How Do You Ensure Women Thrive In Your Workplace? These 13 NYC Leaders Have Some Advice

In honor of Women’s Equality Day, Built In New York connected with 13 women leaders who were eager to share about their workplaces’ support systems and opportunities.
Written by Olivia Arnold
August 25, 2022Updated: August 26, 2022

American civil rights activist Marian Wright Edelman famously said, “You can’t be what you can’t see.” For many women in tech, who often find themselves working in male-dominated spaces, this can translate to difficulty seeing themselves rising to leadership roles, sometimes stifling their career potential in its earliest stages. 

At these 13 New York-based companies, however, women don’t have to imagine what it would be like to work with people who look like them. Rather, they are surrounded by women on nearly every call and in every meeting, across departments and in leadership positions. 

While some received formal mentorship from high-ranking women at their companies, others said that simply seeing women in senior positions made them believe that their career goals were attainable. 

“Representation, especially in leadership, matters and can have a huge impact,” said Senior Director of Customer Partnerships Kara Brown at Ribbon Health, where women make up 50 percent of the executive leadership team.

Built In New York connected with these 13 women leaders in honor of Women’s Equality Day, an annual celebration on August 26 commemorating the passage of the 19th Amendment. Ratified to the U.S. Constitution in 1920, the amendment protects women’s right to vote — though at the time, it only immediately granted suffrage to white women. 

In addition to invaluable support networks and mentorship opportunities, the featured women who were mothers found it was important for their company to have a generous paid parental leave policy— and to actually welcome its usage. Upon returning from maternity leave, several leaders said remote work programs, flexible schedules and understanding managers helped them balance work demands with caring for their families.

“I’ve never been made to feel like my job or value within the company might suffer because I have to press ‘pause’ on work to parent when the need arises,” said Maureen Shaw, the senior communications manager at DataDome. “This is a wonderful thing.”

Women leaders at these 13 companies were eager to share more about their workplaces’ support systems and opportunities, which they say have allowed their expertise and skill sets to flourish. They reflected on their impressive career paths, while discussing what their companies are doing to ensure an inclusive workspace for all the women who follow in their footsteps. 
 

5 Unique Ways These Companies Support Women

  • Taking action in the aftermath of the Roe v. Wade overturn
  • Gifting a Snoo to new parents (because the sleep deprivation struggle is real)
  • Ensuring women are represented not only at the leadership level, but on the board of directors as well
  • Creating a culture in which men sponsor and support women as much as fellow women do
  • Making equitable pay transparent not just internally, but in external job postings as well

 

Pooja Mehta
Women’s Health Lead • Cityblock

 

Women’s Health Lead Pooja Mehta calls working for Cityblock Health, a healthtech company that connects community-based care and primary physicians, a “dream come true.” An obstetrician gynecologist, Mehta designs and advocates for equitable healthcare informed by the stories of low-income women and birthing people. More so, the company looks like the people they serve, with women of color heading several senior roles including CEO and chief financial officer. 

As a Cityblock Health employee and parent, Mehta is enthusiastic about the company’s remote work option, robust parental leave and personalized coaching. The company also offers employee resource groups, which Mehta says further affirms the different parts of her identity. 

 

What are your overall career goals, and to what degree have you been able to fulfill them at Cityblock Health?

My goals are to advance gender equity and reproductive justice by lifting up unheard voices and transforming systems. I’m an obstetrician gynecologist who works clinically in safety net systems. I hear stories every day that often go unshared. At Cityblock Health, I get to design care directly informed by these stories, focused on low-income birthing people and their families. 

Cityblock Health is a value-based care startup that provides community-based support integrated with primary care. This means that our care is fully financed by Medicaid payments, but can be more flexible than traditional hospital and clinic visits. We work virtually, in homes and in communities, and our teams are made up of outreach experts, community health workers, nurses, social workers, nurse practitioners, midwives and physicians — rather than just physicians working solo. It’s my dream come true. 

Applying this model to pregnancy care will answer the question government leaders, health systems, advocates and researchers are all trying to answer: How can we improve pregnancy outcomes, particularly for Black and brown women and birthing people? 

