Happy International Women’s Day! When it came time to think about how to celebrate this special day at MessageGears, I started to think about what I’d be interested in hearing from women throughout our organization.
As a woman myself, I know the unique abilities and skills we bring to the workplace as intimately as I know the unique challenges that we face every day.
Even more than just women in the workplace, the women of MessageGears are women in the tech industry, where we face even more unique challenges (and I’d say opportunities, too!).
I’m thrilled to bring you the insights that some of the women on the MessageGears team generously shared with me. As you read on, you’ll hear from:
- Ashley D’Onofrio, VP, Customer Success at Swrve, a MessageGears company
- Syleah Allen, Enterprise Account Executive
- India Waters, Associate Director of Technology Partners
- Alana Tinsley, Campaign Engineer
- Chrystalia Pines, Sales Enablement Specialist
- Tiffany Mills, VP of People
- Natalia Dykyj, CMO
We hope you’ll find something that resonates with you today.
Don’t be afraid to speak up
Ashley: Women – not just in tech – can often be made to work harder to be heard and seen. I handle this by pushing through without apology. I will sign up for projects, join meetings, and volunteer to present. If you do not put yourself out there, no one will do it for you.
Syleah: Ignore the noise! There will always be many voices in the business world to sway your thoughts. Trust and believe in yourself and your own strengths. You belong at the table too!
Chrystalia: One of those biggest struggles is just being heard. Our ideas and strides to change outdated processes or mindsets have a tendency to go unnoticed until they are spoken by a male counterpart. We tackle that challenge when we keep speaking, and making sure we use our voice for other women too. Keep taking up space and don’t be hesitant to claim your original thoughts!”
Tiffany: It’s not uncommon to feel like you are being left out or talked over in meetings or decision-making. I think I’m still learning how to navigate it but staying ahead of what is going on in tech and my personal discipline has helped me feel more confident to speak up.
Stay true to yourself
Natalia: No matter what we do, there seems to be this voice of societal pressure telling us that we’re doing it wrong. And for many of us, it’s easier said than done to just ‘ignore that voice.’ It was important to me to sit down and intentionally think through what is truly important to me and the trade-offs I’d be making. Now people’s expectations are just noise, because I’m confident that I’ve considered all sides and ultimately made the right pragmatic decisions for myself and my kids.
Ashley: Don’t change the way you behave, speak, operate because of what you think will resonate better with others. You were born to shine in your own way – do it without excuses.
“People’s expectations are just noise, because I’m confident that I’ve considered all sides and ultimately made the right pragmatic decisions for myself and my kids.”
– Natalia Dykyj, CMO
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
India: Speak up as often as possible when policies don’t consider a woman’s point of view. And ask questions. Ask a million questions.
Alana: Ask questions when it’s uncomfortable. You will always have to be an advocate for yourself because at the end of the day it’s you and your career that you need to lead.
Tiffany: Don’t be afraid to ask for help. This is so important. No one can achieve their goals on their own so don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Be proud of all you’ve accomplished
Natalia: The thing I’m most proud of is having been a part of a team that accomplished a lot – and we did it together. Being a part of a team of talented, hard-working, and imperfect humans who can take on big challenges and move mountains is like magic to me. My favorite thing (professionally) is to be able to look back and say “wow, look at what we did; and we did it together!”
Ashley: I am proud of showcasing my strengths and progressing up the corporate ladder while also having children. I enjoy my job, but I also love being a mom. Ensuring I do my best at both can sometimes be a large burden, but being recognized at work allows for positive reflection and pride in my personal accomplishments. (aside from being mommy!)
Syleah: There are not a ton of black and brown female Account Executives in the software world. I am most proud of being a part of that small community and working to pave the way to help expand our community every day.
Tiffany: I get the most joy out of developing others around me. I was lucky that I had two really great female mentors who helped me get to where I am now so it is really important for me to do that for people who report to me. I think the first time I was able to promote someone was really great. It really felt like everything had come full circle at that moment.
“I am proud of showcasing my strengths and progressing up the corporate ladder while also having children. I enjoy my job, but I also love being a mom.”
– Ashley D’Onofrio, VP, Customer Success at Swrve, a MessageGears company
Get Inspired on International Women’s Day
This International Women’s Day we hope that some of these experiences will help to inspire you. Whether you’re a woman, an ally or someone who loves a woman, we can all have a role in making sure women in the workplace are seen, heard and appreciated for our unique contributions.
If you’d like to support organizations designed to promote and support women in the workplace, check out these important groups:
- She can code, a group dedicated to helping women to enter, remain, and excel in the tech industry.
- Women in Tech, the world’s leading organization that fosters Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity in STEAM.
- Women of Email, a professional network looking to drive positive change within the industry and professional growth for women at all stages of their digital marketing career.
- Tech Ladies, a worldwide community of supportive women in tech.
Happy International Women’s Day from all of us at MessageGears!