Companies That Care

How This Senior Product Manager Navigated Learning She Was Pregnant on Her First Day at Addepar

To learn more about Addepar and their open roles, visit them here.

"I found out I was pregnant on my first day at Addepar," Shonan Vora recently explained to us from her office in sunny Mountain View, CA, while taking a break as the lead product manager on Addepar's recently announced Schwab integration.

"I was in a confused state of mind. I had just started a brand new job. Before Addepar, I had spent my career in the financial services industry, where things are very different. I was very embarrassed, initially. What are they going to think of me? I had a meeting with my manager once I was past my first trimester. I said, 'I'm sorry, I know you just hired me, but I'm pregnant and I'm going to have to go on leave soon.' He was like, 'What do you mean, you're sorry? You have to go on with your life. You can't stop your life just because you got a new job.' I was always grateful for that, but not just for him. Everybody in the company completely supported me through it."

While other companies may have balked at receiving news like the update Shonan delivered within 90 days of starting her new role, Addepar, a financial platform bringing common sense to investing, proved to stay true to their pragmatic principles throughout Shonan's pregnancy and beyond. They know what all mother's know: just because a woman has children, it doesn't make her less competent or capable to do her job, and do it well.

"Whether it was my pregnancy, my maternity leave or something else, they didn't give me less responsibility. I was in the middle of some very big projects when I went on maternity leave. They didn't take anything away from me, which was my worst fear. I have had an excellent experience with the company starting from the first day."

Addepar even provided her with access to LUCY, a parental personal care service offering in-home or virtual sessions including lactation, sleep consulting, immediate post-birth support and back-to-work coaching. This incredible, 8-session benefit has allowed Shonan to continue to be successful at Addepar while maintaining work/life balance.

Shonan's daughter is now 15 months old, and she feels the need to negate any misconceptions about what it's like to be a working mom and the lead product manager responsible for data management at Addepar. "A lot of people ask me, 'How do you manage a one year old and working at a fast paced company?' Everyone at Addepar has been very supportive. I take advantage of Addepar's flexible policy by coming in at 7 AM. I get the bulk of my work done before everyone comes in so that I can leave at 4:30 PM. I'm able to spend a few hours with my daughter before she goes to bed. People understand that. I'm able to keep my own hours and the company is behind me 100%. I value this flexibility and it drives me to ensure that my projects are always completed on time."

Is your company behind you 100%, throughout your life's journey? Check out a company that stands behind their staff from day one. Click here to learn more about Addepar and all of their open roles.

Sephora

Sephora’s VP, Tecnology on Leading the Way For Women in Tech

For more information on open opportunities with Sephora, click here.

Whether you realize it or not, you've been asked to be a leader at some point in your life. Either as a sibling, a parent, a spouse, or in the workplace, you have been tasked or taken upon yourself to take charge of a situation. But what exactly makes a good leader? For Sephora's VP, Technology Wanda Ma, it's leading by example.

"Leadership is something that you need to continue to practice over and over," Wanda said. However, true leadership does not exist in a vacuum. It requires strong encouragement from the company itself, and that is exactly Sephora's goal. "Sephora encourages leadership development and empowers us to be strong and positive leaders."

Wanda also shares Sephora's passion for diversity and looks back on her own past in order to best illuminate the future. "When I got into technology back in the 80's, there were a lot more women," recalls Wanda. "Then over the years, I'm seeing less and less women getting into technology." This is a trend that Sephora is already working on reversing, and it was recently announced that women comprise 62 percent of the prestige retailer's technology and digital employees.

"Diversity is really important," says Wanda. "There are still a lot of areas where we could make a difference from a technology perspective. We just have to build the pipeline,that's the key."

As a leader and veteran of the industry, Wanda's advice for the next generation of women in technology is that if they see an opportunity to make a difference, they should grab it. "You need to be passionate about what you do, but every opportunity that you get, even though it may not be the perfect fit, make the best of it and find how you can add value." Wanda also suggests that it's okay, even encouraged, to ask for help, because we learn best when we look to people with more experience for guidance. "There is always something to learn and improve. Try to get yourself a coach or a mentor--it doesn't have to be formal but try to learn from others, too. If you continue to learn, be adaptable, and build strong partnerships, you truly can make a difference"

While we still have a long way to go, with Sephora and women like Wanda leading the way, we will get there sooner than you think.


