In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re turning to a few of the most incredible women we know — our fellow Resonators — to learn more about the experience of women in tech. We asked our colleagues what inspired them to pursue a career in tech, how other women can break into the tech industry, what they wish they’d known earlier in their career, and how men can support their female colleagues. Their answers were insightful, honest, and inspiring, and we’re proud to have so many incredible women within the Resonation.
What inspired you to work in tech?
I wanted to be at the forefront of business transformations and technology was driving that. – Carly Napoli, Director of Sales Engineering
I knew I wanted a “business job,” and just sort of fell into it while working at AOL back in the day. I just fell in love with tech and understanding how internet and tech products work and love looking for ways to make them better. – Jen Flynn, Director, Product Marketing
I kind of fell in to tech, but now that I am here, I feel empowered. It is good to be part of such a cutting edge and ever changing industry. – Jenny Toole, Human Resources Manager
Don’t be afraid to continue moving forward – and if there’s not a space for you to do so, create it. When it comes to careers in tech, brilliant minds are everywhere, so don’t forget to remind yourself that you’re one of them. After all, the only place women belong in are the places we want to be. – Maddie McCall, Senior Survey Operations Analyst
The opportunity to work for a great boss, Ed Shenker, as well as the desire to into sales side to be on the tip of the spear for growing and expanding the business – Shiva Sharif, Executive Director – Insights & Activation Solutions
Do you have advice for women looking to ignite a career in tech?
Never get too comfortable, tech is changing by the second. Lean into new things and stay inspired by the impacts you can make. – Katelyn Fleming, Media Product Manager
Technology shouldn’t be daunting, so don’t let it intimidate you, especially if you don’t have a technical background. At the end of the day – technology is built for humans to make their lives easier. – Jen Flynn
Read, listen and network. Anytime you are trying to get into something new, you have to be willing to learn and listen. Make connections and find ways to talk about things you don’t know about. – Jenny Toole
Don’t doubt yourself and be fearless. Life is too short for the alternative. It’s important to come to the table with ideas and to speak up while being mindful that regardless of gender there is an art and science for effective communication. During my career, I’ve definitely experienced being marginalized but I never internalized it. – Shiva Sharif
Technology is evolving almost every day like never before. Stay posted on the latests and don’t be comfortable with just one thing. – Shweta Trivedi, Manager, Data Assurance
If you could share one lesson with your 22 year old self, what would you say?
Things may not look exactly as you envisioned and thatʻs okay, maybe even great. As you grow and change so will your goals and definitions of success, provide yourself the freedom to move with that. – Carly Napoli
Ask questions, dig deeper & challenge the status quo. Be your own biggest advocate. (I guess that’s 2 lessons 😉) – Katelyn Fleming
More so advice to my 17 year old self – take some software engineering classes in college but also learn the business side. – Jen Flynn
Don’t be afraid to advocate for your work, your accomplishments, and your career. No one is going to do it for you. – Jenna Boutwell, Campaign Manager, Agency
Focus on education and learning. Knowledge is power! – Jenny Toole
My third day at Resonate was also my 22nd birthday, which makes this question even more meaningful to me. While it’s only been two and a half years since then, I would tell her that by pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, continuing to speak up and ask questions, and understanding your worth and the value you bring to the table, growth is inevitable. But what the best part is, is that growth is both internal and environmental; a new voice is added to the conversation, a different perspective is offered, and solutions that were once ignored or unheard of are suddenly brought to light. – Maddie McCall
Write a book while you are experiencing and navigating through it as you are not alone and you can help others while also brining the issue to the forefront when it’s not being talked about or addressed in a mainstream way. Your voice and ideas would be another drop in the ocean to help create a tsunami for changes we are seeing in 2021. – Shiva Sharif
“Don’t limit yourself, you can achieve whatever you want” – that’s the one thing I constantly keep on reminding myself til now. – Shweta Trivedi
What advice would you give to male colleagues looking to support women, particularly women in tech?
Notice when womenʻs ideas fall to deaf ears and help amplify the ideas that deserve it. – Carly Napoli
Often times I don’t realize it if I’m the only woman in the room, so if you comment on it, it can make me feel awkward (but also like a bad ass). – Jen Flynn
Don’t “help” assertive, tenacious women by telling them they’ll be more successful if they soften their vibe. You wouldn’t tell a man that. – Jenna Boutwell
Learn about unconscious bias. We all have them but the more you know, the more you can be aware. – Jenny Toole
Actively listen when a woman is speaking – don’t interrupt or simply wait for your turn to talk. Take a look at the people in your meetings or on your team; what types of people are you missing? Don’t be afraid to call on others or yourself to do better. – Maddie McCall
We all have unconscious biases that interfere with what we consciously want to do. An initiative created by Harvard University researchers assesses “your conscious and unconscious preferences for over 90 different topics,” I would encourage them to take the short survey Project Implicit; we can truly support someone from a place of awareness. – Shiva Sharif
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