 

What benefits does Cityblock Health offer that help support and elevate women in the workplace?

First, as a parent who gave birth during the pandemic, it has been incredible to work from home. At the beginning of COVID-19 lockdown, we received a stipend to help us make sure we could work comfortably in our homes and, of course, I’m still able to travel and book meetings in shared spaces when needed. This allows me to be present with my family on my terms, and still give my best self to my work. 

Second, it was important to me as an advocate for birth equity and women’s health to have three months of fully paid parental leave, and to work in a place where it is normalized and encouraged for cisgender men to take full parental leaves. I celebrate that, and I think that building this intentional culture is as important to gender equity as the leave policy itself. 

Third, I receive personalized coaching as part of my employment with Cityblock. This has been invaluable as I seek to be a self-aware leader with a deepening impact. I think a lot of women of color often don’t have access to fully funded development and coaching opportunities as part of their regular employment, particularly in the healthcare world and especially in academia and government.

I love that I can be part of a women’s group, an LGBTQIA+ group and an Asian American group, affirming these different parts of my identity as a leader.

 

How has Cityblock Health built an inclusive and equitable culture for women? 

I am really proud of our equity, inclusion and belonging initiative at Cityblock, named “Common Thread,” since these principles must run through everything that we do. This includes employee resource groups focused on community building. I love that I can be part of a women’s group, an LGBTQIA+ group and an Asian American group, affirming these different parts of my identity as a leader.

One of our commitments as an organization is “representation,” ensuring that our team looks like those whom we serve. Our CEO, chief health officer and chief financial officer are all women of color, and our chief administrative officer and chief marketing officer are women, as well. This has a profound impact on our collective psyche as an organization, and on our ability to recruit those who want to work in a women-led environment. 

I never felt this more than when it was time to articulate our organizational response to the Supreme Court’s overturn of Roe v. Wade. There was no question that we were going to take an action-oriented stance that centered the voices of our disproportionately impacted Black women members and teams, and we prioritized concrete action to support their access to healthcare and autonomy.

 

 

Karen Lee
Director, ServiceNow • Take-Two Interactive

 

At Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc., employees set career goals using a development tool, which allows them to clearly track their accomplishments and areas for growth. The gaming developer provides strong benefits, including family leave and other perks that help preserve sustainable work-life balance. 

Employees share their diverse experiences and resources in ERGs and DEI groups. For International Women’s Day, the company hosted a number of events, including a moderated panel for Take-Two Women in Leadership.

 

What are your overall career goals, and to what degree have you been able to fulfill them at Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc.?

I’ve always had an interest in tech — its evolution and how it continues to shape our world — so it’s appropriate that I chose a career in IT. I’ve been a systems analyst, administrator, developer, lead and manager. Through each of these roles, a consistent goal has been to grow with what’s relevant and exciting in the tech industry, but today, my focus has extended to enabling team members to do the same. 

Take-Two shares this commitment to innovation and technology in not only the products we develop, but also in the tools we implement internally, which empower our employees to work seamlessly and efficiently. As a business, we strive to meet the needs of our customers, responding to demand with agility and velocity. 

In order to do so, our company culture encourages collaboration, team building, cross-training, transparency and engagement. There is an investment in people, not only as professionals, but as humans. This makes promoting simultaneous professional and personal growth a natural, organic process.

 

What benefits does Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. offer that help support and elevate women in the workplace?

Overall, we have excellent health benefits, including family leave, guidance for healthcare and insurance-related issues, emotional support and well-being programs and fitness reimbursement. Within these benefits, there are resources tailored to the concerns of women, recognizing the distinctive needs around work-life balance and preventing burnout.  

We also leverage an employee development tool to help with setting goals and expectations in alignment with career paths. This creates clear lines of communication on individual progress, accomplishments and areas for improvement. Ultimately, this open communication creates a sense of community and accessibility. I have comfortably and confidently led meetings, established agendas and proposed initiatives. All voices are welcome and acknowledged, and good ideas are supported, regardless of gender.

