Cindy Fagen is chief operating officer for SAP Labs Canada. Her role is focused on growing and executing the strategic vision and mission of SAP’s product development and innovation hubs in four locations in and around Canada’s major cities. Working alongside field organizations in Canada and globally, Cindy connects the technology innovations coming out of SAP’s cutting-edge Canadian labs with some of the largest and most advanced companies in the world. Her chief goal is to create an environment inside Labs Canada that empowers development teams to do their best work in solving the business challenges of today and tomorrow. In 2009, Cindy founded Scoop Media, and has since brought this entrepreneurial experience to SAP where she fosters an intrapreneurial mindset to create best in class innovation. Cindy is a customer-focused executive with a reputation of establishing winning cultures and driving innovation. She is passionate about women in leadership, encouraging entrepreneurs to take a leap of faith and giving back to the startup community through mentorship.
I chose my career path because… I wouldn’t really say I “chose” my career path. I did however choose tech because it is fast paced and because I love innovation. My career path was not linear in terms of progression. In every role I had thus far, I worked with amazing talent to solve problems and build value from ground zero. My path always had me solution-focused, with the customer at the center of every decision. Whether as an intrapreneur or entrepreneur I brought a mindset to solve problems in creative ways.
My proudest accomplishment is… My daughter Ella (14) and my son Kaden (12)
My boldest move to date was… Starting my own company. It’s hard to make that first step knowing the risks that come with it.
I surprise people when I tell them… My first position at SAP was being COO, despite not having a background in tech. I tell people all the time, if you want to be in the tech industry, you don’t necessarily need to have a degree in STEM related fields of study.
My best advice to people starting their career is… Stay curious. Allow yourself to fail but fail forward. Your network is everything. Pursue opportunities with enormous discipline
“Always have a mindset for growth. Frame your failures as learning opportunities. Always stand by decisions you truly believe in, and never be shy to ask questions. Get out there and seek ownership and accountability.”
My best advice from a mentor was…Invite diverse thinking to your table and build value for your customer and success will follow.
I would tell young girls thinking about a career in STEM… To always have a mindset for growth. Frame your failures as learning opportunities. Always stand by decisions you truly believe in, and never be shy to ask questions. Get out there and seek ownership and accountability.
My biggest setback was… Getting so many ‘No’s, especially when I was raising capital for my start-up. Get through the No’s to get to the Yes!
I overcame it by… Having conviction and vision in my solution and showing that passion to people in my network.
If I were to pick one thing that has helped me succeed, it would be… My family and my network. Make sure you go out there and build one for yourself.
If you googled me, you still wouldn’t know…That I absolutely love designing spaces and being creative with interior design. In fact, I designed my own cottage with ‘hygge’ design in mind.
I stay inspired by… People who approach problems with a growth mindset are so inspiring to me.
The future excites me because… It’s quickly changing and transforming. What a time to be an innovator! We’ve come so far in the last few years, and that’s very exciting. It’s even more exciting when you consider future innovations and the impact that they will have on changing our lives forever.
My next step is… Getting another espresso to recharge before I continue advocating for women in STEM and leadership.
Hear the rest of her incredible story at The Next Frontier: Meet the Tech Visionaries Designing the Future a WOI Spotlight Event – proudly presented by BDC . We are thrilled to announce our return to Montreal for one exclusive engagement on May 15th. Join us for a career-defining evening of learning, connection and inspiration! Tickets are available here.