Sara Hale discovered her strength behind a keyboard and monitor during computer science classes in college, which captured her interest and sparked a love affair with technology that evolved into a lifelong career.
“Back then, I just loved programming,” said Hale, managing partner and co-founder of Coastal Cloud, a Salesforce.com consulting partner. “When I started taking computer science classes, I realized that was where my strengths lie – helping bridge the gap between the people who understand technology well and the people that need to use it.”
Hale, a Duke University graduate, gains a lot of satisfaction from configuring and implementing cloud-based solutions for business clients. Solving problems is what’s kept her in the industry over 25 years.
Although forging her own path as a female business leader has challenged her, Hale emulated the best traits of the mentors and managers throughout her career and stuck to an elementary rule she learned as a child.
“I try to treat others the way I want to be treated,” Hale said. “If you treat customers and the people on your team the way you want to be treated, then things just work.”
Treating other with kindness, consideration and equality can certainly be seen in the corporate culture at Coastal Cloud. The technical consulting firm is run and owned by a woman and 35 percent of its staff are female, a high number for this industry. It’s something Hale is very proud of.
“Because we created our own company, we are creating a better work/life balance,” she said. “We are trying to create an environment that supports what people’s work and personal goals are, so they can complete them at the same time. Because of that, we get to retain great talent.”