I’m excited for the future of our DEI program, where women are featured, build networks and find mentorship.

 

How has Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. built an inclusive and equitable culture for women? 

We have dedicated diversity, equality and inclusion professionals within our people operations and human resources teams who are focused on expanding our DEI and learning programs. We have a number of employee resource groups, which are employee-led, comprised of individuals with common values and philosophies and sponsored by executive leadership.  

This year, there was a vast socialization in support of International Women’s Day. Take-Two hosted a speaker series, a lunch and learn and a moderated event for Take-Two Women in Leadership. Each of these events provided forums for women to highlight and share our experiences, challenges and journeys in life and at work.

I’m coming up on my one-year anniversary in September, and I’m excited for the future of our DEI program, where women are featured, build networks and find mentorship.

 

 

monday.com team photo
monday.com

 

Heather Ficarra
Manager, Customer Success • monday.com

 

Customer Success Manager Heather Ficarra recently became a new mother while leading at monday.com, a software company specializing in work operating systems. While caring for her newborn, Ficarra felt supported by the company’s generous paid parental leave and flexible dependent care spending. 

Even before becoming a mother, Ficarra said the visibility of women across all teams and in positions of leadership at the company made her feel as though her career aspirations were achievable. 

 

What are your overall career goals, and to what degree have you been able to fulfill them at monday.com?

Since joining the workforce 10 years ago, I’ve found two of my passions to be geeking out about data and technology and being a resource and mentor to others. If I can empower those around me to be their best selves and work with them to help them achieve their aspirations, then I too feel successful. 

After identifying what my two passions were, I had to figure out what that meant career-wise. I realized a managerial role would allow me to work closely with others and help them develop both personally and professionally, with the added bonus of getting to dig deep into data and influence strategies and processes.

About two and a half years ago, I started as a mid-market customer success manager at monday.com. About a year later, I moved into a senior customer success manager role, coupled with an opportunity to be involved in a lead program initiative. The lead program was the exposure and confirmation I needed to know that I was striving for a role that allowed me to bring out untapped potential in others. 

Shortly after the lead program came to an end, I became a team lead to one of our amazing U.S.-based mid-market and small- and medium-sized business customer success teams.

 

What benefits does monday.com offer that help support and elevate women in the workplace?

We continue to be very women-forward across all areas of the company. In addition to numerous women in leadership and the open culture that makes it easy to connect with those women on both personal and professional levels, monday.com offers a number of benefits to ensure women continuously feel supported. 

I felt this firsthand when I recently went on paid maternity leave, finding that monday.com gave me the time I needed to bond with my newborn and feel prepared to return to work by offering benefits like flexible spending for dependent care. Now that I’m back in my day to day, I continue to feel supported knowing that I have the flexibility to balance my work and new personal responsibilities. 

In addition, as part of the amazing culture that monday.com has built, there continues to be a strong focus on diversity, equity and inclusion, both when hiring new talent and through general training provided to employees across all departments and locations.

 

How has monday.com built an inclusive and equitable culture for women? 

I’d be remiss if I didn’t highlight the numerous amazing women leaders we have at monday.com. The presence of women in roles — ranging from customer success to product to sales to legal — is what empowered me to feel confident in knowing that the career path I was striving for was possible. 

In addition to having representation of women across leadership, monday.com implemented employee resource groups as a means for various groups to create collective voices, including a women’s ERG. As part of the ERG, women foster their own community and also educate the rest of the monday.com employee base. 

For Women’s History Month, the women’s ERG put together a lineup of external events geared toward showcasing the amazing accomplishments of women both internally and externally, as well as how one can be successful in achieving personal goals while still pursuing professional ones. As a recent new mom, this was so empowering.

 

 

Lily Zhou
Senior Engineering Manager • Addepar

 

At Addepar, a software and data platform for investment portfolios, the Women@Addepar employee resource group organizes a number of initiatives including women’s networking events, Women’s History Month celebrations and gender-diverse hiring efforts. Senior Engineering Manager Lily Zhou, one of the Women@Addepar’s leaders, says CEO Eric Poirier and other senior leaders regularly check in with the group and encourage its efforts. 

