Spotlight Series: Ashley Allen
Ashley Allen was born and raised in Southern California, USA. They’re an entrepreneur, mother of 3, a non-binary lesbian and Salesforce consultant.
Shortly out of college, having just relocated to Buffalo, NY with their now ex-husband, Ashley found out they were pregnant with their second daughter. Broke and desperate for a job, they wanted to find work at home so that they could keep working after the baby was born. Ashley couldn’t afford to take time off due to being on partial government assistance at the time, and skipping work meant there wouldn’t be any food on the table.
After a month of applying to any job that would accept applications, Ashley was finally hired by someone who was willing to train the right candidate. In 2011 they started their first job out of college doing Salesforce – working from home. Ashley never looked back – since then they grew their Salesforce career and in 2017 they founded their own Salesforce consulting company, ITequality.
As a business owner, I am passionate about diversity in all its forms. I promote LGBT visibility and inclusion, women in technology, and diversity inclusion efforts.
Tell us how you heard about Ladies Be Architects?
“Someone on the Trailblazer community tagged me in a post, and the Ladies Be Architects group looked interesting. I have always wanted to be a Certified Technical Architect (CTA) but its always been more of a pipe dream, not a reality I could achieve. As a firm supporter of diversity in tech, I believe it is critical to have more women architects to be role models for the next generation.”
What feelings did Ladies Be Architects inspire within you?
“At the Dreamforce 2017 gathering, I was really happy to see other women interested in becoming a Technical Architect. I am really excited and passionate about being a part of a group of incredible women.”
Tell us why the CTA journey is important to you...
“As a mom of 3 girls, becoming a CTA will be a way to show them even if today there are only a few women who have achieved a particular goal, that is not a reflection of how capable you are. I want to see a day where women are equally represented in technology, and I know that it’s not going to happen unless I am willing stand up and do something about it myself.”
That’s really inspiring! What’s the next step for you on your Journey to CTA?
“The biggest setback I have is with prioritizing studying and taking certification exams. I have serious anxiety that needs to be managed by not overcommitting myself to too many things at a time. If I were to make time for the CTA path, I would need to cut back on something else. For me, its a matter of ROI. The return on my time investment is personal satisfaction and accomplishment. There would be no financial gain for me, in fact the cost of the exam is something that is holding me back.”
Do you have any concerns or doubts about the architect credentials? What help do you need?
“If I could find a sponsor to pay for the 5k exam that would be wonderful. I would also love to see a list of tangible benefits after earning the CTA certification.”
Thank you for taking part, Ashley! We wish you all the very best for your architect journey.