"Meet Some of MongoDB’s Influential Women Leaders in 2020"
In celebration of International Women's Day, we are highlighting some of our most influential leaders at MongoDB. They are making a huge impact on their teams and the company as a whole. Here are a few who have grown their careers at MongoDB and inspire us every day.
Yulia Genkina, Curriculum Software Engineer, New York, NY
My journey from Russia to becoming a U.S. citizen led me to where I am today — an engineer with a career I love, and also a mentor to others. Throughout the years, I went from being indifferent about mathematics in high school to earning a full-ride scholarship to study mathematics at a great school in the US. I worked five part-time jobs to make ends meet and was constantly uncertain about what tomorrow would bring, but I never stopped chasing after my dreams. Here I am today, living an awesome life with an amazing career that I could have never imagined for myself 10 years ago. People tell me that I should be proud of myself, and I guess I am.
As a Curriculum Software Engineer, I create online courses for MongoDB University where anyone can learn about what MongoDB is and how to use it. I also speak at conferences, train newly hired engineers, and mentor interns and new grads.
Throughout my career, I've always strived to be a mentor to others. I used to be a high school teacher and I am still in touch with many of my former students. I also volunteer with mentoring programs and am always open to meeting new people who are just beginning their careers. We often don't give ourselves credit for all the hard work that we do, so being that person who reminds others of how great they are and what a world of opportunities is waiting out there for them brings me a lot of joy.
These mentorship and teaching experiences fuel my other leadership initiatives. Last year, together with some of my coworkers, we consolidated our efforts to more actively partner with schools that are part of the CUNY system. I'm also working to increase our company efforts and representation at the Grace Hopper Celebration. We have an incredible leadership and engineering team here, and I firmly believe that they deserve to shine on a global stage that brings amazing innovators together.
At MongoDB, I get to work with the smartest and most generous people. There is a strong sense of community and support where people are always looking to learn from each other. The company leadership genuinely cares about its employees. Most importantly, I love what I do here. There are so many opportunities for me to grow professionally, creatively and as a person in general.
Shalena O'Connell, VP Operations, Dublin, Ireland
I joined MongoDB about 3 years ago, and it's been an amazing journey! I took on this role to build and grow our Global Deal Desk team and today, we have a fantastic team spread across Palo Alto, New York, Austin, and Dublin. Over the last year, I extended my responsibilities by leading the fantastic Go-To-Market and Product Commercialization team as well.
In addition to leading the above teams, my role as VP of Operations requires me to think strategically and operationally. This includes working with various business partners on changes impacting the business and ensuring we have processes in place to streamline across each team. This can be challenging at a fast-growing company, but that's what makes it all so interesting! My roles and responsibilities have continuously grown and changed since I joined MongoDB-- a benefit of a rapidly growing company.
My management style consists of open two-way communication with my team and sharing and receiving feedback so that we can constantly improve ourselves. I strive for excellence from myself and my team and we all push each other to be better. Key elements we focus on are trust, honesty, and accountability. I have a strong team that is diverse in thought and experience and brings a lot to the table.
I'm proud to work at a company that embraces diversity. My personal experience as a woman leader working at MongoDB has been very positive. I've been treated with respect and as an equal, which is very important to me and what I stand for.
My passion for work and outside work includes coaching and mentoring others. I'm a firm believer in investing in others to maximize their potential, while continuously growing and developing myself.
Lorna Malone, Sales Development Manager, Dublin, Ireland
I joined MongoDB back in April 2019 and have managed the Northern European Sales Development team for the past 11 months. There are two core goals for me as the leader of this team. The first is to grow the footprint of MongoDB in this market through demand generation activities and the second is to hire, develop and promote top talent into the Sales Organization and also the wider MongoDB ecosystem.
I feel extremely privileged to have the opportunity to lead some of the brightest minds and talent in the industry. With this comes a level of responsibility from a leadership perspective to ensure that I create an environment where my reps feel empowered, valued and supported, and one where professional development and growth is a top priority.
I firmly believe that to develop top-performing talent and teams, I, as a leader, must ensure that they find purpose in their work and they recognize the impact they have on the overall business. I look to actively promote autonomy and encourage them to challenge the status quo in a psychologically safe environment. I encourage them to think independently when faced with challenges and give them space and the support they require to set new standards of excellence in an environment that fosters continuous improvement, mastery, and growth.
One of my proudest achievements at MongoDB was working with members of my team to break performance records. In May 2019, the leadership team defined a set of three seemingly impossible stretch goals that were never before achieved at a global level in the history of MongoDB. I am really proud to say that two members of my team were the first SDRs to achieve two out of the three goals. As a reward, I flew to Rome with Troy Quigley in January to have dinner with our CRO Cedric Pech and plan to return with Conor Peniston Bird in the coming months. An amazing opportunity and experience and just another example of how seriously MongoDB takes its talent.
