In celebration of Black History Month, Plative Salesforce Consultant, Miata King, takes us through her career journey and how she overcame adversity by focusing on driving impact and results.
How did your career begin?
I completed a Bachelors of Business Administration concentrating in Management Information Systems at the Beedie School of Business, and this led me to a career in technology. However, before I got into tech, I pursued professional modeling for a few years.
After modeling, I worked as a data analyst for several years and then moved into a technical implementation consultant role at a software company. I fell in love with Salesforce and here I am today, a Salesforce Consultant at Plative.
What specifically do you love about Salesforce?
The Salesforce ecosystem and space is incredibly special because I feel as though it has been one of the trailblazing communities that actually full-heartedly support diversity, equity, and inclusion. Around the time that I first began learning more about the platform and the Salesforce community, it was wonderful to see the visibility of BIPOC (Black Indigenous Person of Color) in various roles, from administrator to all the way to technical architect. It’s very comforting to see consultants and project managers performing at high levels who share a similar tech background with me. I also love seeing female leaders with my similar background making an impact at the organization, as well as in the Salesforce Community (shoutout to LadiesBeArchitects!) and being mentors for others. It’s these values and strong female leaders that inspire me and led me to Salesforce consulting.
What are some challenges you have faced in your career?
A decade ago, the tech industry looked very different from what it is today. While I would not go as far as saying it was uncommon to see women of color working in tech (across Canada), black women specifically, it was definitely quite rare. When I told my peers that I wanted a career in technology, everyone seemed shocked and not confident it was the way to go. In university people definitely told me I should go into marketing instead — and I presume this was because they felt it was more suitable for someone with my background. Others definitely had a preconceived notion of what my career path looked like, but that didn’t stop me. I decided to push through, bet on myself, and move full steam ahead with pursuing a career in tech.
I’ve worked at many organizations and with clients across various industries and for the most part, it’s been an incredibly rewarding journey. However, there have been challenges along the way being a woman of color in a predominantly male industry. When I first started my career, I didn’t encounter very many people that looked like me that were excelling in the types of jobs that I had. In the early days of my career when I was a data analyst, one of the biggest challenges I experienced was that I did not always feel like I was taken seriously even though I was constantly trying to “level up” and improve my skill set. On projects where I would be working hard behind the scenes on analyzing data, I would present my findings and myself as the person behind the screen, I would get comments like, “you don’t look like a typical person who does data work”. This bias and these types of interactions would persist and throughout my career put me in a position where I felt like I needed to prove people wrong and commit to completing my work with a high level of excellence.
“You don’t look like a typical person who does data work”
“You don’t look like a typical person who does data work”
How did you overcome these challenges?
As a black woman, I have dealt with bias, microaggressions, and racism throughout my life, so once I entered the professional world, I actually felt prepared to tackle these challenges head-on. What helped me move forward and to be successful was my motivation to show others what I was capable of – delivering stellar results. I showed the naysayers that being female and a person of color does not impact my ability to get the job done and deliver successful outcomes.
How did you end up joining the Plative Team?
The more I learned about the company and began connecting with the people, it was undeniable that Plative was where I was supposed to be. From the beginning, it was crystal clear that this company would enable me to grow and continue to elevate my career. It’s filled with brilliant and creative individuals and has a unique approach to management consulting, unlike other companies. I’ve been at Plative for over 2 years now and the team truly lives by our core values and we have an inclusive, welcoming environment.
What is one piece of advice you have for individuals who are in a similar situation?
I’ve pushed myself and set a high personal standard this past decade to show others that my capabilities are not tied to my background. However, this pressure can be very exhausting and often leads to burn out. Recently, I’ve been working on finding a balance between my work and personal life. To be frank, this is an area that I am still learning how to juggle, but I know it will ultimately help me reach my goals. My one piece of advice for people who are facing similar challenges is to show others that your capabilities and skillsets are not tied to your background. Control the narrative about who you are, what you can achieve by letting your work speak for itself, and strive to provide the best possible experience you can. Let your results and success drive impact and change. Set high standards and work hard, but also make sure you are not overexerting yourself. To show up every day as your best self, you need to take care of your mental and physical health.
If you’d like to learn more about my story, connect with me on LinkedIn!
Plative Stories: Celebrating Black History Month