With decades of experience in marketing within large technology organisations including IBM and Oracle, Candice is a true example of an exceptional business woman.
She grew up in apartheid South Africa and forged her own path to get to where she is today, a testament to her ambition to excel and stand out amongst the status quo from an early age.
She is a strong believer in the importance of being an advocate for women in technology and has aimed to set an example for women hoping to enter a similar field. In 2018, she was named as one of the top ‘50 Most Influential Women in the UK Channel’ by CRN, as well as being shortlisted for its ‘Marketeer of the Year’ award.
SHECANCODE CAUGHT UP WITH CANDICE AS SHE SHARES HER CAREER JOURNEY, WHAT SHE’S MOST PROUD OF AND HER ADVICE FOR THOSE STARTING IN THE INDUSTRY.
HOW DID YOU LAND YOUR CURRENT ROLE? WAS IT PLANNED?
I have a love affair with technology and business, as my Audible library will attest to. A few years ago, I made a firm decision to work solely for fast-growing technology brands that are changing the pace of innovation. Hence, when IFS – a global cloud enterprise applications provider – came calling, I was eager to explore the opportunity and add to my international business experience.
I joined IFS’ newly acquired Enterprise Service Management (ESM) business unit in 2021, and have recently been promoted to Vice President of Marketing Operations. IFS’ brand position of using smart solutions to bolster the total experience, both employee and customer, is what drew me in and I aim to infuse vitality into every enterprise campaign I deploy.
WHAT ARE THE KEY ROLES IN YOUR FIELD OF WORK, AND WHY DID YOU CHOOSE YOUR CURRENT EXPERTISE?
Compelling technology marketing can be learnt from many disciplines and woven from a host of experiences. For me, this started with developing a firm understanding of the theory and science behind marketing, and then adding a deep appreciation for excellent customer service.
Being customer centric has allowed me to successfully hold roles in account management, enterprise sales, partner and channel management, and a host of hands-on marketing roles.
DID YOU (OR DO YOU) HAVE A ROLE MODEL IN TECH OR BUSINESS IN GENERAL?
I have so many role models to choose from, each of which inspire me in different ways. I love Sara Blakely, the self-made millionaire who invented Spanx. It is said that her dad used to ask her every evening at dinner “how many times have you failed today?” Understanding that failure is an essential component of achieving success helps us to move forward. Satya Nadella has been a remarkable agent of cultural change at Microsoft, driving bold partner innovations to grow year on year.
As a big fan of fashion, I love the story of Jose Neves. At just eight years old, he began coding and went on to play an instrumental role in his family’s shoe-design stores. Now the founder of global fashion platform Farfetch, his ability to merge two passions – fashion and technology – inspires me. And finally, I have to shout out Bog Iger. Since taking the helm at Disney, he transformed the business into one of the most influential and successful content giants in the digital age.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF IN YOUR CAREER, SO FAR?
One of my proudest moments was being called out as one of the top ‘50 Most Influential Women in the UK Channel’ by CRN, alongside a field of true professionals. This was particularly special as I had only recently emigrated to the UK. As any explorer will tell you, breaking into a new circle and making an impact takes real focus and a dash of courage.
WHAT DOES AN AVERAGE WORK DAY LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?
Over the past year, I have become addicted to CrossFit – and I’m fortunate enough to have one located close by. This means I’m in the gym at 7am, followed by a dog walk and strong coffee. Then I’m off to work, which for the past three years has mainly consisted of being in my home office where I’m close to the Nespresso machine and not too far from my favourite sofa (if the standing desk becomes too much). It’s the perfect setting to remain focused yet comfortable.
ARE THERE ANY SPECIFIC SKILLS OR TRAITS THAT YOU NOTICE COMPANIES LOOK FOR WHEN YOU’RE SEARCHING FOR ROLES IN YOUR FIELD?
Curiosity is a must in today’s ever-changing business landscape – not as a buzzword, but as a personality trait. I always ask people what they’re reading; marketing is a people science and being aware of business trends, as well as general pop culture, is critical to staying relevant. It also enables you to capture your customers’ imagination and go above and beyond to meet their needs.
HAS ANYONE EVER TRIED TO STOP YOU FROM LEARNING AND DEVELOPING IN YOUR PROFESSIONAL LIFE, OR HAVE YOU FOUND THE TECH SECTOR SUPPORTIVE?
What an interesting question! I am the eldest of three girls, being born into a very traditional family. My parents supported us, enabling us to reach the top of our classes at school. However, the idea of university was not even entertained, opting instead for early marriage and homemaking. This did not fulfil me.
Early on in my career, a mentor – who I now call my guardian angel – inducted me into a high-performance learning programme, which included international business school. This was pivotal to my trajectory into the world of business and I have never looked back.
HAVE YOU EVER FACED INSECURITIES AND ANXIETIES DURING YOUR CAREER, AND HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM?
The want to succeed and make a real impact can become taxing, and I often have to swallow hard to keep my inherent self-doubt at bay. In true Richard Branson spirit, I force myself to say yes to difficult tasks and push myself to learn fast. I am fortunate that my varied professional background and experience has left me with transferable skills which enable me to overcome obstacles quickly.
ENTERING THE WORLD OF WORK CAN BE DAUNTING. DO YOU HAVE ANY WORDS OF ADVICE FOR ANYONE FEELING OVERWHELMED?
Never underestimate the value of research. Make the time to learn about the brands and organisations you are drawn to, and pursue avenues that interest and excite you. Passion can make up for experience provided you are willing to put in focused effort.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE OTHER WOMEN WANTING TO REACH THEIR CAREER GOALS IN TECHNOLOGY?
Invite technology into your everyday life. Do not build up a barrier to adoption, and remember technology is ultimately meant to be an enabler of success.