Better Companies

The Problem with Sexual Harassment Training

Hint: it protects companies more than potential victims

On Friday, Jena McGregor at The Washington Post published an analysis on why sexual harassment training programs that surged in the late 1990s, after two Supreme Court decisions, have done little to create more inclusive workplaces for women.

The best quote from McGregor's article that sums up why sexual harassment training is flawed is below. As Debra Katz simply says, these trainings are viewed as band aids that provide cover, but don't get to the root of changing a company's culture to prevent conditions where harassers feel empowered.

"It was sort of a get-out-of-jail-free card to companies," said Debra Katz, a Washington lawyer who represents plaintiffs in sexual harassment cases. After the 1998 decisions, she said, "there was like a cottage industry of trainers who went in and provided training. Most of those efforts were geared toward trying to protect themselves from liability as opposed to creating a sea change in the culture."

McGregor's article is filled with more possible reasons, including research that shows how sexual harassment trainings reinforced gender biases through materials that made women look like they had less power at organizations. Another fun fact from McGregor's piece is that only "five states have a mandate for harassment training for private and public employees (another 22 require it for some or all public-sector workers), according to the National Women's Law Center." Sexual harassment training is not nearly as prevalent as assumed.

So what can we do beyond pushing for broad cultural changes across corporations? That's a larger conversation that I'll break down in future blogs. In the meantime, watch Claire from HR cut to the core in a SNL skit below. She provides the best sexual harassment training I've seen to date (and no, that isn't a joke).

Claire from HR's Sexual Harassment Training


More articles on why sexual harassment training falls short:

Washington Post: What's the point of sexual harassment training? Often, to protect employers.

Bloomberg: Why Can't We Stop Sexual Harassment Training at Work?

CNN: Paul Ryan Orders Mandatory Sexual Harassment Training for Members, Staff

Career + Interview Tips

How To Make Introductions - That Aren't A Burden

There's a simple etiquette to follow that will make people value your introductions a lot more

If you're lucky, people want to introduce you to interesting people. I'm one of those lucky people and I'm beyond grateful to people who want to grow my network.

The problem is that I get introduced to people frequently that I have to put-off because my schedule is crammed, or the introduction is to a person that I have very little business alignment with. I often take the meeting not to be rude to my friend who made the introduction, but that often means I start to get annoyed with my friend and I have less time to meet with people I'm supposed to be seeing.

Instead of telling a potential new contact that I can't meet them currently, it would be much better if the person making the introduction would first ask if I'd like to be introduced to that person. The same etiquette should be applied to the person who is being introduced to me (maybe they don't have time to meet me either!).

Fred Wilson wrote about the "double opt-in intro" a few years ago. He gave this simple advice:

"When introducing two people who don't know each other, ask each of them to opt-in to the introduction before making it."

I can't tell you how much I appreciate it when people do the double opt-in. Oh, and I'll fully admit it took me a couple years to learn this etiquette myself. It's a bit more work for the introducer, but it pays off in the long run. People will value your intros a lot more if you take the time to make sure they're a good match.

Remote Work

Remote Work Round-Up

Nov. 16 2017

Have you ever taken a personality test? Whether it be Myers & Briggs, Riso-Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator, or any of the many free tests available on the internet, the results are supposed to determine how well rounded you are as a person, and help you communicate more effectively with "personalities" that are different from your own.

Inc. recently took a deeper look into the "Four Personality Types" in relation to remote workers, and they were shocked at the results.

"Because the four personality types assume everyone is working together at an office or manufacturing facility, they simply don't apply to a world where virtual reality threatens to make centralized offices themselves entirely obsolete."

Some of traits they DID find that applied to remote employees, included being self disciplined, introverted, not paranoid, a good salesperson, and technically competent.

Think you have what it takes to be a good remote employee? You've come to the right place! Check out our latest remote jobs here, and find even more available roles on our Jobs page.

