It hasn’t always been easy for female trailblazers in today’s tech industry, where only 5% of leadership positions are held by women. Susan Marshall, CEO, and Founder of Torchlite began her tech journey when she moved from the Midwest to California in the early 90’s. Due to her proximity to the growing evolution of technology on the West Coast, her interest in the industry grew quickly.
After working with tech giants like Apple, Adobe and Salesforce, Susan realized that a large number of companies didn’t know how to get the help they needed to unlock the immense value of their CRM software. She was also aware of tech experts in the field that would eagerly fill those career gaps. In response, Susan launched Torchlite in 2015, a marketplace that enables companies of any size to access and manage highly sought after MarTech freelance talent from anywhere in the world.
With 25+ years of tech experience under her belt, Susan witnessed the industry, unfortunately, underrepresent, underpay, and discriminate against women. Fortunately, a skill of Susan’s has always been the ability to speak and communicate the language of tech leaders and engineers in layman’s terms. Throughout the beginning of her career, she would build rapport with her male colleagues to bring products to the market. It took a great deal of patience but keeping her focus ultimately led her to C-suite opportunities.
Although 40% of all U.S. businesses are started by women, only 3% of all venture funding is given to said businesses. Being a female CEO and securing venture funding for Torchlite meant Susan needed to be present at the table and make her voice heard. Her keen business sense and motivation to positively impact the tech industry led to a partnership with Salesforce, which then drove tech trailblazers to launch the Torchlite Marketplace for Salesforce Essentials earlier this year. This new marketplace is a way for small businesses to access certified Salesforce Essentials Advisors on-demand with no long-term contracts, minimums, or limits. Through the Torchlite Marketplace, Salesforce Essentials Advisors can find work online and small businesses get access to the talent they need to run and grow their businesses.
Torchlite is an ambitious niche marketplace meeting the needs of small and micro-businesses while employing highly trained freelancers. And because it’s a freelancing platform, they create opportunities for people to work outside the traditional office, which is a culture that has grown immensely since the onset of COVID-19. Torchlite freelancers are following rigorous training courses to establish their own credentials and value in an increasingly expansive job market.
“The advice I’d give to other women pursuing leadership positions is to never let anyone tell you what is and is not possible,” said Marshall. “Find your source of inspiration and make it your north star to create your own path. I’ve witnessed transformed lives because of women’s ability to work as a remote freelance professional.”
About Susan Marshall
Susan Marshall is a 25+ year technology professional, having worked at Adobe, Apple, and Salesforce. As the visionary behind Torchlite, Susan brought the first Torchlite Marketplace online in 2015 to create a roadmap for marketers to successfully navigate the digital learning curve ahead, while giving highly skilled, professional freelancers the opportunity to expand their own businesses. Now a Certified Salesforce Partner, Torchlite’s primary focus is to serve businesses working with cross-cloud Salesforce products. Susan loves technology, digital marketing, and building teams of super-smart people.