In celebration of the United Kingdom’s Black History Month, we’re highlighting Black voices in our London office.
The series is an extension of Amplitude’s ongoing efforts to elevate and honor the experience of Black employees at Amplitude and within the technology community.
This installment features Zak Atom-Ra, commercial account manager, discussing her surprising path to the technology industry, her role at Amplitude, and how to foster greater diversity in the tech sector.
What’s your work background?
My background includes roles at a legal tech company, where I served as a senior account executive and head of sales development management. Interestingly, my academic background is in biomedical sciences, so I took quite a detour into the sales world.
What’s your role at Amplitude?
As a commercial account manager at Amplitude, I primarily foster and nurture relationships with our customers. I work closely with them to understand their unique needs and objectives, ensuring they get the most value from our products and services. I help them identify opportunities to optimize their current usage of Amplitude, consulting on any strategic initiatives they may have and ultimately contributing to their overall satisfaction and success.
What does it mean to you to be Black in the tech space?
Being Black in tech means breaking barriers, shattering stereotypes, and paving the way for others. It’s about carrying the torch of innovation and excellence while lighting a path for fellow Black young people. My presence in tech isn’t just an opportunity; it's a responsibility to inspire, mentor, and create opportunities for the next generation.
What do you think the tech industry can do to be more inclusive?
Diversity rates for Black individuals in the U.S. and U.K. tech industry have historically been low and with limited progress. In 2022, Black people comprised around 8% of the tech workforce in the U.S., with even lower representation in leadership roles. In the UK, Black representation in tech was estimated at around 2%.
The tech industry has the power to create a more inclusive future by fostering diversity in all aspects. Embrace varied perspectives, promote equal opportunities, and invest in education and mentorship rates. The tech industry must also measure diversity comprehensively, including retention and hiring rates displayed internally and externally. This transparency should drive a commitment by all leadership, ensuring genuine progress instead of superficial metrics or empty words.
What advice would you give to people aspiring for success in your field?
To those aspiring for success as a commercial account manager, I offer this advice: Embrace relentless learning and adaptability. Stay curious about your industry, hone your negotiation skills, and build genuine relationships. Be resilient in the face of setbacks, constantly seeking growth opportunities. Success in this field comes from understanding your customers' unique needs, providing exceptional service, and continuously adapting to industry changes. Remember, it's not about transactions but building lasting partnerships and adding value.