“Afternoon Keynote: Break the Bias, From Work to Mission”: Leyla Seka, Chief Operating Officer at Ironclad, and Jiahan Ericsson, Senior Director of Engineering at Ironclad (Video + Transcript)

March 8, 2022

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Angie Chang: It’s time for our next session. Now that we have grabbed our refreshing second or third cup of coffee, tea, or chai, and we’re refueled for the day, let’s welcome our afternoon keynote speakers. Please join me in welcoming Jiahan Ericsson, Senior Director of Engineering at Ironclad, who will be interviewing Leyla Seka for the keynote this afternoon. So, welcome Jiahan and Leyla!

Jiahan Ericsson: Hi, thank you so much, Angie. Jiahan here calling from Berkeley, California. I’m super happy to be here celebrating International Women’s Day with all of you and just hearing from so many inspiring speakers and panelists.

Jiahan Ericsson: I’m a Senior Director of Engineering at Ironclad. We are the leader in digital contracting, which helps companies execute smart agreements faster.

Jiahan Ericsson: I lead a few areas in engineering that support both the contract lifecycle management product, as well as our embedded click to sign product. As part of the engineering product and design leadership team, I also help lead and support the strategic and operational needs of the organization, especially as we continue to scale.

Jiahan Ericsson: Before Ironclad, I spent over a decade at Salesforce where I worked in both IC and leadership positions in core infrastructure, platform, mobile and Trailhead.

Jiahan Ericsson: I am super happy to be moderating this fireside chat with Leyla Seka, who is a familiar face to many of us here, I think. And also someone I really tracked in my career, both at Salesforce and Ironclad. So Leyla, come introduce yourself.

Leyla Seka: Hi, Jiahan. [inaudible] just too amazing. She’s very understated. She’s really amazing. We sound very similar, so here we go. I’m Leyla. I’m calling in from Berkeley too, which happens to be my hometown.

Leyla Seka: I am the COO of Ironclad. So I’m the chief operating officer there. And you now know what Ironclad does because Jiahan already told you. Before Ironclad, I was a venture capitalist for two and a half years. I also started a nonprofit, which we’re going to talk about a bit. Sort of started.

Leyla Seka: And before that, I was at Salesforce for 11 and a half years. And at Salesforce, I ran the AppExchange. So I was on that team sort of from its inception all the way through to it becoming the powerhouse that it is. I then ran a couple other things I think we’ll get into so I can chat about that. But I spent a long time there.

Leyla Seka: And before that I spent my whole career in product management. So I can’t code. But when I grew up and when I came into tech, product management meant he spent half your time with engineering, right?

Leyla Seka: Trying to figure out what you’re going to build. And a [inaudible] we released once a year. It was a different world, right? On a gold CD. Yeah. All of you’re like, what? But that used to be how we did it. But the role then was half the year with engineering and half the year with sales and marketing. So I liked it. That’s sort of the way my brain works.

Jiahan Ericsson: Cool. Awesome. I know we’re in the middle of this conference, lots of hours of Zoom already, but very excited for this Leyla energy, so let’s get to it. Actually, a lot of things you mentioned there, I think we’re going to unpack a lot of your professional journey in this conversation too.

Jiahan Ericsson: So this year’s International Women’s Day campaign theme is break the bias. And I think, Leyla, you are someone who’s really broken the bias throughout your life wherever you are, both as an individual, you never acted like anyone else and very authentically Leyla. Right?

Jiahan Ericsson: But I think more importantly, you also are really successful at effecting change through your advocacy that broke the bias for many others. During your time at Salesforce, you were the executive sponsor of BoldForce, which is Salesforce’s equality group for black leadership and development.

Jiahan Ericsson: You co-launched the annual Trailblazing Women’s Summit, which I’ve been attending since year one. So super exciting.