Addepar also provides its employees with annual learning stipends, affinity groups and professional development programs specific to women’s needs and challenges. 

 

What are your overall career goals, and to what degree have you been able to fulfill them at Addepar?

My overall career goal is to continue growing as a tech leader who creates a long-term vision, articulates and passionately owns the invention and relentlessly drives it to completion to make a positive impact in the industry. 

When I joined Addepar, I realized that I could fulfill my goals here. The leadership team is exceptionally down-to-earth. There are many opportunities to involve and lead cross-functional initiatives, which is challenging but makes me feel excited and engaged daily.

 

What professional development resources does Addepar offer that help support and elevate women in the workplace?

First, Addepar provides an annual learning and development allowance for every employee. Employees can use this for professional development in their role and to assist with their career growth. We also offer exceptional learning and development programs specific to women’s needs and challenges. 

In addition, the company has vibrant affinity groups or ERGs. Our Women@Addepar affinity group has funds to support all means of women-related initiatives, which can be as small as a coffee networking event or larger experiences such as workshops with external speakers. 

Addepar also pays tremendous attention to data-driven culture metrics. For example, we measure workplace diversity and inclusion in our biannual employee engagement and culture surveys, where we frequently achieve 90 percent-plus participation as part of our goal to hear every employee’s voice. These surveys explore employees’ satisfaction and how different groups experience our company culture, from organizational perspectives like level, division or tenure to personal perspectives such as gender, family status or ethnicity. Addepar is committed to continuously improving our inclusive environment.

Actions speak louder than words, and we continue to see many more women engineering leaders at Addepar.

 

How has Addepar built an inclusive and equitable culture for women? 

One of the great benefits of workplace diversity is that it allows for various perspectives and backgrounds to be brought together. We believe that sharing other cultures, points of view and different ways of doing things can add immeasurably to a team’s problem-solving skills and creativity. Addepar is intensely aware of the organization’s diverse needs and actively works on building an inclusive environment where employees of all backgrounds can be heard and contribute to the best business outcomes.

There are many examples, but one example of what it looks like in action is the support that our affinity groups receive. I am honored to be one of the leaders in Women@Addepar. Our CEO Eric Poirier and other key leaders have regular check-ins with our group and provide abundant resources to support our initiatives. The Women@Addepar group runs various activities to celebrate Women’s History Month, women’s social networking events, women-targeted hiring and more. In addition, the company invites external women leaders to share their insight during our company speaker series. 

Actions speak louder than words, and we continue to see many more women engineering leaders at Addepar.

 

 

adMarketplace team members having a conversation in the office
adMarketplace

 

Teena Singh
Vice President of Advertiser Services • adMarketplace

 

Teena Singh says mentorship opportunities were crucial to her successful career development. She chose to work at adMarketplace, where she is now vice president of advertiser services, because the consumer search platform organization infuses mentorship into its company culture, including its buddy program for new hires. 

This care for mentorship was re-emphasized in a companywide panel discussion on International Women’s Day, during which attendees heard from adMarketplace’s women leaders. The Ladies at AMP group also provides a judgment-free zone for women employees to exchange resources and support. 

 

What are your overall career goals, and to what degree have you been able to fulfill them at adMarketplace?

In my two years at adMarketplace, I have grown so much. I joined as director of client services in August 2020, was promoted to senior director and then promoted to my current role as vice president of advertiser services. After being on the agency side for the majority of my career, I appreciate the opportunities adMarketplace has given me to be curious and creative, and to leverage my previous experience to deliver the best results.

I recognized an opportunity to facilitate a coaching environment when I joined adMarketplace. Backed by robust onboarding and weekly training to support the team’s development, we’ve doubled the client services department with several budding leaders moving up through internal promotions, through which they now manage teams. 

With the confidence of Adam J. Epstein, our president and COO, and Todd Adest, vice president of global sales, marketing and client services, I’ve been able to build and lead my own team. I’m excited knowing that I lead and work alongside individuals who are genuinely passionate about adMarketplace’s mission to transform the search industry by empowering people with the freedom to define their search experience. The growth has been tremendous, and we’re still growing!