Jahira Martins, Automation & Marketing Operations Manager, New York, NY
I joined MongoDB in 2016 as a Marketing Automation & Operations Coordinator and today I am a manager on the Marketing Automation & Operations team where I focus on technical program management. Our team is responsible for ensuring, managing, integrating, and operationalizing marketing technologies and solutions. As an emerging department, I get the opportunity to be innovative with solutions, continuously learn, and help shape the standards for marketing automation and operations.
Leadership to me is not only a learning and teaching experience, but it's also about the partnership and trust I build with the people on my team. I believe in having an authentic and vested interest in my team's work, their goals, overall well-being, and our conversations. These conversations, in my experience, help foster a comfortable environment where we take accountability for both our successes and our mistakes. I believe that great leaders and managers also have their own board of directors, which is their support system who continuously challenge and expand their leadership skills both in as well as outside the workplace. Finding a career mentor at MongoDB is one of the most rewarding connections I have made!
I am also truly proud that I have had the opportunity to help shape and run MongoDB's Underrepresented People of Color group (UPOC) here alongside my colleagues Cherish Richardson and Danielle James. Just this past month, we collaborated across several departments to create MongoDB's first Black History Month video featuring several members of UPOC speaking about what Black History Month means to us and the impact we have in our communities as well as our first-ever Black History Month event! I can't wait for what we do next year!
MongoDB simply lets me be myself - which is saying a lot about the kind of company that it is! As someone who started their career at MongoDB, left and boomeranged back, I truly have a great appreciation for not only the caliber of the people we work with daily here but also the trust that is instilled in each employee, enabling us to take on tremendous responsibility and make impactful contributions.
Want to join some of our incredible leaders and innovate with us in 2020? Check out our open positions and help us grow!
Branwyn Baughman, recruiter at Lockheed Martin, shares an exclusive take on the most important tips to keep in mind when preparing for an interview.
Take a look at the company's application process, culture, and values, as well as some top-notch tips that Branwyn outlines on how you can make your application stand out.
To learn more about Lockheed Martin and their open roles, click here.
6 Tips for Companies & 5 Tips for Individuals from Indeed's Group VP of ESG, LaFawn Davis
Earlier this month, LaFawn Davis, Indeed's Group Vice President of Environmental, Social, & Governance, joined us as part of our Diversity Reboot Summit to talk about the 'shecession' experienced by many women, and especially women of color, as a result of COVID-19.
LaFawn shared some great tips for companies and individuals looking to be part of "the great rehiring." If you're looking to find a new role, or to ensure that you help bring back diverse talent displaced by COVID, check out her advice below, and catch her complete talk here or by clicking the video above!
Q: What would your advice be to companies that are looking to step up their diverse hiring in 2021?
My advice: Good intentions are no longer good enough. Nobody wants to hear what you meant to do, wish you could have do, intended to do. Nobody wants to hear that you can't find Black Women or any other dimension of diversity. We're obviously out here.
My squad and I have a saying "Impact over intentions." So, if 2020 was the year of good diversity and inclusion intentions, let's make 2021 the year of actions and impact.
So, now that we got that out of the way. If you're looking to step up your diverse hiring. Stop and get your house in order. Because you shouldn't just want to hire a diverse workforce, you should want to grow and keep them too. So there are 5 things, ready?
1. Focus on long-term systemic change.
There's a lot of momentum — and need — for change right now. It's not just about a message of support or donating to a cause one time. Take a look at your own systems. How do you hire and grow employees? Do your succession planning, talent reviews, recruiting and other processes have built-in biases? Is equality part of your core values? Are you actively working toward change? Recognize that talent is equally distributed, but opportunity is not. Above all, hold yourself accountable for the way things are, then work to improve.
2. Take a close look at your data.
Share it internally to be transparent with employees of where you are now. When possible, share it externally to be visible and accountable (I'm happy to announce that Indeed will be releasing its own diversity data this summer). Use it as a baseline for comparison against what you hope to achieve.
3. Change behavior.
Focus on behavioral changes throughout the company with an emphasis on coaching, training, and having crucial conversations with managers. Leaders and managers set an example for the entire workforce. If employees see the behavior of managers or leaders in a negative light, a true sense of belonging is difficult to achieve.
4. Representation matters.
If leadership roles are perceived as exclusive to many members of the workforce, then a broader sense of belonging will continue to elude many employees. People in leadership roles should reflect the diversity of a company's workforce. Observing someone "like me" in a leadership role helps attract and retain talent and motivates workers to pursue roles with greater responsibility.