Jiahan Ericsson: But most memorably, of course, you pushed for equal pay to close the gender pay gap at Salesforce and really started the conversation to transform the industry. So for today’s theme, I think that’s a really great place to start. Tell us about your journey pushing for equal pay at Salesforce.

Leyla Seka: Sure. So, I told you all, I grew up in product management, right? And the same was true at Salesforce. For the lion share of my time there, I was one of two or the only woman sort of leading product line or doing something like that. Things got better, obviously, through time, but initially it was a lot like that.

Leyla Seka: And for me, it always came down to fairness. I just didn’t like it when it wasn’t fair. I’m fine to lose. Okay? If we’re both running the same race and starting from the same line.

Leyla Seka: But I don’t like losing when you get a head start and that makes me mad. It should be fair. That’s what my parents told me America was. My parents are from different countries. They’re not from here. That was the whole reason they came here. That was the promise.

Leyla Seka: So that’s always been deep in me and who I am. So look, I’m working at Salesforce. I’m doing really well. I started as a senior director, I get promoted to VP. I go from VP. I go to SVP. I’m cruising up. And they talk right before this, I loved everything she said AND totally related to it.

Leyla Seka: I was very ambitious. I still am. I love to run it. I like it. I like being in charge. I like telling people what to do. My kids always laugh about that. But so, there were a lot of things that happened. A couple, I’ll tell you specifically.

Leyla Seka: I was in the product all team room, and this was all male executives And me. Right? And we were waiting for the boss come, and I came running in from BART and I’d throw my bag on the table.

Leyla Seka: And I sit down and I realize they’re all talking about how they had just bought Teslas. Okay, so this is back when a Tesla cost like 250K a pop. And that was the only kind you could buy. And the wait list was super long, right? And you had to play around to get them or whatever.

Leyla Seka: And so they were all talking about it. And I was sitting there at my computer, ticking away at a deck or something. And I started thinking, “Okay, I could buy a Tesla.” But that would be so stupid with how much money I make. Like not to mention that I’m a terrible driver, and I don’t really want to spend that much money in a car.

Leyla Seka: But outside of that. So that got something in my craw. Why are they also flippantly talking about it? And some of them I was performing better than because we ran revenue, so we knew what numbers, it wasn’t just engineering. We had numbers, we hit numbers.

Leyla Seka: So I put that in my back pocket. At this point, I was running a division called Desk, which was customer support for SMBs and low-end mid-market. And I had four direct reports: two men in two women. All super senior people worked at the company for a really long time. Five years, had done very well. Two men, two women. Okay?

Leyla Seka: We had a banner year. We did very, very well. We outperformed like crazy. So when the time came, which is like, okay, promotions and money and stock and all that stuff that you do as a manager, I went back to the corporate and said, we really outperformed. I really want a lot. I want to give them all a lot. I want it to be really great.

Leyla Seka: Salesforce was awesome. Here’s a ton, go do your thing, Leyla. So then I got this chunk, and I was like, “Okay, what do I do with the chunk?” And I thought about it for a second. There was one person I thought, maybe this one person should get a little more, because they were my COO. They were really running the business with me all the time. But I didn’t.

Leyla Seka: I said, “No, it is really, it is a team effort. I’m giving everyone the exact same amount.” My assistant sets up the performance meetings, just happens that the two women went first, right? Just how schedules worked out and whatnot.

Leyla Seka: First woman comes in, great job, banner year. Here’s this giant amount of everything more than you’ve ever gotten before. And she was like, “Oh my gosh. Leyla, thank you so much. I love my job. I’m so happy.” I was like, “Me too, this is so amazing. I can’t believe how lucky we all are that we love each other.” Just all this great stuff.

Leyla Seka: Second woman walks, in same thing. “Oh, I love it. It’s so fun.” The first man walks in, and I tell him more money than anyone’s ever gotten by a bit, right? And he leans across table, and he looks at me and he says, “I want more.” And in my mind I’m like, “Ooh, I need a new head of product. I need some help. This is not working.”

