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Sara Jones: Championing the Value of Women in Technology
By: By Patrick Cone
December 2, 2014
Sara Jones has a knack for helping people achieve their potential, which explains why she’s spent a good part of her career as a self-proclaimed social entrepreneur. Jones has also earned a law degree at Brigham Young University—where she taught as an adjunct professor for five years—as well as a chemical engineering degree from the University of Utah. She’s worked as a patent and intellectual property attorney, and has spent time in the product and business development sector.
Because of her more than 15 years of experience as an entrepreneur and technology professional, Jones was recently appointed CEO of Eagle Mountain-based ApplicantPro, a hiring and applicant tracking software company. She is also one of the co-founders of the Women Tech Council, a locally-based organization that promotes leadership, resources, mentoring and opportunities for women in the technology industry.
How do you describe yourself?
I call myself a strategic growth consultant and social entrepreneur. I like building value in organizations. I have an affinity for startups.
What are some examples of how you’ve applied these skills in the workplace?
Currently, I develop new business for a Silicon Valley-based law firm called Patent Law Works LLP. I help eBay’s data analyst teams increase productivity. As CEO of ApplicantPro, I also help the company create growth strategies. They have a data-driven hiring process tied to their customer. ApplicantPro has an all-women sales team and their employee retention is extremely high. ApplicantPro has experienced rapid growth over the past four years, serving clients in every industry. This year, ApplicantPro was named in the top 33 percent on Inc. 5000’s national fastest-growing startups list.
Why did you co-found the Women Tech Council?
We’ve focused on the economic value of women in technology. Over the past eight years, we have supported women in technology companies and created visibility for women leaders and entrepreneurs. Our real value comes in bringing everyone together. The Women Tech Council is now a community of more than 2,000 women and men. Creating opportunity is my passion.
What special challenges do women have in the technology world?
Women want opportunity, just like men, but haven’t had as much access. We are changing that. The council focuses on career and business opportunities, not social issues, by building a culture of inclusion.
How have women’s careers been enhanced through the Women Tech Council?
The Women Tech Awards held annually in September is raising visibility for women in technology. This year over 700 people attended, and our Impact Award was given to eBay for advancing women in technology. This was the first year the award was presented to a company. We shouldn’t be wondering where the qualified women are anymore. Women are moving faster in their careers. The time between career advances for women has dropped from three and a half years to less than two years. Women know they are highly valued and are moving to companies that appreciate their value.
How are you reaching out to younger women?
The council is mentoring university and K-12 students. We recently organized the first SheTech Girls Conference at Utah Valley University, which was attended by 300 high school girls. I want women to see technology as a rewarding, flexible and high-paying career, whether as a programmer, product innovator, graphic designer, marketing expert, social media expert, sales professional or even CEO.