5. Create Policies And Procedures Reflective Of The Entire Workforce.
As you work through new or existing policies and procedures, be aware of barriers experienced by different populations. Take, for example, the case of caregivers. More scheduling flexibility for calls can go a long way for employees who share their home workspace with others and must tend to family responsibilities while working remotely.
Q: Do you have advice for individuals that are looking for new career opportunities, especially women of color who might have lost their previous jobs during the pandemic?
Adaptability has always been an important part of an individual's career progression - even before COVID-19, it is especially important now.
It is important to show a potential new employer how your abilities adapt to a new role or a new industry. Focus on skills more than just experiences because skills can be applied in so many different ways. So… I'll give you 6 things for this one.
1. Perform a professional audit. Taking some time to understand your qualities, qualifications and values can help focus your career transition and narrow down your career path options if you haven't already. Doing so can also help you understand how you might position yourself during the job search.
2. Identify your hard and soft skills. Soft skills are often the most transferable, so identifying them early can help you understand the ways you might bring value to a new role or industry. Taking inventory of your hard skills will help you identify if there are certain industries that might be easier to transition into.
3. Highlight your biggest career wins. Communicating the impact you've made throughout your career can help employers quickly understand the value you'll bring to their organization, even if you come from another role or industry.
4. Utilize online job search to your advantage. Pay close attention to the requirements and duties of jobs so you can evaluate whether the career would align with your skills, interests and values.
5. You just need to meet "most" of the qualifications. Try to focus on positions for which you meet at least 60% of the qualifications with your transferable skills. Meeting 60% of the qualifications isn't a hard rule, but it's a good general guideline to help you determine whether it's worth applying for.
6. Get a sense of the company. Before interviews, do some research to learn how inclusive a company is. Peruse the organization's core values, its social media accounts, and any recent statements in support of marginalized groups. Pay attention to the interviewers themselves. Is the panel diverse or are you likely to be an early "diversity hire"? If the interviewers seem to be emphasizing "cultural fit," ask what that means. Basically, be an active participant in the hiring process. You are also interviewing the company, as much as they are interviewing you.
Stephanie Acker, director of inside sales at Commvault, gave us a behind-the-scenes look at the company's application process, culture, and values, as well as her own career journey.
To kick things off, Stephanie mentioned the three things that make a great inside sales professional: an independent work ethic, the ability to learn and execute on their own, and an awareness of what keeps them motivated.
Over her 12-year career at Commvault, Stephanie's greatest motivation has been helping customers to find solutions and catapult them to success. In both her past role as a sales representative and her current director position, Stephanie remains committed to ensuring her team understands what motivates them to sell and setting them up for success.
The biggest surprise during her career at Commvault was becoming the director of inside sales. Stephanie shared that she loves working for a company that listens to new ideas, thinks outside of the box, and tries new things.
Don't miss her take on what moves a candidate forward in the interview process! For example, Stephanie loves when the interviewee gets into "the zone"—showing their selling technique. She also shares her favorite interview questions.
As Stephanie says, stop thinking and apply today!
To learn more about Commvault and their open roles, click here.
When you think about strong female leadership, what comes to mind? For Tatiana L., a global client partner in Miami, it's about more than having an executive seat, being a mother, or making dreams come true. "Good leadership is about being open, flexible, and able to understand different perspectives," she says. "It's about fostering collaboration, bringing people together, and empowering them to connect."
Tatiana L. is a global client partner based in Miami.
Tatiana is part of the Women@ Facebook Resource Group and helped plan Women's Leadership Day, an annual global community summit. While the highly-anticipated event takes place over just one day, its massive impact is felt over the course of the entire year.
Amy W. is an operations lead based in London.
"Women's Leadership Day is more than an event. It's energy, and it's a movement," Amy W., an operations lead in London, says. "Moments like this can completely change the perception of women in technology."
From choosing the content and programming for the event to making it accessible for women around the globe, we went behind the scenes with seven members of the Women@ Facebook Resource Group to learn more about how women are empowered—and are empowering one another— in their career journeys at the Facebook company.
Behind the scenes with Women@
Amanda M., an internal recruiting manager based in Singapore, speaking onstage at 2019 Women@ Leadership Day in APAC.
"I've always been passionate about empowering women, but I didn't know how I could do it at work. My first Women@ experience changed how I felt at Facebook," Amanda M., an internal recruiting manager in Singapore, remembers. "From then on, I wanted to help other women feel heard, valued, and confident."
Planning the global event, which brings together women from more than 20 countries, calls for close collaboration across multiple teams, regions, and timezones. Members of Women@ also partner with other Facebook Resource Groups, such as the Pride@ Resource Group, Latin@ Facebook Resource Group, Desis@ Facebook Resource Group and Black@ Resource Group, to ensure all women at Facebook are represented and feel included.