Jiahan Ericsson: Yeah, I got to start [inaudible].

Leyla Seka: Right, I’m running that. But I’m also trying to like keep a boss face on. Well, what do you think you deserve? Whatever, totally in my head, like, [inaudible]. And then I sit down with the one that was running the business with me, which happened to be a man. Right? And I sit, again more money than any of them had ever gotten, more stock, a big, nice, yummy chit, right? And I sit down with him as my COO, and I give him know the talk and he leans in and he looks at me and says, “I want more.”

Leyla Seka: And luckily, I was so close with him. We really were really close business partners and also good friends that I sort of said, “Oh, okay, stop. Stop the performance review meeting. We’re not having that meeting anymore.We’re moving into a dialogue right now.” I was like, “Why are you asking for more money? Why, what?”

Leyla Seka: And he looked at me and he said, “I always ask for more money. What are you talking about? Don’t you?” and it was literally, Jiahan.

Leyla Seka: It was like someone was punching me in the face. Because I remembered every promotion, every additional opportunity, everything that had come down and keep in mind, this is seven years ago.

Leyla Seka: Things have gotten better, so everything I’m saying, I’m old, this was a while ago. But I do think people are trying to do better at this, but so context. Because it has been a while since this happened.

Leyla Seka:All I ever said was, “Thank you.” But that’s how my mother raised me. Right? I mean, if I had anything but thank you. Even a gift I don’t want, my mother would’ve pinched me or something. It was just not the way I was taught to perform.

Leyla Seka: And I also had a really interesting perception, was they were giving me something, versus it being something I earned. Right? And that took me a while to sort of unpack.

Leyla Seka: So anyways, all of this happens, and my good friend, Cindy, becomes the head of HR at the same time. And I go to her and I’m like, “We got to do this. I got something going on. Spidery sense, tickle, tickle, crazy. Something’s happening.” Something’s happening.

Leyla Seka: And so what basically ended up happening is for a year we did research. As much as you can do research around this topic, because at that point, no one talked about equal pay. This wasn’t going on. Right? So we talked to a lot of people.

Leyla Seka: We got a lot of advice from lots of people. Some people were worried that we shouldn’t do this because we were a public company, and it put the company at risk, and we were seeing your executives. And so there was just lots of dialogue.

Leyla Seka: And ultimately she and I put together a plan, and she had a one-on-one with our boss, Marc Benioff. And so I came. We went to his house because he worked out of his house and he had a work house, so we went to the work house. And I’ll never forget this day for the rest of my life because we went there and he was in a step off with Michael Dell for the American Heart Association.

Leyla Seka: So he was supposed to walk a whole bunch that day. And I was like, “No, no, no, you can’t walk for this meeting.” We’ve been talking about this for a year. This is not a walking meeting.

Leyla Seka: So Cindy and I donated money or something and he sat down, but we had this conversation with him, and we basically were like, we don’t think the women are paid the same as the men, and we want to look into it.

Leyla Seka: And then Cindy said this thing, which was, if we pop the hood and we find a problem, we have to fix it. You can’t slam the hood down walk and be like… (sings) At that point, you can’t just pull millions of dollars out of a public company operating budget. It’s not how that works.

Leyla Seka: So we talked about all that and then the other two things we wanted were we wanted a mentor program for women in product and engineering because we felt like sales had a lot of female leaders and they seemed relatively well mentored and so did some of the other departments, but we wanted to do a bit more in engineering and product.

Leyla Seka: And the third thing was the women’s conference, which was actually Molly Ford’s idea. She worked on this with us, but she brought it to me, and then I brought it in there and that was the first time a software company had ever done a women’s conference. Okay.

Leyla Seka: There was Fortune, Most Powerful Women, but that had never happened before, that we’re taking a whole day of programming in the middle of our user conference and only focusing on women. It sounds super normal now, which I’m so happy about. But at the time we were cutting. Right?

