HashiCorp

HashiCorp spotlights Women’s History Month

As Women’s History Month draws to a close, we’re spotlighting members of the HashiCorp community to share the journeys and achievements of women working in tech.

As Women’s History Month draws to a close, we’re spotlighting members of the HashiCorp community to share the journeys and achievements of women working in tech.

Throughout March, the Women of HashiCorp employee resource group (ERG) and the wider community have celebrated Women's History Month. This annual observance recognizes the pivotal contributions of women to historical and modern-day society with activities designed to engage, educate, and inspire.

Now, as Women’s History Month comes to a close, we are spotlighting empowering stories and advice from a few of our employees:

From left to right: Kelly McCarthy, Jenny Evans, Diana Akiri, Celine Valentine, Netra Mali, and Caroline Belchamber

From left to right: Kelly McCarthy, Jenny Evans, Diana Akiri, Celine Valentine, Netra Mali, and Caroline Belchamber

»Kelly McCarthy, Solutions Engineer | Austin, Texas

What advice do you have for women looking to excel in technology?

Most importantly, ask questions. At first I was apprehensive about asking people questions because I did not want to come across as not knowing anything, but that can really be detrimental to your personal and professional development. Most people are willing to help and even if they do not know the answer, they will find another person or resource who does.

What women in tech have inspired or influenced your career path?

My first manager, Julie Seo. Her drive and ability to lead a successful sales team was something that I observed from Day 1, and this ignited my interest in tech sales. She is even one of the co-chairs of the Women of HashiCorp ERG! This showcases that she looks to not only invest her time and energy into making the business successful, but also lifting up people around her.

Do you have any tips for maintaining work-life balance?

Exploring new interests in the community around you can help create things to do and look forward to outside of work. Since moving to Austin to work for HashiCorp, I have joined a running club. It has helped me explore the city and have something to look forward to during the week.

»Jenny Evans, Director, Corporate Communications, EMEA | London

What was your journey to HashiCorp?

I fell into marketing and communications more than 15 years ago, as a single parent, and quickly realized that I could forge a diverse and enjoyable career that used my skills. I’ve always worked in engineering and tech businesses; I find learning about complex concepts and helping others understand them very rewarding. Plus it’s an industry that’s always going to be at the forefront of the future, which is hugely exciting.

What advice do you have for women looking to excel in technology?

Don’t dismiss yourself as not-technical. I catch myself saying self-deprecating comments and it’s just not true. Just because you haven’t trained as an engineer or in computer science doesn’t mean you can’t have an impact in tech. You know more than you think and there are many ways to be technical without writing code.

What women in tech have inspired or influenced your career path?

HashiCorp Field CTO Sarah Polan and our Vice President of Northern EMEA Lousie Fellows. I have the utmost admiration for their knowledge, work ethic, and willingness to support those around them. They are role models willing to share their experiences of the good, bad, and occasionally ugly side of being a woman in tech, and how to succeed.

»Diana Akiri, Sales Development Representative, AMER | Austin, Texas

Do you have any tips for maintaining work-life balance?

What worked for me was going into each work day with the intention to feel almost tired by the end of it. Being productive and doing all the work I can within working hours actually made me feel good about rewarding myself with the evening off and alleviated a lot of stress and guilt. The mentality that I had to get x amount of tasks done in x amount of time has allowed me to not only reach professional goals and become a top performer, but also to feel proud of myself for the results I produced.

What was your journey to HashiCorp?

I was a junior in college when I came across HashiCorp. I was very interested in doing the Sales Development Representative internship, so once I applied, interviewed, and got accepted, I was over the moon! I’ve since established lasting connections with my fellow interns and many others on various teams. The internship was not only an introduction to HashiCorp, but also to the tech industry. I was able to learn the lingo and understand what the current landscape looks like and how HashiCorp solutions fit in it. I was able to become one of the top performers in the internship so I got a return offer, started after I graduated college, and have been working on the sales team ever since!

»Celine Valentine, Solutions Engineer | Houston, Texas

What was your journey to HashiCorp?