Vivian V. is a program manager based in the San Francisco Bay Area.
"Across regions and communities, we each bring unique differences and powerful stories. When one of us moves forward, we have the opportunity to bring all of us forward," Vivian V., a program manager in the San Francisco Bay Area explains. "While planning the summit, we meet weekly to talk about what women in different regions are experiencing. From the event theme and content to planning speaker sessions and fine-tuning details, we each have items to own. Two months before the summit, we meet daily to share updates and make sure nothing slips through the cracks."
"Just like me, women in APAC look forward to Women's Leadership Day all year long," Amanda says. Planning something that's deeply meaningful to so many people can feel like a lot of pressure, but at the same time, it's uplifting. I appreciate that we have the opportunity to talk about our individual and shared challenges, and we map out ways we can build community while empowering leadership for women across the globe."
Empowering confidence, equality, and leadership through storytelling
Paris Z., a vertical strategy lead in Singapore, and Amanda M. collaborate with women across the globe to plan Women@ programming and events.
Women's Leadership Day encourages women to talk about challenges like experiencing imposter syndrome, breaking through barriers, and how to manage work/life flexibility. "Storytelling is a huge part of the event," Paris Z., a vertical strategy lead in Singapore, explains.
Vivian says, "I've been at Facebook for nearly two years and help plan these events, and honestly, I never really understood imposter syndrome before I got here. Working with the Women@ community and hearing from our speakers—who are talented, brilliant superstars—I've seen firsthand how it affects them too."
Michelle C. is a client partner based in London.
Michelle C., a client partner in London, says that the summit's speaker sessions, which feature people from inside and outside of Facebook, are a highlight of every event. "We had a speaker from Tel Aviv who talked about the importance of balance in her personal life and how she co-parents with her husband. She shared specific things she's done, like adding her husband to the WhatsApp chat groups for mothers she's in and reminding her daughter's school that her husband is also available when their child feels sick. Her message was that we'll never be equal in the workplace until we're equal at home, and it really struck a chord."
Paris says that in APAC, Eva Chen's talk about facing challenges amidst the coronavirus pandemic and how she's raising her daughter was a top-rated session because it was so relatable. "From talking about her daughter's love for dinosaurs—a "boy" thing—and raising kids to fully be themselves to opening up about what it was like to grow up with immigrant parents from China and Vietnam, Eva inspired us with her authenticity and openness. Her struggle to feel supported while working in fashion and tech, rather than medicine, is something a lot of people in APAC understand."
"Every woman has a unique story," Michelle says. "Hearing from others is inspiring, validating, and truly eye-opening. It reminds us that we're not alone."
A memorable and lasting impact
It's no surprise that with the tremendous amount of planning and careful consideration that goes into the summit, its full impact is impossible to measure.
"It meant so much to me when people shared such positive feedback about Women's Leadership Day," Paris says. "We heard that some attendees felt inspired for days and weeks."
Kira G. is an agency partner based in Berlin.
Kira G., an agency partner in Berlin, has witnessed how the summit's programming can inspire action, even helping people push past a career plateau. "We might reach a point in our careers when we think, "I can't do this anymore, I'm not moving forward'," she says. "Women's Leadership Day gives us fresh perspectives, shows us new approaches, and starts important conversations. This can unlock new paths for growth and help us move forward."
Impact is felt in other Facebook groups, communities, and across teams too, inspiring interest and allyship. Amanda explains, "I felt so proud when a male VP from the Sales team came to us after hearing about what people talked about at Women's Leadership Day. He told us he wanted to learn more because it's everyone's responsibility to be an ally."
Empowering the community throughout the year
While Amanda describes Women's Leadership Day as a "bump in energy and inspiration" and "an injection of adrenaline", Vivian says that the real magic is what happens afterwards—and takes place all year long.
"When we think about Women's Leadership Day, our focus is on making sure that the powerful messages we hear and experience serve us throughout the entire year. We ask ourselves questions like, "How can we sprinkle these themes into our programming throughout the month or quarter? How do these ideas fit with our Women@ initiatives?" Going through something awesome together is just the beginning. Our work takes place year-round and we're constantly building on it to do more."
Paris agrees: "There's no shortage of amazing stories from our Women@ community throughout the year. Women's Leadership Day is just one channel for those stories, and I love how it stays top of mind with people and empowers them to do more good. When we come together, we can do anything we dream of."
"We're building a sisterhood and a community," Tatiana beams. "It feels so good to know there's always someone there to support you."
Learn more about Facebook's Employee Resource Groups, including Women@ here.