Leyla Seka: People were like, a day devoted to women? This is a software conference and there’s lots of dialoguing. I will say we had a real sisterhood, me and Cindy and Molly Ford, and we linked arms and we just pushed. And we got some great stuff done. So yeah. That’s that story.

Jiahan Ericsson: Yeah. I think there’s so much goodness there too. Just, it’s easier to do these things when there are other women, part of the sisterhood doing it with you. Because all of this is really scary, right?

Leyla Seka: Listen, I mean, here’s the other thing. Cindy and I, I don’t think we knew what was happening. I mean, you guys will appreciate this because you’re sort of technical. I was doing product management.

Leyla Seka: I was like, what’s the next best action? Right? Because what actually ended up happening was Marc realized at one point that everyone in his executive room was male. And so he started this thing called the women’s surge. So he looked for high profile females inside there.

Leyla Seka: No one liked the name, whatever he looked for high profile. We all talked about [inaudible]. In the org and he really raised them up. And that’s how I got the job at Desk – is I was in the room and heard that job was open. And I was like, “I’ll take that job.” That’s running a whole division, full P&L. Not quite like that.

Leyla Seka: I was sort of intimidated at the time, but eventually that came across. So after that and getting promoted, I went into product management mode and was like, what’s the next best action? And that was when I heard the guys talking about the Teslas. And then when those two guys asked for money, and I was like next best action. So I see it like product.

Jiahan Ericsson: Yeah. That’s awesome. It’s incredible too. I think in a way, even though for you, it’s this personal journey, right? A lot of times this is how it starts, where it’s like we are doing a thing in the place where we are. But then it becomes a catalyst for transforming, introducing these conversations in the industry and that is really powerful.

Leyla Seka: But I never knew I was doing that. Right? I wasn’t like, “I want to go…” Actually, I did have a coach at the time who told me that I should stop just thinking about changing Salesforce. I should try to think about changing tech. And that was an interesting framing for him to give me because I did then all of a sudden, just…

Leyla Seka: And I did say to Marc at one point when we were pitching him, I think I told [inaudible]… Actually this is funny. I told him he’d be on the cover of Time magazine. And he was like, “I don’t want to be on the cover of Time magazine.” Now he owns it, which is sort of funny.

Leyla Seka: But I was like, we can change something much bigger than ourselves here. And by the end of that year of work with Cindy, I saw, and then a month later, Patricia Arquette got up at the Academy Awards and started screaming about equal pay and then everything. And then things went really crazy for us too. But, yeah.`

Jiahan Ericsson: That’s awesome. Cool. There’s definitely more to talk about during your Salesforce stage, but I want to move on. So three years ago, you left Salesforce and became a venture capitalist, a slightly different journey than the one you’ve been on.

Jiahan Ericsson: Tell us a little bit about your motivation for joining Operator Collective and also co-founding Black Venture Institute in 2020 in this pandemic.

Leyla Seka: Yeah. So back to fairness, I helped Salesforce acquire a lot of companies because I ran the AppExchange. So every time we acquired a company, I had to be involved because it normally had some impact on the channel. Right? And the ecosystem.

Leyla Seka: So I watched a lot of people get acquired and come into Salesforce and stay for a couple years and then spin out and be a venture capitalist. And then they start calling all the same male execs who were buying those Teslas to join their BLPs and invest in this or advise that and get shares of this or give me money for that.

Leyla Seka: And no one was calling me. And so for me, all of a sudden I started sort of hearing the money those guys were making. And I was like, “Oh this is some more income inequality just shoving up here organically that no one’s noticing.”

Leyla Seka: So one of the founders of Desk left and when he left to go become a VC, I was like, “You will call me, and I want in.” And so he did, and I went into his fund and he went early into Robinhood and we made a lot of money. Right?

