Spotlight on Women in Tech: Theresa Alesso - LAVNCH [CODE]

Spotlight on Women in Tech: Theresa Alesso

Theresa AlessoIn honor of Women’s History Month, LAVNCH [CODE] is shining a spotlight on women in tech.

Name: Theresa Alesso

Title: President, Imaging Products & Solutions Americas

Company: Sony Electronics

LAVNCH [CODE]: What have been some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced as a woman in business, and how have you overcome them?

THERESA ALESSO: I began my career at Sony as an administrative professional, so I know that it takes dedication and sacrifice to move up the corporate ladder. No one will hand you opportunities—you have to seek them out and advocate for yourself. As a woman in a leadership role, it serves you well to have a thick skin and be the hardest working person in the room. Being prepared, being educated, and being confident is extremely important—but often women are held back because they strive for an unrealistic sense of perfection or suffer from imposter syndrome.

Another lesson I’ve learned is to be fearless and view everything as an opportunity for growth and enrichment. Plan for your future and set goals. Get outside of your comfort zone. Make lateral moves that help round you out as an employee, hone your skillset, and help you gain a broader understanding of your organization.

LAVNCH [CODE]: How do you stay motivated and focused when faced with setbacks or obstacles?

TA: As a female in a leadership role, as well as a mother, my motivation is allowing other young women to see themselves reflected in me. Knowing that all of the hard work that I’ve put into my career is helping others envision a future that may not have been realistic or sustainable decades ago is inspiring. I want the younger generation—and women in particular—to understand their unrealized potential. You control your own destiny. You can do virtually anything you set your mind to with the right attitude and skillset, as well as the necessary drive and passion.

LAVNCH [CODE]: How do you approach risk-taking in business?

Sony Paramus Team with Therese Alesso.

Alesso with her Sony Paramus colleagues on International Women’s Day 2023.

TA: While great risks often yield great rewards, I do think calculated risks remain the most viable option. I always do my homework, whether that’s a SWOT analysis or further educating myself on the topic or speaking with experts in the space, to understand the positive and negative potentials of the risk. If the benefits outweigh the disadvantages, I often like to work with my most trusted advisors to make sure everyone is on the same page. I do believe that looking at things from a new perspective and exploring alternate possibilities helps foster innovation. Change often helps drive inspiration. Even when tough decisions need to be made, I believe it’s most important to be true to yourself, be fair and lead authentically.

LAVNCH [CODE]: Who is a woman you admire in the tech industry and why?

TA: I admire Beth Comstock, a former vice chair of General Electric who focused on business innovations during her tenure. She is a born leader and wrote a wonderful book, Imagine It Forward: Courage, Creativity, and the Power of Change, which is full of valuable advice—not just for women, but for anyone in a management role. I have taken many of the concepts explored in this book to drive the thought process and implementation of changes within my own organization. In addition to being a powerful and influential businessperson, Beth is also a mother, so her unique point of view mirrors many of my own experiences. She’s a creative and courageous visionary and I urge anyone interested in being a leader to read her book.

LAVNCH [CODE]: What’s your favorite book, movie, or song about female empowerment?

TA: Fighter by Christina Aguilera is an anthem that resonates with me on many levels. It speaks to overcoming adversity by facing it head on and using negative experiences to fuel positive growth. The song is about rising above your doubters and taking the high road to show them just how capable and strong you are. Plus, it’s catchy!

Listen to one of Theresa’s favorite songs about female empowerment.

Click here to read more stories about women in tech.

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