Below is an article originally written by Aileen Renteria, Senior Executive Communications Specialist at PowerToFly Partner New Relic, and published on March 27, 2020. Go to New Relic's page on PowerToFly to see their open positions and learn more.
On March 8, we celebrated International Women's Day, a time to celebrate women's social, economic, cultural, and political achievements, and we continue to reflect on women's contributions throughout Women's History Month. To commemorate this moment, we interviewed a handful of our fearless female New Relic employees, "Relics," to learn more about their career experiences and gather advice for other women and girls looking to join the tech industry.
Be a curious and endless learner
Gwen Hurd, Senior Enterprise Solution Engineer, Public Sector
Receiving a Bell Labs scholarship in high school exposed Gwen to the technology field. The people she worked with encouraged her; their trust and confidence inspired her to join the tech industry. After college, she began her career as a CICS/COBOL systems programmer.
Proudest accomplishment: Gaining repeat business with many federal agencies throughout her career and being part of a sales team that closed over $30 million in government sales.
Advice to other women looking to join the tech industry: "Don't give up, don't doubt yourself, and be confident. Take the initiative to get cloud or other technology certifications. Network, because sometimes it's who you know, not what you know."
Life as a Relic: Gwen likes the team environment, recognition by management and peers, and having the flexibility to try new things. She also appreciates working with friendly and accessible colleagues and the feeling of belonging.
When an opportunity arises, don't fear the unknown and push yourself to take chances
Lindsy Farina, Product Manager
For Lindsy, joining the tech industry wasn't always the plan. After completing grad school, Lindsy was considering med school, and she began shadowing her niece's pediatrician to get a better sense of the day-to-day life of a doctor. After quickly learning their EMR software, she leaped into the software industry. She fell in love with the ability to solve problems and get to resolutions quickly, and she avoided 10 more years of school and student loan debt.
Advice to other women looking to join the tech industry: "The male-to-female split is not equal, and it takes adjusting when someone's new to that type of work environment. Be prepared to sometimes be the only female in the room, and don't be afraid to have your voice heard. It can be intimidating, but you are smart, competent, and valuable. Don't be discouraged."
Proudest accomplishment: At her last company, with the help of her amazing devs, she taught herself to write Java test automation code. She started the QA automation process because she was passionate about having coverage.
Life as a Relic: Lindsy loves her team. They truly care about each other and want to see each other succeed. Over the last year, her team has been gaining momentum and getting great new features out to market, while keeping reliability and security as top priorities.
Guro McCrea, Senior Director of Solutions Engineering
Through 15 years of working in technology, Guro has held roles in sales, professional services, product management, and technical presales. Guro loves the fast pace of change and innovation in tech.
She wants to be remembered as someone who made a difference for women in business, particularly in technology. This is why she has always been part of women in business groups, initiatives to change recruitment practices, and collaboration with NGOs that focus on gender diversity and equal opportunities
Guro is proud to have turned gender norms on their head in her own life, as she focuses on her career while her husband is the primary caretaker at home.
Proudest accomplishment: She is very proud of making an impact on hiring at New Relic. Finding female candidates for mostly technical roles is challenging, but with extra focus and initiatives that New Relic put in place, her solution engineering team is now 33% female.
Advice to other women looking to join the tech industry: "There are many opportunities in tech, and that will continue. There is the potential to grow your career and make a difference in the world. A lot of tech is built by men for men, and female representation is needed to ensure that tech fits the needs of the whole population, not just half of it. Don't be afraid to go into tech—it's exciting, rewarding, and necessary."
Find what you love and pursue it
Michaela Schopperle, Sales Director, Enterprise NE
Michaela Schopperle graduated from Villanova University with an engineering degree and began her career at AT&T as a new services product architect. Michaela enjoys tackling complex problems, and technical sales provides an opportunity to link her technical and people skills to solve clients' challenges.
Proudest accomplishment: Being a role model for her kids as she has excelled in her career.
Advice to other women looking to join the tech industry: "Focus on hard work and results will drive personal and professional success. Complement this hard work with winning as a team."
Life as a Relic: Michaela is proud to be part of the New Relic team and its incredible culture.
Nada Da Veiga, Global VP of Presales
Nada Da Veiga studied computer science at UCLA and started her first job as a developer. From early on, math and sciences came easily to Nada, so it was a no brainer for her to join the tech industry.
Proudest moment: Closing $50 million of revenue as a sales engineer over three years.