Leyla Seka: So all of a sudden, venture became this thing that I got in interested in. Then my friend, April Underwood, and her friend started this thing called Hashtag Angels out of Twitter, where they basically wrote a Medium post and were like, “We’re angel investors,” to see if people would allow them to start angel investing. And they did.

Leyla Seka: And they sort of started this wave. But venture is very white and very male. I mean, we think sometimes that way about tech and then venture, you go there and you realize just how much that is prevalent.

Leyla Seka: I do think things are changing. And I think that’s what Operator Collective was. My partner, Mallun, came up with that. And the fund was, we raised $50 million to deploy into enterprise B2B. Obviously, that’s what we do. That’s what I know.

Leyla Seka: But we raised it from operating executives. 90% women, 40% people of color, 20% people that didn’t originate in the United States. That was just a way to really bring investing home to people as an option for how they can think about their money. Right?

Leyla Seka: Because money makes money, if you feel comfortable doing that. Now, the whole gambling, be careful. All that stuff, safe harbor aside, but there is a lot of interesting stuff, and you can meet founders, and you advise, and it’s fun. Right?

Leyla Seka: So I joined Operator Collective with Mallun and we launched it, and we invested in like 35 companies in the two years through the pandemic.

Leyla Seka: And so look, when George Floyd was murdered, it happened to be right around the time in the Bay Area when the fires were so bad that the sun didn’t come out one day. It was really spooky.

Leyla Seka: I was working and I came out at 11 o’clock and it was like it was 11 o’clock at night. And I just was feeling very hopeless and pandemic, locked in the house. My kid hates… I had a 10-year-old. My 14-year-old’s fine. A 10-year-old didn’t do well on Zoom. He was like, “This sucks.”

Leyla Seka: So it was just hard. And I had said to my husband, when I first started Operating Collective, “I wish I could just go to a class and learn about venture capital.” What is all this? Why do I care about information rights? What’s pro rata? What does this mean? What does that mean?

Leyla Seka: So I sit on the board of the Engineering School at Cal, and I called the dean. I said, “I know we have a class in venture,” and we put together what became Black Venture Institute. So we essentially built a program with Cal, Salesforce and Black VC that brings 50 black executives through a two week intensive course on venture capital twice a year.

Leyla Seka: When we started, there were less than 95 black check-writers in venture. We’ve already graduated 150 and a good number of them have started doing all kinds of really awesome stuff, which is amazing.

Leyla Seka: I mean, again, next best action, ladies. I just saw a problem and had had the problem myself of how do I break into venture and figure out this language and these people and how they talk and connect with each other because it’s different than operating. And so, yeah.

Leyla Seka: And I’m super proud of it. It’s probably one of the things I’m most proud of. Outside of my family and equal pay, Black Venture Institute is super high up there.

Jiahan Ericsson: Yeah. Yeah. It’s so interesting, I think diversity and representation in venture is such a less frequent explore space. And I remember you said this once, right?

Jiahan Ericsson: Money is math and math is easy. And I think going back to your points about fairness, it’s a very practical and easy way to see what is fair and, who gets the opportunity to be in. So yeah.

Leyla Seka: I mean, I think that’s why I landed on equal pay. Because trust me, there were a lot of other issues I was pissed off about it. But math, really hard to argue with math.

Jiahan Ericsson: Yeah. Yeah. I really hope you have other talks and just go into your VC journey way more because there’s so much interesting things there. For the sake of time, I do want to talk about what you’re doing right now.

Jiahan Ericsson: So last year you went back to your operator roots and joined Ironclad as COO also during the pandemic. I know the two of us joined actually around the same time.

Jiahan Ericsson: And so what was special about Ironclad that lured you out of your VC life? Why Ironclad, how has that been so far?

Leyla Seka: Sure. So look, I loved being a VC, and I learned a ton. I found it a bit lonely. What I realized about myself is that I love the community of work. Right? I really love operating with other people. I get a lot of enjoyment out of it.

