Portia Kersten Brings Powerful Leadership to SKOUT

Portia Kersten is the current CFO at Skout which is a mobile network and community platform for connecting with people from all over the globe. For more than a decade, she has worked with start-ups and high growth companies in different industries to raise capital and has maximized growth potential, operated for large scale and achieved success. Kersten has been instrumental in the growth of Skout, even though she is not the founder.

In an interview with Laura Dunn, she discusses her role as a CFO at Skout. She says she was brought up poor with no TV. She was a voracious reader, which led her to aspire to greater things. Her favorite role models were Charles Dickens and his characters, her own name taken from Portia from Shakespeare, these are the characters that made it happen in the world. Her belief is anyone can rise to the top as long as she has conviction, a vision and bring change to make this world a better place, as an example Margaret Thatcher, whom she greatly admires. As far as balancing her personal and professional life, she only does high priority things.

Portia, says the biggest issue for women getting to the top of the leaderboard in the workplace is confidence – women must have confidence with logic and politeness. She credits her mentor and role model, Robin Wolaner, founder of Parenting Magazine. She now enjoys mentoring younger women starting their career.

To ambitious women seeking to become a CFO, she says to embrace versatility, and that always to remember you’re a business person first and a finance person second. Patience is key to getting to a C-level job. Her advice is not to let other define you but always question the status quo. Be friends with people who consider and respect your opinions and don’t dismiss you and everyone else comes second.

As for the future, Kirsten hopes to continue to bring people together and have a positive experience. A recent feedback from the Skout Philippines community was so fulfilling, when they came together to support a local member in a medical emergency. That’s what make this world a better place for a community to reach out.

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