She's proof women can thrive in high-tech field

You don't see many women executives in high-tech companies. First, there aren't very many women engineers, explains Marcia Glow, so it's not likely the people working their way up the ranks or spinning off their own electronics companies will be women.

And for women without an engineering background, ''there's a perception . . . they can't get in,'' says this platinum-blonde vice-president at Xebec.

Ms. Glow had that same feeling in 1980, when she graduated from business school at the University of California in Los Angeles and went to work for Xebec as a consultant. Her specialty was marketing and finance, and her background was doing consulting work for private medical clinics. ''Not being an engineer, I was concerned what contribution I could make to high-tech,'' she says.

But she found that engineering experience ''was not as helpful as you might think.'' She had to learn the ''techie'' lingo and the products, but ''the business changes so fast, what you really want are people with a basic understanding of business.'' And that's why she thinks this field holds a lot of opportunity for women.

The high-tech field is satisfying, Ms. Glow comments shortly before she presents Xebec to a group of Boston analysts. It's ''perfect for high achievers, '' as she describes herself.

Being in charge of corporate development at a company that was pulling in $11 million in revenues when she joined, is now in the $50 million range, and still growing at a clip keeps a high achiever happy. She likes it, Ms. Glow says, ''because I can keep going with it. My position changes almost every day. There are so many areas to make a contribution.''

of 5 stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read 5 of 5 free stories

Only $1 for your first month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.