Leyla Seka: So Ironclad was a company that I invested in. It was one of my first investments out of Operator Collective. Mallun and I had both met the CEO separately and then agreed that we were both going…

Leyla Seka: I was going to go in as an angel, and then we just came in as the fund. Very special company. And I firmly believe that contract life cycle management is probably… Here’s the thing.

Leyla Seka: In building the AppExchange, I had an interesting purview, and I watched a lot of these companies be built. And my fundamental problem with most CLM vendors is that they initially relied on some other experience, like the sales experience or the procurement experience.

Leyla Seka: They never thought of the contract as the core object. But yet all of those other experiences, the core objects change constantly. So the data is hard to keep track of, as all of you know better than me, probably.

Leyla Seka: So what I love about Ironclad is the data is rooted in the contract, which is by its very nature, not a document that changes very often. So the power we can bring to business insights and the way people run their company, run their sales team, run their engineering team, run procurement, run marketing, allows for a different level of visibility.

Leyla Seka: I also was very interested in building a different kind of company. I think that’s what you and I talked about even before we went. I see the potential with this company to do something really special and build something really special.

Leyla Seka: And I missed building stuff with smart people.

Jiahan Ericsson: Yeah. Awesome.

Leyla Seka: Why did you join Ironclad?

Jiahan Ericsson: Why did I join? Well, first of all, I echo everything you said, and I’m going to say we had a couple phone calls before I decided, and that made a difference too. For me, last year I was very clear.

Jiahan Ericsson: I was ready for a new opportunity, and I really took my time for the majority of the year to explore options. And partly because I am who I am, that’s how I do. I want to prepare, be really prepared for everything.

Jiahan Ericsson: But also because I was at Salesforce for over a decade, right? So I don’t know what I don’t know. And I wanted to take my time, not only to land at a really good job that I love at the end, but also learn from that journey and figuring out, “Well, how do you interview? How do you evaluate companies?”

Jiahan Ericsson: So what it ended up for me was really around opportunity and community. I think opportunity was fairly straightforward. Ironclad is a rocket ship startup that found great product market fit and is building a successful business around it. It’s in the legal tech space, which is something I’m personally really interested in. So there’s a lot of purpose in what I would be doing for me personally.

Jiahan Ericsson: From an engineering leadership point of view, it’s really interesting that join the company at this phase of our growth, because we’ve had a system in place where it served the team well so far, right? We’re also not fully mature.

Jiahan Ericsson: So there’s a lot of need for transformation to support that continued growth of both the product and people. So Arquay’s keynote this morning, she talks about decision-making gets really, really hard at scale.

Jiahan Ericsson: And that’s my jam. That’s where I want to learn more. That’s why I want to excel at, so this is a really sweet spot to come into Ironclad at this time.

Jiahan Ericsson: And lastly, personally, I was at a phase in my career where I was really looking to stretch myself and just learn different aspects of not just engineering leadership, but also business success.

Jiahan Ericsson: To your point, I think as we continue to grow, we really need to understand the business better. Kind of like, is there a class to go learn about these things? Right?

Jiahan Ericsson: So I wanted to learn some of that through work and needed to be in a place where all the functions fit really close together and collaborate constantly.

Jiahan Ericsson: And at Ironclad, I felt like that was not only possible, but pretty crucial. So I think that was really good fit.

Jiahan Ericsson: But take a step back. I think all the best opportunities on paper kind of mean nothing if you don’t have the right conditions and support to help you to succeed. Right?

Jiahan Ericsson: So for me, the work community is everything. I’m a very connections-driven person. And I experienced a lot of like people magic sauce when I was talking to Ironclad, both at the company level and just through connecting with individuals.

Jiahan Ericsson: For companies, I always want to know what the company values are. And Ironclad’s values are intent, empathy, drive, and integrity, which matched really well with my personal values, so that was really good.

Jiahan Ericsson: And also making sure that there is a mature exec leadership team, so there’s some level confidence – that I trust the leadership team to not only realize the company vision, but also can operationalize these values beyond just saying they’re important, and we have them, right?