CB Insights - Marketing Manager (Remote)

Corgibytes, LLC - Lead Code Whisperer (Remote)

Customer.io - Onboarding Specialist (Remote)

GitHub - Solutions Engineer (Remote)

HelpScout - DevOps Engineer (Remote)

Igalia - Browsers Developer (Remote)

Second Wind Consultants - Book Keeper (Remote)

Shopify Inc. - Senior Enterprise Sales (Remote in Melbourne, Australia)

Three Rescue Dogs - Full Stack Engineer (Remote)

Zapier - Content Marketing Team Manager (Remote)

Women at Work

943 Disparities Under Law Inhibit Women Economically

That's what the World Bank says

There are so many reasons why there are fewer women than men in the workforce (and if you want to look at workplace gender disparity in the United States relative to the rest of the world, then read my post from earlier in the week). The reasons we hear the most in the US are often the most insulting ones to women. How many times has someone shrugged and told you that there are fewer women working at the top of companies than men because "women drop out"?

Blaming women for not conforming to workplaces that were never built for them in the first place is an easy out for anyone who refuses to look at the structural barriers women face - especially when major barriers are written into the laws of your land.

The World Bank's Women, Business, and the Law report lists 943 gender-based disparities that prohibit women from some type of economic participation. In France, a first-world country, women are not allowed to work in professions where they would need to lift about twenty-five pounds. Yes, twenty-five pounds.

You can read the entire Women, Business, and the Law report here and dig into how each country discriminates against women. As Rachel Vogelstein and Gayle Tzemach Lemmon write in their excellent Building Inclusive Economies report:

"an overwhelming 90 percent of the 173 economies surveyed [by the World Bank] have at least one legal policy that inhibits women's economic participation...
...One hundred economies around the world limit the occupations and sectors in which women can be employed. These limits include restrictions on the hours women are permitted to work and the types of jobs they are allowed to hold. Not only do these barriers reduce the pool of qualified candidates but they also contribute to the confinement of women to low-paying jobs, as many of the more gender regulated industries—such as mining and manufacturing—are relatively higher paying."

Scroll to page 236 to see the specific section on the U.S. You'll see that gender-based disparities in law preventing women from certain jobs in US aren't as prevalent as in Saudi Arabia, for example, but we do lack legal mandates around paid leave that directly affect women's participation in the workforce.

"943 gender-based disparities under the law still inhibit women’s economic opportunity worldwide" - CFR

Companies That Care

Better Jobs With Companies that Care

Nov. 15 2017

If you have been avoiding your calendar (or just any and all things holiday), we hate to break it to you: next week marks the beginning of the holiday season. While we can't wait for turkey, crowded malls, and explaining to Grandma Jane for the upteenth time what we do for a living, let's get ourselves in a good mental state by taking some "me time". Whether that means going to the gym, taking a cool new class, or starting Black Edge (a book highly recommended by our president and cofounder Katharine Zaleski), we all deserve a little selfishness before the season of giving begins! Are you starting a cool new project this holiday season? Stay connected with us through the craziness and join our Facebook group- we'd love to hear from you!

FEATURED COMPANY THAT CARES: ZENDESK

Zendesk builds software to power customer relationships, but that's not the only power they produce. This benefit trounces all the others we've seen to date (and we've seen many): on-the-job napping, anyone? Providing ample PTO and comfy couches, you won't be getting behind-the-back side-eye here for catching a little snooze. Don't believe us? Check them out and see for yourself (along with a plethora of other hard-to-beat benefits, too!)

For more choice opportunities with companies that care, check out our jobs page, or see below.

Addepar - Client Support Analyst (Salt Lake City, UT)

American Express Company - Senior Engineer, Java (Phoenix, AZ)

Avant - Software Engineer (Chicago, IL)

Bloomberg LP - Developer Experience Hosted Services Engineer (New York, NY)

CenturyLink - General Manager (U.S.)

Dow Jones & Company - Application Developer (New York, NY)

Goldman, Sachs & Co - Software Developer (NY,NJ, TX, UT)

HearstLab - DevOps (New York, NY)

Hearst Newspapers - Frontend Developer (New York, NY)

HomeAway - Display & Paid Social Manager (Austin, TX)

Shopify Inc. - Content Strategist, Merchant Reporting (Ottawa, ON, Canada)

Time Inc. - Senior Developer (SDEII), Brand Engineering (New York, NY)

The Upside Travel Company LLC - Senior Full Stack Engineer (Washington, DC)

United Technologies Corporation - Reliability & Safety Engineer (Chula Vista, CA)

Viacom Inc. - Senior Manager, Business Analysis (New York, NY)

Companies That Care

Webinar Synopsis: United Technologies' Re-Empower Return to Work Program

Catch the full webinar here.

