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Wayfair Inc.

Setting the Stage for the Stories of Women in Software Engineering at Wayfair

Below is an article originally written by Liz McQueeney at PowerToFly Partner Wayfair, and published on April 12, 2019. Go to Wayfair's page on PowerToFly to see their open positions and learn more.

Our Engineering department at Wayfair spans two countries and more than 2,300 people. Discovering the interesting paths some of them have taken into tech can seem daunting given the numbers, so our Talent team chose to start local and host an exciting event for Boston students.

"How She Got There", hosted at Wayfair's Boston headquarters, provided an opportunity for local students to learn from women on a variety of our software engineering teams. Each woman shared her journey, plus career advice, to a group of attendees who came from more than 15 different universities. These students left feeling inspired and educated about making the transition from university to the tech industry as a software engineer.

"I had the opportunity to attend Wayfair's How She Got There event and absolutely loved hearing everyone's stories. Thank you for hosting this incredible and important event!" – Attendee from Boston College

Getting to Know Our Speakers

Our four speakers are currently part of the Wayfair Engineering team, and each have a different career path which diversified the discussion. First up, Rebekah Heacock Jones, a Senior Engineer on our Pricing and Profitability team, discussed how after a few stints as a technical product manager, internet censorship researcher, educational tour guide, and nonprofit co-director, she finally turned to engineering two and a half years ago and regrets nothing.

Next, Katherine Tabinowski, part of the same Pricing and Profitability group, spoke about how after working in the e-commerce and marketing worlds, she found an unexpected passion for coding through fashion blogging, and pivoted into tech to start a new career in engineering.

Tasneem Sirohiwala, Associate Director in our Transportation Engineering team, shared how she was inspired by how architectural drawings transform into real life structures and their similarities with building creative software solutions.

Lastly, Lindsey Bleimes, Director of Engineering for our Catalog Systems Department and most recently at SXSW, shared that with a degree in Computer Science, she started writing logistics software for a Navy contractor. Since then she's taken a few career gambles, including changing industries, taking a step back, and moving from Washington D.C. to Boston. She also moved to Berlin to ramp up our software engineering team in Europe, which is now more than 250 people strong!

Key Takeaways We Learned

During the event, we heard each speaker's personal journey, as well as career advice for women studying computer science and finding work in the technology industry.

  • Take risks:
    • Change is scary, but the industry evolves quickly, so change can be a low-risk move. Don't be afraid to take a chance, because no one decision is likely to make or break your career. Remember that agile development is a great framework not only for creating software, but also for life.
  • Be curious:
    • Always seek to learn new things and don't accept the status quo – you'll grow by questioning and developing new ideas.
  • Keep an open mind:
    • Don't be afraid to take on a new challenge and open yourself up to new opportunities you hadn't planned for.
  • Build your network:
    • Attending events, like "How She Got There", is a great way to meet people you can learn from. Always take the opportunity to grab a coffee and chat with people to learn about new perspectives and develop a network for your career growth.
  • Your mental health is important:
    • Focus on taking care of yourself in order to perform your best.
  • Your career path and your journey are unique:
    • There will be several twists and turns throughout your career that are impossible to predict, but everything happens for a reason and everyone's journey is different. Swim in your own lane!

"How She Got There" was such a successful event, inspiring many women in tech to pursue their own journey. We'll be hosting another event in June, and we've recently been involved in sponsoring events such as TechTogether Boston, Boston's largest all-female and non-binary hackathon. The hackathon aims to bring together and empower femme and non-binary individuals interested in tech. If you're interested in more initiatives and are keen to join the Wayfam, apply here!

In Person Events

Behind The Scenes With Women Leading Tech At Ubiquity6 + Logickull

Live in the San Francisco Bay area and want to attend? Email hi@powertofly.com to be considered for an invite.

For our first event in San Francisco of 2019, PowerToFly is hosting a free evening of tech talks featuring women tech leaders from some of San Francisco's fastest-growing startups. If your New Year's resolution is to step up your networking game, introduce yourself to more of your peers or, perhaps, find your dream job, you won't want to miss this event.
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Intuit

Return to Work Webinar Discussion with Intuit's Engineering Leaders

This virtual seminar is intended for women who have taken time off from the workforce to concentrate on caregiving and other pursuits, but who are now interested in returning to work. If you are considering time off or want to invite a friend, please join us by sending an email to hi@powertofly.com for an invite.

Intuit (the creator of TurboTax, QuickBooks, and Mint) and PowerToFly invite you to an exclusive virtual seminar for women in software engineering who have been out of the workforce for at least a year and a half. Intuit's women tech leaders will be on hand to take your questions about Intuit's return to work program and their own careers in software engineering.

The invite-only virtual seminar will take place on Thursday, January 31st from 12pm to 1pm PT.

Speakers include:

This virtual seminar is intended for women in software engineering who have been out of the workforce for at least 1.5 years, preferably working as a caregiver. Learn more about the program, Intuit Again - here.

While you don't need to be looking for new opportunities to join the virtual seminar, Intuit is looking for women to join their return to work program. Visit their page on PowerToFly to learn more about their open roles.

About Intuit: A Fortune "Best Place to Work" year after year, Intuit is powering prosperity around the world by continuously innovating through their flagship products - TurboTax, QuickBooks and Mint. Twenty-nine percent of Intuit's global tech workforce is female and though they are ahead of the industry, they aspire to even greater gender diversity. Their Tech Women @ Intuit initiative is focused on attracting, retaining, and advancing women in technical roles through events, speakers, and mentorship.

About our webinars: All RSVP'd attendees are welcome, regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, gender identity, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, or age.

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