 

What professional development resources does adMarketplace offer that help support and elevate women in the workplace?

I strongly believe in the value of mentors, both in being one and having one. It’s been crucial to my own professional development. Most of the managers in my career have been women, and they have all cultivated a culture of support. The industry has been changing to be more inclusive of women, and current women leaders need to be a source of support for the next generation.

I chose to work at adMarketplace because it aligns with my values on mentorship. We have a buddy program where team members introduce new hires to other departments and serve as mentors to ensure a smooth onboarding experience. The first weeks at a new job can be intimidating, and I think adMarketplace’s people team has done a great job of implementing a program to mitigate that.

Something important and helpful is the Ladies of AMP group that we have here at adMarketplace. It gives us a place to come together to share experiences, exchange resources and, more generally, provide a judgment-free space where we can support each other.

adMarketplace also has a continuing education program to reimburse and encourage employees to take courses to develop their personal and professional skills.

I’ve always had a seat at the table because my managers understood the value of diversity and the skills I bring.

 

How has adMarketplace built an inclusive and equitable culture for women? 

It’s essential that everyone has their voice heard and has the opportunity to make an impact. I’ve always had a seat at the table because my managers understood the value of diversity and the skills I bring. I’ve been able to give and ask for feedback because of the open and honest environment allowing everyone to articulate their viewpoints. 

As the company has grown, I’ve noticed a genuine effort to increasingly embody our 5 Cs, particularly creative conflict. When women speak, the company must actively listen and take action based on the feedback. 

On International Women’s Day, adMarketplace hosted a women’s leadership panel celebrating the women at adMarketplace driving the search industry with their leadership. So many of the younger women sought an outlet and someone to help guide them. It’s so important that women have someone they can come to for advice and share their thoughts. 

In addition, there was so much interest in my experience with mentorship and questions about how to get a mentor. I love that I have been given a chance at adMarketplace to begin addressing this by empowering the women who make adMarketplace such a fantastic place to work.

 

 

Dara Raskin
Senior Director, Application Engineering • Unqork

 

Unqork is an enterprise SaaS platform that allows users to build no-code software applications. Its employee resource strategy group, Womxn of Unqork, hosts safe-space conversations and learning opportunities focused on gender equality. As the company grows, it has adjusted benefits to best meet the specific needs of its team, including transitioning to fully remote work, adding more observed holidays and extending paid family leave. 

 

What are your overall career goals, and to what degree have you been able to fulfill them at Unqork?

I think it’s important that career goals are ever changing. Over the last year, I have had a few consistent goals and ones that change as I try new things. The goals that have been consistent are: learning every day, being a great manager and thoughtful team member and sharing technology knowledge in bite-sized pieces. 

I want to write a book or teach a university class one day to share what I’ve learned about codeless architecture and technology leadership to help grow the next generation of Unqorkers. The goals that change are more about where I see myself in 10 years. 

At Unqork, I have been exposed to different parts of the company, participated in the company scaling and led a growing team of engineers. Each of these roles allowed me to grow my management skills, share enthusiasm for no-code and technology and taught me something new.

Presenting at Unqork Create and sharing ideas on Twitch and in our community hub have been great ways to try something new and work toward my goals. My mentors at Unqork have supported and helped me get closer to my goals at each turn. I look forward to providing that mentorship to our future leaders, too.

 

What benefits does Unqork offer that help support and elevate women in the workplace?

As a growing company, Unqork has been open to suggestions from our employees to better meet their needs. Over the last two years, we have gone remote, added observed holidays that resonated with our diverse team and expanded paid family leave.

I think the flexibility of Unqork to meet our employees where they are has meant that employees of all races and genders are able to be elevated at Unqork.

I have never seen a glass ceiling that I needed to break at Unqork because I have always had more senior women at the company whom I could reach out to.

 

How has Unqork built an inclusive and equitable culture for women? 