While the number of working women has risen over the past decade to 47% of the overall workforce, 30% of working age women opt out for familial responsibilities. See how United Technologies is addressing that 30% with their Re-Empower return to work program - helping transition knowledge, experience and creativity back to the workforce!

Watch the full webinar here.

Oscar Insurance Corp

LA Women In Tech - Get Your Free Headshots + Meet The Oscar Team

On October 16th from 6-8pm we'll be at the Culver Hotel, talking all things tech and how engineers are revolutionizing health care.

Register here - spots are filling up fast!

That's right. Please join PowerToFly and Oscar Health on October 16th from 6-8pm, with a select group of women in tech, at the Culver Hotel to talk about how you can revolutionize health care with the team that's innovating one of America's biggest and most-talked about industries.

As an added bonus, photographer Patrick Ryland will be taking free headshots during the first 30 minutes of the event.

Oscar launched its New York HQ in 2012 and has since opened offices in Dallas, Tempe, and L.A.! This fall, Oscar is expanding the Engineering and Product teams in its L.A. office.

Join us and meet Engineers and Product Managers from Oscar to get the inside scoop on their platform and its challenges.

Light food and drinks will be served as you network with other women in tech and learn more about Oscar's national expansion.

We're looking forward to meeting you -

Oscar Health and The PowerToFly Team!

Agenda

6:00pm: Check in and collect name tags

6:00pm -6:30pm: Free Headshots

6:40pm: Introduction to Oscar by Andrew Shults, Sr. Director of Engineering

6:50pm: Demonstration of of Oscar's products by Laamia Islam, Oscar Software Engineer

7:05pm: A look into Oscar's search services and how they combine tech with the human side of healthcare by Melanie Kambadur, Oscar Software Engineer

7:35pm: Network with other top women in your field and Oscar executives over light food and drinks

For Employers

The Simple Reason Why Economists Say Hiring More Women Matters

Hint: it's all about growing the GDP

As the CoFounder and President of PowerToFly (a.k.a. someone who spends her days working with companies to close the gender gap) I get asked the same question constantly: "why is it important for companies to hire more women?" The answer is simple if you look at the economic data that shows what would happen if we had the same number of men and women working in the United States.

But before we go there (this is only a three paragraph post, so scroll down if you're impatient for the answer), let's look at how the U.S. fares when it comes to the gender gap in global labor force participation. Check out the highlighted chart below that gives higher numbers than the U.S. Department of Labor (about 63% to 79%). In comparison, the Department of Labor data cited on the International Labour Organization site shows "the U.S. labor force climbed during the 1970s and 1980s, reaching 60 percent in 2000. However, in 2010 this figure has declined to 46.7 percent and is not expected to increase by 2018 (DOL 2011)." Either way, the disparity between female and male participation is pretty grim.

World Bank

Ok. So why is the gap significant, and more importantly, why do we need to close it?

The answer: Reaching gender parity in the United States could boost the GDP by 5%. If you want to grow and fix the economy, one of the fastest ways to do that is to employ more women.

If you want to read more about how gender parity could benefit GDP growth - and how it has made a difference in Japan recently - then read this quick report called Building Inclusive Economies by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon and Rachel Vogelstein. The report was published by the Council on Foreign Relations in June and is full of facts that detail why it's so important to create truly inclusive workplaces that lead to gender diversity.

Here's the full quote where I got the GDP growth fact:

"Studies conducted by the IMF also find the strongest correlation between advancement in gender equality and economic growth in low-income countries. For example, while closing the gender gap in labor force participation in the United States could boost GDP by an estimated 5 percent, gains in lower-income countries such as Egypt could be as high as 34 percent."

Follow me on Twitter @kzaleski if you want more of my thoughts on closing the gender gap. I'll be blogging regularly on https://blog.powertofly.com - so bookmark that link!

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