Portia Kersten, Chief Financial Officer of Skout, was recently profiled in an article for the Huffington Post. In the interview, Kersten explains how she grew Skout into the largest global platform for meeting new people. Kersten describes her upbringing as difficult because she came from a family of limited economic means. Thanks to her vivid imagination, she developed a passion for aspiring to greater things. Before leading Skout, Kersten worked at a variety of companies of all sizes and became a serial start-up CFO.
Kersten answered a variety of questions about personal life balance, role models and female empowerment for the interview. She explains that she operates at a high level of efficiency in both her personal and professional life and only chooses the highest priority of activities to fill her time. She looks to Margaret Thatcher as her definition of a capable, successful leader because she worked her way up from the very bottom and stayed true to her convictions while doing it. In giving advice to other women in the business world, Kersten implores them to embrace versatility and always maintain the role of a businessperson first and a finance person second. She also encourages women to stay ahead of the pack and not be brought down by any negativity in the room or from colleagues.
In describing her experience at Skout, Kersten is extremely grateful for all of the opportunities she has had at the company and is very enthusiastic about the potential for Skout to continue to grow and maintain its position as a leader in the market. She acknowledged all of the talented staff and colleagues she is able to work with at Skout, to which she attributes a great deal of the company’s breakout success. Skout has taken on an international presence and continues to grow all around the globe. Kersten described an atmosphere of teamwork and collegiality among all Skout employees, which helps them to feel connected all over the world. Kersten says she truly enjoys mentoring other women in business, especially younger women, as she has very high hopes for the next generation of women leaders in business. She encourages all women to dig deep to find a sense of confidence, which Kersten says will allow them to succeed in both business and personal life and maintain their convictions while doing so. Kersten certainly serves as a shining example to future female leaders.