Women in Tech Leadership: Natalie DeFrank

Leveraging empathy, strategic vision, and prioritization for personal and team development with a tech leader at Kraft Heinz

Women in Tech Leadership: Natalie DeFrank of Kraft Heinz


In our ongoing commitment to spotlighting influential women driving change in the tech industry, we are delighted to present an exclusive #MetaWomenInTech interview with Natalie DeFrank, a Senior Analyst at The Kraft Heinz Company, one of the largest food and beverage companies in the world.

Natalie DeFrank’s journey exemplifies the transformative power of young female leadership in the tech sector. Her insights and experiences show the importance of authenticity, resilience, and diversity in driving innovation and shaping the future of technology.

Women in Tech Natalie DeFrank Kraft Heinz Meta IT


Embarking on the Journey: Natalie’s Background and Influence

Natalie’s journey from Advertising and Public Relations to a leadership role in technology offers valuable insights into the evolving landscape of female leadership in the digital domain. Reflecting on her transition into the tech industry, Natalie shares, “I was always very interested in digital marketing and media throughout my studies in Advertising. I naturally progressed into the tech space, given how much technology shapes all industries and businesses.”

Her early involvement in a Real Estate technology company honed her technical skills, laying the foundation for her impactful role at Kraft Heinz. There, she bridges the divide between change management and technical infrastructure, fostering strong customer connections through a powerful digital presence.


Shaping a Trajectory through Challenges and Collaboration

Recalling pivotal moments in her career trajectory, Natalie notes, “I started working at an early age and was always pushed to be out of my comfort zone. I liked opportunities that included a lot of collaboration and personal skills.” Her journey, starting in the service industry working at a salon and later at a real estate tech company, gave her valuable lessons: “I always knew I wanted to work in an industry and role that was fast-paced and allowed me to focus on high-impact projects and move with autonomy to make decisions.”


Navigating Leadership Challenges

Discussing her ascent to leadership, Natalie acknowledges the challenges of effective communication and relinquishing control over outcomes: “Learning how to communicate more effectively… to nail down the largest priorities for the business where there is SO much work to be done to see an impact” was instrumental in her growth. There must be an acceptance for having shared, collaborative control: “A big challenge is also accepting the loss of control over outcomes. The more you move into a leadership position, the more reliant you become on peers to help.”


The Evolution of Female Leadership in Tech

Natalie observes a more accepting landscape for women in tech: “The evolution is very apparent over the last decade. Women are making up a little less than half of the technology industry.” She emphasizes the vital role women play in driving innovation and dispelling stigmas surrounding gender in STEM fields.


Natalie’s Advice for Aspiring Women in Tech Leaders

  • Be authentic and speak up: “Don’t doubt that your input and perspective are as valuable as anyone else’s… A room’s energy can shift when you confidently operate yourself with your authenticity and knowledge.”
  • Focus on solutions: “Remember, you can’t solve everything. But being solutions-based and prioritizing the problems you’re facing will help you operate effectively and lead teams to success.”
  • Manage your energy: “Accept that you won’t have control of everything and every outcome. Delegate, push back, and respect your time to avoid burnout and operate at your best self.”


The Power of Diversity

Natalie believes that having female leaders early into her career positively shaped her own growth and confidence in the industry. Also, she highlights the positive impact of gender diversity on team dynamics and project outcomes. “My peers and team members lean heavier on female coworkers. This has helped bring different perspectives forward, has led projects with high levels of emotional intelligence.”

There is still a bias and problem with respect in terms of gender, Natalie notes: “Working in a technical position within the industry, women can sometimes face bias and a lack of respect for their technical knowledge compared to men in similar roles. This is an ongoing hurdle, but it’s starting to improve as more women are represented and become outspoken in technical areas of the business.”

  • Be personable: “Build trust, comfort, and a strong team culture, no matter who you work with and where they are from.”
  • Learn about different cultures and backgrounds: “I can understand ways of working, communicating, and any barriers or obstacles they might face in a certain type of team or dynamic.”
  • Practice empathy, not judgment: “That’s something everyone tries to learn and work on in a leadership position.”


