March is Women’s History month. To honor this important event Resonate is publishing a series of blog posts featuring several of the women here at Resonate. We spoke with them about a variety of topics related to their lives and careers. Each article in this series will highlight a theme that emerged from those conversations.
Have you had any women who have been mentors during your careers? The responses were a mix of yes’s and no’s which helped frame the bigger problem of female mentorship not being emphasized enough in the tech industry overall. Depending on the fields that they came from, some women at Resonate mentioned that they had been exposed to many more female bosses and women in upper management than others.
A lot of the women we spoke with said they hadn’t necessarily had female mentors in their careers thus far and as a result have taken on the responsibility of mentoring to younger females here at the Resonate to help bridge that gap for younger generations. The unfortunate trend seemed to be that many female executives at Resonater’s previous employers were more focused on preserving their spots at the top of the organizations than on helping other women succeed and achieve their career goals.
Our conversations also revealed that there are certain qualities that make up a good mentor versus a bad one. A few of the traits that we heard consistently were:
- being supportive
- instilling confidence in their teams
- being understanding of life circumstances
- fostering growth for members of their teams
- being positive
- leading by example
All of the women who came up in conversations as having been good mentors, whether male or female, had a mix of all of these traits. Each woman from Resonate mentioned how they are looking to now pay it forward and pass along the same positive experience to younger employees on their respective teams.
Estelle Peterson, a Team Lead on Resonate’s Engineering team, identified the fact that being a female on the engineering team has resulted in her often being the only female in a meeting. She talked about how a previous female engineer at Resonate was inspiring to her when she joined the company and instilled confidence in Estelle to not be afraid to speak up and join the conversations. Now as a Team Lead herself, Estelle is focusing on constantly becoming both a better engineer and a better leader to her own team.
Deb Correa, Resonate’s VP of Client Services, mentioned a previous boss who was smart and creative and had the attitude of “you can go in and get anything done if you put your mind to it”. The attitude of “you don’t say no, you get in and figure it out” is one that Deb has adopted in leading her own teams and that mentality has helped shape the success of Resonate’s Customer Service team today.
Mary Long, Resonate’s Executive Director of Client Solutions, was mentored by a female Senior VP at previous company. In turn Mary now helps younger women starting out in the sales field understand how the business works and gives them advice on how to succeed.
Being encouraging and positive were traits that Kelly Osterhout, Resonate’s Manager of Client Strategy, found in the hiring manager at one of her pervious companies. That hiring manager made people at the organization feel reassured and capable, and she personally taught Kelly how to set boundaries and expectations in a positive way. The hiring manager was also great at leading by example – something Kelly now does in her current role.
Another trend we heard about was people following great mentors throughout their careers. A great example of this is the fact that Julie McGoldrick, Resonate’s Director of Human Resources, worked for Resonate’s Deb Correa at a previous organization. Julie says Deb taught her a lot about leadership and life early on in her career which helped shape her as an employee and a person. Now Julie leads the Human Resources team at Resonate and works to instill those same lessons to her team and younger employees at the company.
As we all discussed different types of mentors, the conversations then moved on to the best pieces of advice the women at Resonate have received in their careers. Stay tuned for the next post that will focus on those answers!