Jiahan Ericsson: Practically, it was really important to see other women leaders like myself across all the functions. Again, I think talking to you made a really big difference.

Jiahan Ericsson: I was invited to listen in on the women leader panel at the biennial company kickoff. And that made a really big difference. I think, again, we’re by no means perfect. Right? And these are just glimpses, but it gave me a level of confidence that I’m not going to be alone in my experiences here.

Jiahan Ericsson: Then lastly, this is something really important to me. And I think actually Kristen touched on this in the previous session for Career Growth for Humans, which is, it’s very important for me to be in a working environment where we recognize that there are many definitions of what success can look like.

Jiahan Ericsson: For example, for me, I’m a parent of two young children. And while I still feel really confident in my ability to perform, I also need a lot of flexibility in my day to support my family and deal with emergencies.

Jiahan Ericsson: And for me, the pandemic really highlighted that what we bring to this camera is such a small sliver of the life that we live. Right? I would literally be like trying to keep my cool here when a blowout situation is happening right before my eyes.

Jiahan Ericsson: It really highlighted the importance to have a work environment where you feel safe to bring as much of your life to it, so that work can support you back. And make work work for the rest of your life.

Jiahan Ericsson: So I think that’s where I saw really a lot of good signals. Just people being generous and patient and make space for each other, so that even though we work differently, we can still work well together.

Jiahan Ericsson: In fact, the two of us are really different people, but we figure out how to work well together. Right? Even just preparing for this conversation. And another example, both of us know Jason, the head of engineering, who’s my manager. He is a dad of three children under five. Don’t know how he deals with it, but just seeing him being an equal partner at home. Right?

Jiahan Ericsson: Having a baby’s butt occupy 70% of Zoom screen all the time, but also say, “Hey, you know what? I need to step away because there’s a situation.” I think that kind of modeling in the leadership is really important and also tells me, it’s also important for me to bring myself like that to the workplace and create a safe place for other people.

Jiahan Ericsson: Yeah. So I think those are kind of how I landed on finding a good work home for myself. So, yeah. We are almost out of time. So I’m going to ask you one last question.

Jiahan Ericsson: There’s a lot here, but I remember years ago when hearing you talk about equal pay at Salesforce, you said at some point your work stopped being just a job, it became a mission.

Jiahan Ericsson: I really love that, not only because it was fancy and I was like, I got to write it down, work it into conversation sometime. But also I saw you really lean into that statement and showing up differently.

Jiahan Ericsson: So now you’re COO at Ironclad, how do you think about that mission? And what do you achieve?

Leyla Seka: Listen, I really want to build a workplace and a workforce where every type of person that has some value to add feels welcome. I really enjoyed the lady before, too talking about you don’t have to go to college to be good at building a tech company.

Leyla Seka: Look, how many of these guys never went to college? Dell, Zuckerberg? I mean, not that these are everyone’s everyone, but there are lots of ways to build talent. There are lots of ways to educate yourself.

Leyla Seka: My word, if you pay enough attention, you can find out what’s going on in Silicon Valley by just following the right people on Twitter. I mean, they’re not that complicated. It’s all junior high playground.

Leyla Seka: I mean, we know how to play this. We’ve all been there. My honest point on this is I will never stop working on this. This is who I am. This is what’s going to go on when I die, whatever they write, it’s going to say something about equal pay and making it fair because that’s what I care the most about, for all of us.

Leyla Seka: For all of us, we should all get an equal shot. Like it’s going to say something about equal pay and making it.

Jiahan Ericsson: Very cool. Thank you so much. Sukrutha, I thought you came on. Thanks Leyla. Thanks everybody.

Sukrutha Bhadouria: Thank you so much, Leyla and Jiahan, for this wonderful, interesting and insightful session. This was an amazing keynote, and I know everybody’s really energized just looking at the chat.

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