Women Who Inspire: Mariya Cole


Prime 8 Director of Strategic Accounts Mariya Cole is a terrific example of an exceptional woman in leadership. With over 15 years of experience in Technology Consulting, Business Strategy, and Program Management, Mariya has worked with organizations such as T-Mobile, Microsoft, AT&T and AWS, helping these technology leaders to empower their people, improve their processes and build effective teams.  

Combining her deep industry knowledge with a Bachelor of Business Degree from The University Washington, Mariya leads a large account and delivery team of professionals for one of Prime 8’s largest clients. Mariya strives for continuous improvement in her teams, collaborating efficiently and using business insight effectively to stay ahead of the competition.

When she’s not working, Mariya likes to spend time with her family – her husband Jon and 3 wonderful children plus extended family. She has traveled to many countries outside of the US, but she really does love being home! She loves Washington and all that’s here – the rain, mountains and water.


What has been the best part about being a woman in business? 

Empowering other woman to achieve their potential; knowing we are able to balance and multi-task remarkably well!.

What is the most challenging part about being a woman in business?

Nomenclatures that are applied to a direct woman are not the same when applied to a man.  When a woman is direct, she can sometimes be considered aggressive or mean vs. being labeled “take charge” and “get things done”. Also, when a woman shows compassion or empathy – she is sometimes labeled as being soft or emotional.


What advice do you have for young business women?

Never be afraid to ask – I see capable woman who don’t “ask”.  Whether that’s the raise you want or the vacation – just “ask” and never stop asking because you won’t get what you want unless you ask - and never stop.


Who are the women that inspire you?

Some classics: 

#1 Joan of Arc – she stood up for what she believed in and she fought during a time that women were not in the battlefield – yet she did due to her beliefs.  This can be hard in our world today. 

#2 Oprah Winfrey – I base this off of her professional career – she has shown compassion and caring attitude to so many and I strive to do this.  

#3 Rosa Parks– She refused to give up her seat to a white person; she was legally required to during this time in history, yet she had courage and refused to do so because she wanted to be treated equally. She inspires me to be courageous.


How do you balance being a mother and a professional?

Sometimes not so well! I would never make a good stay at home mom as I enjoy being out and working with others. However, I make sure to put my phone or tablet down and listen to my children so they know they are important to me and what they say is important (even when it is something I know or really don’t want to hear).  Then when I have buckle down or be gone due to work from them - I don’t feel guilty (or as guilty).