Board International’s Jessica Venturini, A Top 50 Woman Leader in SaaS

We often expect leaders in executive positions to hold PhDs in technical degrees, but Chief Revenue Officer at Board International, Jessica Venturini relishes her untraditional background. “It may be surprising, given my career in the IT industry [that] I have a “humanist background,” Venturini admitted to The Software Report.

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After attending a science and language high school, she completed a degree in Foreign Languages and Literatures (English and German) in Italy before completing a post-graduate degree in Marketing and Management in Ireland.

It’s clear that she’s driven by curiosity— an unquenchable one at that. She noticed this about herself early on, from moments in her childhood, when she chose a different school to attend than the rest of her friends, to her constant need to move countries. It’s almost as though the words, “comfort zone” don’t exist in her vocabulary. “I think life is about learning something new, every day,” she muses. “[We should] enrich our experiences, discover different ways of doing things, different points of views and widen our horizons.”

Venturing beyond traditional boundaries and learning different ways of looking at the world is core to her professional life, too. Compelled by her propensity for new perspectives, there is a connecting thread between each of her degrees, moves, and career changes.

But it isn’t any one qualification, position, or moment that has made Venturini such a valuable team player, but a culmination of her unique “ability to understand and adapt to different situations,” that sets her apart from other executives. Rather than executing one leadership style, she acclimates to her surroundings and changes her behavior accordingly. “I focus on supporting and motivating the people I work with to achieve both our common goals and their individual ones,” she says. “I strongly believe in using my experience and skills to create the right conditions for all to succeed and develop.” It takes real dedication and passion to move this way professionally, but phoning it in has never been an option for someone as fervent as Venturini.

Practical and determined, her flair for the untraditional has led to roles at Yahoo! and Siemens as an Account Manager and Business Development Manager, respectively. Here she learned a lot about how global companies work and how to move in a complex organization. “I learned how important it is to go beyond the surface to find common goals, and to leverage different skills and qualities to build value,” she explains. “This was true for [my] personal [and] professional life.”

Now, looking after strategy, performance, and revenue alignment at Board International’s EMENA region, Venturini looks to use her unique point of view as the business experiences significant growth of its all-in-one decision-making platform. Working at the Swiss headquarters of Board, she admits to having "the privilege to make a contribution to this great story," with a multicultural and diverse team.

Founded in 1994, Board has helped more than 3,000 organizations in multiple industries across the world to unify Business Intelligence, Business Planning and Predictive Analytics in a single, user-friendly solution. Working for a company with such unique goals means for Venturini, there is no such thing as a typical day— “The only “typical” thing is that I can`t start my day without an espresso,” she jokes.

Being responsible for such a wide-ranging part of the world, Venturini travels across Europe often, working to align with colleagues from different departments to discuss new ideas, initiatives, and ways to deliver more value to their customers to continue Board’s success.

There is no doubt that Venturini has all the tools to succeed, but as a woman in a male-dominated industry, there have been frustrating and unavoidable moments that have taken her aback. “Men and women communicate in different ways, we react to situations in different ways and it can be frustrating at times [but] I haven’t let myself think that there was a role or job I could not do,” she says. “A positive attitude, professionalism, and hard work,” goes a long way.

It comes as no surprise then, that for Venturini some of her fondest moments have been the more human moments shared between colleagues reaching out for advice. “I felt they saw me as someone they could trust and whose advice they valued,” she says. “For me, that’s [how I] measure my accomplishments as a manager.”