We’re excited to announce that our Chief Customer Officer, Krista Anderson-Copperman, was recognized by the San Francisco Business Times as one of the Bay Area’s most influential women in business! The list celebrates more than 100 women business leaders in the Bay Area in industries including real estate, law, tech, finance, health care and more. While these women all work in various industries, they are all notable leaders in their organizations and their communities. Read on to learn more about Krista’s role at Okta, her career accomplishments and challenges, and how she gives back to the community.
What is your role at Okta?
As the Chief Customer Officer, I ensure that we are constantly living our core value “Love Our Customers” by providing a world-class post sales experience where customers solve real identity challenges and gain tangible value from the products Okta delivers. This includes professional services, education, support, the CSM function, and, of course, renewals because that is the ultimate measure of how successful our customers are with us.
What has been your biggest professional accomplishment to date?
My career has been a series of small steps and accomplishments that have come together to create the bigger picture. That said, there are a few accomplishments that stand out. I was one of the youngest employees, also a female, to be promoted into an SVP role at Salesforce. At the time, the significance was lost on me, but looking back, I recognize it was a critical juncture in my career and I was eager to rise to the occasion.
Another moment that stands out is when I co-founded the employee resource group, [email protected] ([email protected]), which is a platform to educate, support and ultimately improve gender diversity at Okta. We want to create an inclusive workplace that inspires and empowers all women to grow with Okta. When I look at what the teams have done with [email protected] since we started the ERG, I am immensely proud of the organization and how far they have taken it.
What has been the biggest challenge or setback you've had in your career and what did you learn from it?
Early in my career, I was painfully shy. I was often exposed to topics much broader than my existing scope, but felt that I didn’t have anything meaningful to contribute to group discussions. I was always listening and there was a constant dialogue in my head, but it rarely made it out to the group, which eventually became an inhibitor for me. I was given feedback that if I wanted to further advance in my career, I needed to speak up and be part of the dialogue.
To overcome this challenge, I looked to professional development opportunities outside of my company. The first one I took was around corporate finance principles as I always felt out of my depth in that area. I also took a few courses on marketing but quickly moved into more ‘business/personal’ development tracks around crafting a story to get buy-in, how to communicate with confidence, dealing with executives, public speaking, etc. These opportunities gave me a safe place to develop new skills—primarily confidence and communication—and exercise existing ones in a way that wouldn’t negatively impact the peer or leadership perceptions of me. They helped me get over the ‘shy’ hurdle, and since then I have continued to take advantage of outside resources throughout my career. Using those resources has been critical to my success.
How are you involved with the community?
I am an active board member with The Advocates, an organization that offers emotional and physical abuse prevention and education services to adults and children in the Wood River Valley. I also volunteer through Okta for Good with a variety of organizations. My team takes a half day every quarter to volunteer in cities across the US, most recently in San Francisco with Tandem Bay Area, an organization focused on closing the opportunity gap for children in the Bay Area.
Who has been an inspirational mentor throughout your career?
A leader at Salesforce for many years, and now President at Splunk, Susan St. Ledger was a champion of mine from the beginning. She started as my boss at Salesforce in 2004, quickly took me under her wing, coached me, provided me with critical and sometimes tough-to-hear feedback as well as countless opportunities, and has been a good friend since. Susan taught me that having high expectations is OK and, in fact, desired. Having a high bar for talent and expectations, of both your teams and others, is critical to individual and company success, but you need to balance those expectations with connections and personal relationships. People know I will be tough and hold them accountable to deliver results, but that I also care about who they are outside of work.
Congratulations to Krista for being recognized as one of the Bay Area’s most influential women in business! If you would like to join inspiring women like Krista at Okta, you can explore opportunities on our Careers page.