Certification exams instead of seven. She got really, really high marks in those three, which was all she needed. That kind of radical prioritization has served her well throughout her career.

What advice would you give your younger self?

I would tell myself to set a goal of doing a new thing every single month, even if it's as simple as trying a new fitness class. Try and build your confidence around change and new experiences. Then, find a friend who can be a sounding board and help put things in perspective. It doesn’t necessarily need to be a mentor, but a good friend who has a kind word at the right time and can help you see the light at the end of the tunnel.

How do you keep growing professionally?

I have a mentoring group called Common Purpose, which is an international leadership group. The members are all senior leaders, either from the government or private sector. One is a doctor dealing with the pandemic, plus all the coordination and communication challenges it brings. They’re in very different professions, but they all end up having the same strategic issues in their day-to-day lives, in terms of how you show up as a leader. They help me to be a better leader on a day-to-day basis. 

Who’s someone you admire and draw inspiration from now?

New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Arden. After the terrorist attack there, she decided to stop all social media. She wore a hijab, went to the mosques, visited the injured and mourned with all the families. She showed the empathy of a true leader, an authentic empathy. And she was actually pregnant while she was prime minister, which was a game changer for women in society today. She was the first leader to shine a light on how you could actually manage that in a working environment.

If you weren’t in tech, what would you be doing?

I'd like to be designing album covers for big bands. I was never really good at painting landscapes or portraits, but I was really good at graphic design. I’d love to do that kind of cover art.

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