Advice to other women looking to join the tech industry: "IT is the best industry one could be in."
Life as a Relic: Nada most likes New Relic's culture.
Be determined, lead with a growth mindset, and embrace new challenges
Disha Gosalia, Vice President, Customer Success
Disha Gosalia earned her B.S. degree in computer science from the University of Texas and began her first job at a software company as a technical support engineer. While in college, she completed a few internships as a developer, but she realized coding wasn't for her. Getting into tech support was the next best thing.
Proudest accomplishment: Disha is proud of her path from a shy engineer who wasn't too good at coding to a VP at New Relic. Disha attributes her success to her growth mindset and willingness to take on more responsibilities whenever she saw a gap.
Advice to other women looking to join the tech industry: "You should know your strengths but, most importantly, identify your weaknesses and learn how to overcome them. If you are an excellent communicator but have difficulty communicating very technical content, you need to grow your technical knowledge and seek out information and people to help."
Life as a Relic: The product New Relic sells is top quality, and the quality and diversity of people that work at New Relic make it unique. It's a people-first culture, driving toward a common goal.
Celine Maher, Senior Director of Corporate Sales & Business Development, EMEA
With a background in business and marketing, Celine has spent 16 years leading teams in sales and customer loyalty channels across many industries—from e-commerce and SaaS to demand generation and solution sales. Customer-centricity is at the core of what Celine does and believes.
The geek side of her loves big data and all of the complexity that comes with it. Celine supports diversity and inclusion and believes in promoting a minimum standard.
Advice to other women looking to join the tech industry: "Tech needs to be represented in a way that is diverse in thought, experience, and understanding. Girls must be well represented and play a part in embracing and changing the face of tech."
Proudest accomplishment: Celine has had many proud moments in her 20 months at New Relic. From the early days, she led the Women@NewRelic employee resource group in the Dublin office. Over the past year, Celine has also become part of the Dublin and EMEA leadership teams, allowing her the opportunity to play an active role in setting the strategic direction of the EMEA business.
At New Relic, we are proud to support women as they continue to achieve their goals. If you are interested in exploring career opportunities at New Relic, learn more about what we stand for.
Last spring, PowerToFly partnered with women leaders and volunteers of Microsoft Philanthropies TEALS (Technology Education and Literacy in Schools) to present a chat entitled, "Shaping the Next Generation of Women in Tech." Click here to watch the informative recording and learn all about mentorship, developing CS programs and what you can do to support more women in tech.
If you're interested in joining the team at Microsoft, click here to see all of their available opportunities and don't forget to press 'Follow' to receive custom job matches, event invitations and more!
If you are a skilled tech professional and you are interested in attending this event, please email email@example.com with your name and LinkedIn URL to be considered for an invite.
Want to learn about the future of data automation? Then join Primer and PowerToFly for an intimate virtual event featuring Primer's women tech leaders and allies as they discuss their latest projects, share career advice, and answer YOUR questions.
Primer's mission is to accelerate our understanding of the world. They build machines that can read and write, automating the analysis of very large datasets. Primer's technology is deployed by some of the world's largest government agencies, financial institutions, and Fortune 50 companies.
Join our special virtual event on Wednesday, April 22nd from 12:00pm PT to 1:00 PM PT (3:00 PM ET to 4:00 PM ET).
"Don’t accept ‘no,’ women who want careers in cybersecurity can get one, says Juniper Networks exec"
Below is an article originally written by Howard Solomon, a Freelance Writer for IT World Canada, and published on March 11, 2020. This article is about PowerToFly Partner Juniper Networks. Go to Juniper Networks' page on PowerToFly to see their open positions and learn more.
Samantha Madrid's path to becoming vice-president of Juniper Networks' security business began in high school when she was told, 'no'.
It's not uncommon for women to be told no, particularly those trying to build a career in IT and cybersecurity.
Samantha Madrid, Juniper Networks
She told several hundred at the Canadian Women In Cybersecurity conference Tuesday in Toronto that over the years, "there were a lot of 'nos' that I learned to navigate."
But this particular one galled her. It came from her high school guidance counsellor.
Coming from a poor home in the U.S. and raised by a single mother, Madrid had told the advisor she planned to go to college. Among her dreams were becoming a business executive, a trial lawyer or a lobbyist arguing for people who didn't have a voice.
"You may want to take a different path," the counsellor responded. "Not everybody is meant for college."
Madrid refused to accept that.