My journey began as a high school STEM teacher, where I discovered my passion for technology while inspiring young minds. Transitioning into software engineering and eventually solutions engineering, I've embraced the dynamic tech field, relishing the opportunity to learn daily on the job. My focus lies in leveraging tech knowledge to empower customers, aiding them in navigating complex cloud infrastructure and security challenges.

What advice do you have for women looking to excel in technology?

Consistently seek feedback to improve and reflect regularly to identify areas for growth. Embrace a mindset of continuous learning, striving to become an expert in one domain before branching out to others.

What challenges have you faced in your career and how did you overcome them?

I've learned to execute decisions thoughtfully, overcoming challenges by incorporating multiple perspectives and seeking advice. By channeling emotions into empathy and utilizing outlets like physical activities and hobbies, I've navigated difficulties while celebrating each step forward.

What words of encouragement would you like to share?

Always seek support from family, coworkers, and mentors during challenging times, fostering a positive circle of influence. Approach difficult situations with careful consideration and execution, utilizing emotions for empathy while maintaining sensibility. Communicate with clarity for conflict resolution, providing constructive alternative solutions in a diplomatic manner. Find outlets for self-expression and positive coping mechanisms, celebrating small victories to propel yourself forward.

»Netra Mali, Software Engineer, Terraform | Toronto

What was your journey to HashiCorp?

A passion for technology and problem-solving led me to pursue a degree in computer science. Here, I gained valuable experience and skills interning at several tech companies, including HashiCorp, having the opportunity to work on cutting-edge projects and collaborate with talented individuals. I made meaningful contributions, and my team was impressed by my work ethic, passion, and initiative to be involved in the HashiCorp community. When I received a full-time offer from HashiCorp, I was thrilled to accept. At HashiCorp, I've been able to work on challenging projects, contribute to impactful customer-facing initiatives, and grow both personally and professionally.

What advice do you have for women looking to excel in technology?

Initially I struggled to voice my ideas, opinions, and concerns in meetings and discussions. However, once I overcame my fear of saying the wrong thing, I realized the impact sharing a thought can have on the overall success of my team. It’s about taking that first leap and slowly building up the confidence to advocate for yourself as well as paving a way for future generations of women in technology.

My advice for women looking to excel in the technology field is rooted in my own experiences. First and foremost, believe in yourself and your capabilities. Confidence in your skills will propel you forward, even in the face of doubt or adversity. Having a positive attitude towards solving challenges will help you in situations where you don’t have the answers right away. Seek out mentors and allies who can offer support and guidance as you navigate your career path. These connections can provide valuable insights and help you overcome obstacles along the way.

»Caroline Belchamber, Account Manager, London

What advice do you have for women looking to excel in technology?

Listen, listen, listen and ask questions, even ones that you may feel are stupid. Those are the questions that could give you the clarity you need to start building knowledge and opinions. Putting ego aside, ask others to “explain it to me like I’m five years old” or “draw it for me” (if you’re a visual learner). It’s amazing how much people who have technical knowledge appreciate imparting that knowledge on others.

What challenges have you faced in your career and how have you overcome them?

As a woman working in IT for the past 15 years I’ve had a range of experiences; from being told to “make the tea” to being spat at for telling someone they were wrong. (This genuinely happened at a conference when I was demoing a product on a big screen). To overcome these negative experiences, one simply has to think, “What is going on in that person’s life to warrant such behavior?”, then take a deep breath and move on.

Who has inspired or influenced your career path?

I instantly thought of a handful of people that I have been lucky enough to meet, work with, and remain friends with, including: Tanya Helin, CRO at AutoRABIT; Carol Swartz, Director of Partner Development at Microsoft; HashiCorp’s Heather Potter, Vice President and Associate General Counsel, and Meghan Liese, Vice President of Product Marketing.

Do you have any tips for maintaining work-life balance?

Set boundaries based on what is important to you and your family. Turn off access to systems (Slack, email, etc.) to reduce the temptation to log back on.

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