Facing Challenges and Achievements

Natalie’s significant achievement includes spearheading the launch of a Direct-to-Consumer platform, despite not having a lot of support or guidance, in which she also managed the post-launch strategy and execution. When starting a project, Natalie advises: “Before prioritizing and delegating, make sure you fully understand the context, including its value drivers. This will help you allocate your time effectively and identify other perspectives that can help you.”


Balancing Professional and Personal Life as a Woman in Tech

In managing career demands, Natalie prioritizes tasks and advocates for work-life balance within her team. “Respect yourself, your time, and what is feasible to get done without burning out… Work-life balance is a big push on my team.”

Also, it is important to count on your team: “Ask for help, and delegate when a task is too large for one person. I think it’s wonderful to be blessed with such an awesome team culture!”


The Importance of Female Leadership in Tech

Natalie underscores the critical role of female leadership in driving organizational effectiveness and innovation: “Representation, diversity, and creating effective organizations can’t be possible without female leadership and workforce. Attracting talent and becoming a modern organization where people want to work fundamentally require that representation. In technology or any field within an organization, you can’t grow or improve without representation, not just in ‘soft skill’ based roles but also in hard skill-based roles that were predominantly filled by males in the past. This dominance led to significant resistance to female leadership, inefficiencies, and uncollaborative work environments.”


Natalie DeFrank’s Final Message for Empowering the Next Generation of Women in Tech

“The tech space is always changing and it’s challenging to keep up with every area of the business. That’s why your partners and teams are the #1 most important area to develop. One truly can’t be agile in this industry without a high-functioning team. Leading yourself and others with empathy, strategic vision, and prioritization will definitely get you ahead! As the tech space continues to grow- we need diverse perspectives and female leadership to grow with it!”


Check out more of Meta IT’s interviews with Women in Tech Leadership

Nyla Beth Gawel at Women in Tech Org

Zahra Apert at Air Liquide


Meta IT’s #MetaWomenInTech Initiative

At Meta IT, we believe in an innovative, inclusive, and diverse future. In 2021, we launched #MetaWomenInTech to empower women on their professional journeys. We’re proud that women make up over 35% of our workforce, significantly exceeding the industry average, and we continually strive to grow this statistic even more.

Women also hold 30% of Leadership positions and make up 50% of the Board of Directors at Meta IT, demonstrating our commitment to fostering an inclusive and diverse Leadership team. At WOMEN IN TECH ®- Global Movement, our CDO, Simone Lettieri, was honored with the Global Leadership category award. This prestigious recognition celebrates her outstanding leadership, transformative initiatives, and global influence, underscoring Meta IT’s significant contributions to digital transformation on a global scale. Simone also won the prestigious third place in the WomenTech Network Awards for Digital Transformation Leader of the Year 2023 and Meta IT was a finalist as the Best Workplace for Women in Tech 2023.

We have organized training sessions featuring both internal and external speakers, and hosted specific webinars, such as Meta Trends, Meta Growth, and Meta Cast, aimed to inspire and encourage female entrepreneurship and career growth opportunities. We also established a dedicated networking platform to facilitate connections and further empower participants.

Since 2022, our Corporate Venture Capital arm, Meta Ventures, has furthered this goal through two editions of The Next Gen: Women in Tech – a startup competition whose goal is to accelerate women entrepreneurship across SaaS and B2B/B2B2C markets. In total, we have invested over US$200,000 in women-led startups.

Join us in making tech more inclusive for women!


Meta IT is a company with over 30 years in the market that opened its operations in North America in 2020. It offers digital transformation consulting and services, implementing technology solutions that accelerate results for large and mid-sized companies globally and supporting organizations and enterprises to rethink and update their business models. The company plans and executes projects that simplify the end-to-end digital transformation journey through strategic consulting, software development, application sustainment, SAP technologies, automation, also known as RPA, staff augmentation, and agile squads.