"I remember thinking I wasn't a bad student, but I was a decent student. I was varsity on the debate team, I was co-captain of the swim team. I was very competitive.
"I was shell-shocked. I was devastated. I went home and cried all night long.
"And then I got angry. And this was the point that defined who I am. Because I got so angry at her I said, 'I'm going to show her that she is wrong.'"
These kinds of experiences aren't unusual for women, or some men, Madrid said. "You can either let it define you or let it motivate you."
It's easier to be a woman in cybersecurity today than it was 30 or 40 years ago, the conference heard. The profession and related roles, like risk managers — are still overwhelmingly male. Women still account for only 10 per cent of those in cybersecurity jobs in Canada.
But there are some bright spots. One speaker noted a recent global report last year by the International Information System Security Certification Consortium, (ISC)², a non-profit which specializes in training and certifications for cybersecurity professionals, found women in cybersecurity are younger, boast more education and are moving into senior leadership roles at higher rates than men. And while they are paid less than men, the gap is less in younger age groups and for women in senior positions.
Millenial-aged women making more than US$100,000 have overtaken their male counterparts.
The conference featured a number of Canadian women who hold titles like vice-president or team leader in IT or risk management. Many recalled being the only woman in a networking class or on their first IT team. Most said their managers were supportive.
But they also talked about the need for women in IT to find a mentor, be more assertive in their careers, to look for opportunities for promotion. To say yes.
Madrid's message was that obstacles — you need a certification, you can't do that job — can be part of a career path.
She offered these five tips:
- Be introspective. Be honest with yourself: Have you put in the effort, or is there a way to get around that obstacle? Didn't get a promotion? Did you really deserve it? It's easy to blame people for things that don't go your way? Ask what you really want, be it in career or marriage. "Once you figure it out you do everything you can to make that happen." In fact, when she interviews candidates for jobs she asks, 'What are your blind spots?' I don't like writing so I partner with people to give me the confidence so I can write."
- Everything is a choice. Everything in your life is the result of the choices you made. You may not have chosen the situation, but how you react is within your control. And choice that allows you to overcome that obstacle. "Often when we hear no … we think there is no path."
- It's not always about you. In a poor performance review, or someone was disrespectful, whatever, there may be more at play. Try to understand the other person's point of view. "Early in my career, I was on a successful team … I wanted to make sure I was best on the team … It was always about 'me,' And she was bounced from the team for not being a team player. I realized that was 100 per cent my own doing. And I never made that mistake again."
- Be adaptable. You will never be able to predict happens tomorrow but if you have the ability to adapt you are invaluable. "If someone says 'no' you have to be able to pivot around that. It does not mean you're goal wrong and you're not going to reach your end destination. But you may have to bob and weave, you may have to take an alternative path. Have your goal, but be flexible on your method."
- Trust your gut. That's the number one thing that derails people from achieving their goals. It's why people who hear no step back. It's why she didn't step back when the counsellor suggested she shouldn't think about going to college. Or when people suggested going to a company whose reputation had fallen wasn't a good career move.
By the way, after graduating from college Madrid worked for a U.S. state senator and didn't like it. Along the way she picked up some aptitude for computers, so when a friend told her Cisco Systems was hiring, she read books about networking so was prepared and applied. And once she was hired took some certification courses.
"You have to believe in yourself. It doesn't matter the obstacle … At the end of the day, you are your only cheerleader and you are the only person who will make it or break it."
The conference was organized by SiberX, a Toronto-based training and skills development platform.
We know that everyone's number one priority is doing what they can to keep their employees safe and healthy as Coronavirus news unfolds.
That's why we're hosting a webinar on Thursday, March 12th to discuss how you can successfully manage remote and distributed teams in the short and medium term.
We'll be discussing common pain points/areas of concern, such as:
- Remote interviews
- Tools for optimizing online workflows
First and foremost, we'll be addressing your questions and concerns. The session will be run as a Q&A.
Share your questions/concerns when you sign up and we'll do our best to cover them during the session.
- Katharine Zaleski, CoFounder and President, PowerToFly
- Milena Berry, CoFounder and CEO, PowerToFly
- Shannon Hogue, Global Head of Solutions Engineering, Karat
About your hosts:
Milena has been running large remote teams for over a decade, both at Avaaz and PowerToFly and Katharine's experience with hybrid and remote teams at corporations and startups stretches back to when she was the sixth employee at the Huffington Post!