Beth Saenz currently serves as Vice President of Engineering Operations at Domo, a large cloud software company whose platform digitally connects a wide range of employees—CEOs to front-line employees—with an organization's people, data, and systems. Headquartered in American Fork, Utah, Domo is one of the most prominent software companies in the state.

Saenz comes from a background in technical program management which has provided her with a strong foundation for running teams and driving decisions. In leading her teams Saenz has always made it a goal to remember that every team member is an individual with specific talents and faces unique challenges. Taking the time to listen to them and notice what is special about them is critical in creating a healthy work environment, Saenz shared with us. “People flourish when they feel appreciated and important,” said Saenz. She ensures every member of her team feels valued.

Saenz is most fulfilled in her work when she sees someone grow, develop, and move fully into the potential they have. Acting as a mentor to others and helping them reach this potential is how Saenz pays it forward from the times that mentors helped her.

“One of the most challenging parts of having a career you are passionate about is figuring out how to balance it with a busy life,” said Saenz. “Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is one of the most important things you can do but it can be difficult to achieve,” she added.

Saenz had to learn this the hard way. With years of practice and heavily relying on her calendar she was able to find a way to maintain balance. She knew that to be the best employee she could be and to avoid burning out it was necessary to take time for herself.

Beth Saenz, Vice President of Engineering Operations, Domo

In middle school, Saenz had dreams of one day becoming an astronaut. Growing up in Ohio near Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and the National Museum of the United States Air Force—the world's largest aviation museum—inspired her from a young age to consider this dream. However, as she got older other interests grew, and new dreams drove her career in a new direction. Saenz found a career path that allowed her creativity to flourish.

“It is an important skill to be okay with changing the expectations you hold for yourself in exchange for something better and more fitting,” said Saenz. “Oftentimes in our lives, there is this pressure and perception that we cannot change certain goals, careers, and decisions we have made, but in reality, it is a good thing to change and allow ourselves to find happiness that wouldn't have existed without willingness to grow in new directions.”

We asked Saenz about her high school years and how to best take full advantage of them. Saenz was a cheerleader, a student body officer, and more, thus carrying a lot on her shoulders. She told us she wished she had slowed down and balanced the intake of the opportunities around her. “There's so much that will be thrown at you in high school which can be daunting but when you slow down and hone in on what's important to you rather than chasing every prospect hurled your way then you can find balance,” said Saenz. “Sometimes we think high school is where we have to accept every challenge or we automatically fail. In reality, high school is the perfect place to fail. After all, high school is just practice for the real world so find enjoyment in the things you choose to do and don’t dwell on the things you don't,” she added.

It's easy for girls to see STEM as an untouchable career path that will never interest them due to the stereotypes that surround the field, but in actuality, there are countless unique ways to be involved in STEM. STEM encompasses so many amazing opportunities that many girls may not know about or consider. Technology is one of the most flexible and equal pay opportunities girls have for the future.

Saenz told us that many high school girls self-exempt themselves from STEM before they even realize the potential it has. “Everyone has unique talents which help them thrive in their careers, but what people may not realize is that many of those talents have a fit in the STEM field,” said Saenz.

Saenz encourages girls and all high schoolers to be open-minded to the possibilities that STEM holds. You never know what's out there unless you experiment and explore.

Beth Sanez is not only a stellar leader and accomplished woman but an amazing example to all girls considering STEM. She taught us crucial lessons about balancing work, following your passion, and navigating expectations. Though it's not an easy task, she proved with determination and resilience that the challenging task of finding balance is attainable.

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