Women in Tech: Career & Leadership Advice from the Women of Brazen
Inspired by Women’s History Month, we asked the women of Brazen to share their career and leadership advice, their thoughts about women in tech, and more. Read on to hear the inspiring advice for women working in the technology industry some of the incredible women of Brazen shared!
What is the number one piece of career advice you'd give to women?
“Trust your instincts, build relationships, and prioritize self-care in your hustle. Be vocal about your aspirations and introspectively reflect on your learning experiences “ — Hermella Tekle, Account Manager
“You belong in tech. We need you because we need people on our team who are representative of the people who use the technologies and products being made. The best teams are made up of a variety of people with a variety of perspectives.” — Jennifer Forrest, Senior Technical Project Manager
“To young women starting out, I would say, carry yourself with confidence, even when you don't feel confident. You'll be surprised how much more you know than the other people in the room. Need an extra confidence boost? Do the research, and back what you say up with facts and data. Taking the subjectivity/personal aspect out of it should make you more confident in your opinions, decisions, and actions, and will also make you a more indispensable asset wherever you go. Also, to any woman exploring new opportunities, I'd say, ask the women you interview with about how they feel about their company culture as it relates to gender. It'll not only give you real insight, but will also deepen your alliance with that woman and the real power comes in numbers! And if you're not interviewing with any women, you may want to ask yourself why that is.” — Lisa Rossi, Director, Talent Acquisition & People
“Surround yourself with men and women who bring up your name in a room full of opportunities. And get into sales. It's honestly an amazing career for women. If you excel (exceed quotas) as an individual contributor, not only can you set yourself for solid financial success long-term but you're on your own time (i.e. you can go to that pediatrician appointment mid-day and pick up kids at daycare at 4 no problem). It's like owning your own business -- if you're good at it, you can really make it work for you.” — Ashley O'Connor, SVP Accounts & Strategic Partnerships
“Be your authentic self. Your ideas and ambitions matter. Your gender does not define you. In your professional development, ask for what you want, go after what you desire and find mentors who are committed to your success.” — Angela Jensen, Customer Success
“Always strive to learn something new each day.“ — Katie Perciballi - Engineering, Information Security Manager
“Don’t be afraid to speak your mind. You have ideas, share them. Also, you’re not bossy, you’re assertive.” — Cori Daido, New Business Sales
“Be yourself, be professional and don't let gender define you or limit your options.” — Charlotte Peyton, University Account Executive
“Never stop advocating for yourself. Remember, you are the boss of your own life, and you call the shots.” — Sierra Ryan, VP of Customer Success
How has being a woman and/or a mother impacted how you manage your role working in tech or at Brazen?
“Becoming a mom made me more vulnerable and more human in some ways. As a leader, I think showing vulnerability (i.e. I'm here to try, not here to be perfect) and being real and genuine helps create and establish those relationships that are critical with people you manage and who manage you.” — Ashley O'Connor, SVP Accounts & Strategic Partnerships
“Being a woman has made me always want to empower and lift up other women, regardless of what company I'm at or industry I'm in. I want to create spaces for myself to be successful in my professional career, but I also want to find ways to create and foster leadership roles for other women (especially women of color).” — Angela Jensen, Customer Success
“For me, being a woman in tech is all about finding the right company, and making sure I’m not treated differently because I’m a woman. Brazen’s culture gives me the opportunity to be myself, collaborate with others, and ensure my thoughts and ideas will be heard.” — Cori Daido, New Business Sales
“Being a mom has strengthened my time management and project prioritization skills. It's also helped me better deal with stress and given me more confidence in everything I do. If I can make a teething toddler smile, I can do anything!” — Mimi Lombardo, Marketing Demand Generation Manager
“As a working mom, I feel like I have a responsibility not only to my daughter, but to all the future working moms at Brazen to show you can do both...and in the way that works for your lifestyle, too.” — Sierra Ryan, VP of Customer Success
“Balancing motherhood with my work is exciting and strenuous. Being in the security field and working for employers that support women and families made the transition back to work after maternity leave easier. Flexible working hours in the office and at home was the biggest help.” — Katie Perciballi - Engineering, Information Security Manager
What has Brazen done right to support you as a woman?
“Brazen was founded on the premise that everyone deserves a job they love, and we have been very thoughtful about maintaining that part of our culture, especially as we’ve grown the past year. Everyone is encouraged to bring their ‘whole selves’ to work, and not just our ‘work’ self. I love seeing so many women (and working moms) in leadership roles at Brazen (and that it’s totally acceptable if your kids/partner/pet/etc. makes an appearance on a call!)” — Sierra Ryan, VP of Customer Success
“This is not even my first week of work at Brazen and already I am being asked as a woman what the company can do - and being acknowledged as a woman in tech.” — Charlotte Peyton, University Account Executive
“As a doctoral student in organizational learning and leadership, I love experimenting and connecting research theories with my Brazen role. Leadership is always open to hearing my feedback and recommendations, allowing me to bring my authentic self to work. The synergy between my studies and professional role allows me to think creatively and critically - to achieve my life-long goal of impacting my community and building relationships.” — Hermella Tekle, Account Manager
“My manager supports my public speaking and other community involvement.” — Jennifer Forrest, Senior Technical Project Manager
“Having flexible working hours makes me feel like I never have to choose between my responsibilities as a mother and as an employee. I love that Brazen has several women in leadership and management roles.” — Mimi Lombardo, Marketing Demand Generation Manager
What would you like to see change regarding women in tech in general?
“We have a lot of gaps to address, in order to create more equity for women—particularly women of color. I recently read that over the past decade, on average, women account for about 17% of the digital workforce, so we really need to diversify the industry. That means supporting women’s work and efforts and providing equal pay, to start. Just this past December, we saw 140k jobs lost during the pandemic, and all of those were held by women (net). It’s very disheartening, but both women and men have to keep advocating for change. It can’t be one-sided.” — Sierra Ryan, VP of Customer Success
“I would love to see more women with different backgrounds in tech, specifically in leadership roles. Children need to see more women leading teams and being the face of successful companies.” — Mimi Lombardo, Marketing Demand Generation Manager
“Lack of representation in the tech industry can leave women of color without role models or support systems. It’s going to take an all-hands approach to fix tech’s disparities since the root causes range from policies to the education system to talent recruitment. Although policies are essential, it is more impactful to include those who will ultimately make the change. Brazen is generative in making a difference in communities, leaving a footprint, and setting the standard in the tech industry. The Brazen Opportunity Fund (BOF) provides underrepresented and underserved minorities connections and conversations that can further advance their careers and professional development through the use of the Brazen platform.“ — Hermella Tekle, Account Manager
P.S. If you’re interested in an opportunity working with these incredible women at Brazen - we’re hiring!
Check out our open roles at https://www.brazen.com/opportunities