Women in Ardoq: Leading, Transforming, and Inspiring

8 Mar 2024

by Deborah Theseira

Last year, we spoke to some of the most inspiring women in Enterprise Architecture to get insights into their paths into the field as well as how diversity and inclusion will shape EA’s future for the better. Diversity continues to matter because, well, there still isn’t enough of it. Especially when it comes to tech.

The situation is no different in Enterprise Architecture where women make up only 12.3% of Enterprise Architects in the US.  

“The need for diversity is magnified by the fact that architecture, in today’s complex, interconnected, and digital world, requires a broader spectrum of ideas, perspectives, approaches, talents, and experiences to thrive.”

- Whynde Kuehn, Founder of Women In Architecture

Ardoq has made great strides as a brand, a company, and a platform, but how are we leading in this vital area and working towards an equal gender balance in our organization? Our co-founder and CEO Erik Bakstad is proud of the progress over the last ten years but recognizes that we can still do better:

“Ardoq has come a long way from 8 guys in our early days at StartupLab in 2016. We’re now a global company of over 200 people, and our organization should reflect that. 35% of Ardoqians are women, much more than the 22% percent average for tech roles in European companies, which is great to see. We’re proud of this progress, but know that embracing diversity and inclusion is a neverending journey of learning that we need to continue to focus on. An important signal of our commitment is the fact that women now represent almost half of our management team. They are talented individuals whose valuable experiences will supercharge our growth.”
- Erik Bakstad, Co-founder and CEO at Ardoq


Visibility Matters

Last year, we were part of “Women In Architecture (WIA) takes over BIL-T,” an event celebrating the contributions of women in architecture and exploring challenges they continue to face and overcome. We were privileged to host an insightful panel discussion on how diversity enhances innovation and creativity in EA as a field.

In our own sales kickoff earlier this year, the packed itinerary and stage featured an equal share of female voices, including a panel session specifically on empowering excellence led by a trio of Ardoq’s star ladies from across the commercial organization. 

Visibility and visible commitment are crucial to promoting diversity and inclusion in the field and in our own organization. These events are just some of the steps we have taken in our efforts to drive and support diversity.

Inspiring Leaders in Ardoq

Right now, in 2024, we’re proud to say that we’re improving our diversity one incredible leader at a time. Here, we wanted to highlight some of the women charting the way ahead for Ardoq. These five fantastic individuals are leading teams across the company, powering our ambitious growth with their wealth of experience and unique perspectives. We asked them about their approach to leadership and what sets Ardoq apart as a workplace for women.

women in ardoq

helen sutton circle

Helen Sutton, Chief Revenue Officer at Ardoq

Helen brings a wealth of experience to Ardoq, having led successful teams in several SaaS companies. She’s focused on continually scaling our world-class SaaS platform and fostering strong client and partner relationships.

What is your approach to leadership and success in your role?

The best sales process is when we really understand the problems to solve and the desired business value. That means more listening and fewer feature showoffs. It's about partnership, not pitches.

What makes Ardoq an amazing workplace for women?

Ardoq is an amazing workplace for women because it nurtures a culture of respect, collaboration, and mentorship, enabling us to excel and lead in our fields.

melissa mills circleMelissa Mills, Director of Product Management

With experience from Google and Kahoot!, Melissa and her team are accelerating growth and diving deep into AI advancements for our users. She is passionate about all the incredible possibilities of tech and excited to see where she can take the Ardoq platform.

What is your approach to leadership and success in your role?

Innovation in product management isn't just about the next big feature; it's about deeply understanding our users' journey and crafting solutions that not only meet but anticipate their needs. Our vision is to create products that empower, not overwhelm.

What makes Ardoq an amazing workplace for women?

Ardoq stands out as an amazing workplace because it genuinely fosters an environment where women can lead, innovate, and grow without limits.

claire carpenter circle Claire Carpenter, VP of Sales (North America)

Claire has over two decades of experience in technology sales and consulting with over a decade in software sales leadership. She’s passionate about the sales profession, especially when it comes to getting and keeping more women in the tech sales ecosystem.

What is your approach to leadership and success in your role?

True leadership in sales comes from the courage to be authentic, the strength to be empathetic, and the wisdom to know that our success is measured not by transactions but by the lasting relationships we build and the value we deliver.

What makes Ardoq an amazing workplace for women?

What makes Ardoq exceptional is its commitment to diversity and equality, offering a platform where women's voices are heard, valued, and can truly make a difference.


monica visconti patel circle

Monica Visconti Patel, Chief Marketing Officer

Monica brings close to three decades of experience in the tech sector to Ardoq. With a track record of leading successful marketing teams in diverse SaaS enterprises, Monica's emphasis lies primarily in delivering powerful propositions, pipeline, and performance.

What is your approach to leadership and success in your field?

Effective marketing leadership is about cutting through the noise to deliver messages that matter. It's my focus to guide our team in inspiring action and forging meaningful connections with our audience but at the same time, aligning with the goals and objectives of our revenue strategy.

What makes Ardoq a great workplace for women?

Ardoq's intentional focus on hiring and growing experienced female leaders fosters innovation, diversity, and trust, making it an exceptional workplace for women.

ingrid naustdal circle Ingrid Naustdal, Chief of Staff

Ingrid has experience with both management consulting and data science from Boston Consulting Group (BCG). She ensures we work together across teams, creating true value for our customers.

What is your approach to leadership and success in your role?

My leadership philosophy is about creating clarity and alignment, ensuring that every project we undertake at Ardoq is strategically sound and executed with precision. Success to me means seeing our high-priority initiatives not only completed but also adding real value to our organization.

What makes Ardoq an amazing workplace for women?

The reason Ardoq is a remarkable place for women is its unwavering support for our growth and leadership, fostering an environment where we are encouraged to thrive professionally and personally.

Diversity and working with diversity is an important foundation for Ardoq’s continued success and something our People and Organization team consciously prioritizes and strives for. Our dedicated Talent Acquisition team works systematically to ensure a diverse selection of candidates. Learn more about how we make diversity, equity, and inclusion part of our hiring processes.

As we continue to grow and evolve at a breakneck pace, so too does our quest for top talent from all walks of life. If you’re inspired or intrigued to see if Ardoq could be the next step in your career, visit our Careers page and explore our current openings. 

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Deborah Theseira Deborah Theseira Deborah is a Content Specialist at Ardoq. She wields words in the hope of demystifying the complex and ever-evolving world of Enterprise Architecture. She is excited about helping the curious understand the immense potential it has for driving effective change.
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