I have never seen a glass ceiling that I needed to break at Unqork because I have always had more senior women at the company whom I could reach out to, gain mentorship from, formally and informally, and learn from. I have also seen the men at Unqork provide guidance, mentorship and sponsorship for women of all levels. 

Our Womxn of Unqork employee resource strategy group is incredibly valuable in providing space for conversations, learning and development for people of all genders on how to grow an equitable organization.

 

 

Anchorage Digital group photo
Anchorage Digital

 

Julie Veltman
Head of Finance • Anchorage Digital

 

Anchorage Digital, a digital asset platform for crypto, implements several key policies to support women in the workplace, such as transparent compensation practices, flexible work schedules, generous PTO and paid parental leave. The fintech company also offers a women’s ERG and one-on-one connections with all team members, including its C-suite. 

 

What are your overall career goals, and to what degree have you been able to fulfill them at Anchorage Digital?

As the leader of the finance team at Anchorage Digital, a regulated, institutional crypto platform, I have the opportunity to do something that hasn’t been done before at a rapidly growing company. Blockchain technology has incredible potential to address the inefficiencies in the financial system. I love playing a part in reimagining the evolution of the financial system.  

Day to day, I’m focused on scaling Anchorage Digital’s finance and accounting team and supporting our rapidly growing businesses. It’s an exciting challenge because we’re setting so many precedents in this space. Clear accounting guidance does not exist for a lot of what we do, so we are establishing industry norms and standards. It’s impossible to ever be bored! 

 

What benefits does Anchorage Digital offer that help support and elevate women in the workplace?

One of the things that I love about Anchorage is that we offer support to women in a way that is built into our cultural fabric. It’s part of Anchorage’s overall commitment to making sure the team has what we need to thrive. That being said, there are several specific policies and resources that help women on our team grow in their careers with Anchorage. 

The first thing you’ll notice about our team is the number of women in leadership roles. We also have our former general counsel, Katie Biber, on our board. 

Our policies recognize the blend of challenges unique to women. Anchorage takes pay equity incredibly seriously, with a transparent compensation philosophy that ensures pay discrimination doesn’t occur. Anchorage is a great combination of fast-paced and family-friendly, with a flexible work schedule and paid time-off policy. 

Anchorage offers generous paid parental leave, and new parents receive a Snoo (non-parents may not be familiar with these, but those in the know swear by them!). We provide community for women, with an internal women’s resource group that helps us connect and network with each other.

Anchorage has a true one-team culture that encourages everyone to be their authentic selves at work — to speak up, ask questions and safely express opinions that differ from the group.

 

How has Anchorage Digital built an inclusive and equitable culture for women?

Anchorage has a true one-team culture that encourages everyone to be their authentic selves at work — to speak up, ask questions and safely express opinions that differ from the group. This contributes to an incredibly inclusive and supportive environment. That open, collaborative culture attracts talented women, and I believe it’s why I’m one of many women leaders here; it’s something I hadn’t necessarily experienced earlier in my career! 

Mentorship is fostered in our whole-company meetings each week and demonstrated by our transparent and accessible leaders. Managers are provided with leadership, training and tools to lead inclusive teams. Anchorage pairs everyone in one-on-one meetings to develop working relationships with people at all levels of the company, including from the C-suite. 

Women are represented in all departments and at all levels of our company — from the executive team to recent college graduates — so there are many examples to follow. Women thrive in the workplace when they feel comfortable disagreeing, know they can go to their managers with questions or suggestions at any time and see strong, confident women in senior roles.

 

 

Neha Srivastava
Senior Software Engineer II • Wonder

 

At Wonder, a mobile-restaurant delivery service, Senior Software Engineer II Neha Srivastava says she was quickly entrusted to lead and own major projects, for which she received praise from leadership during all-hands meetings. 

The food-tech startup employs women at all levels, but it is striving to improve its representation of women and people of color. Wonder offers a range of perks that benefit women including its Wonder Women ERG, mentorship opportunities, transparent pay ranges on its job postings, flexible work options and generous parental leave. 

 

What are your overall career goals, and to what degree have you been able to fulfill them at Wonder?

When I joined Wonder as a senior software engineer II in February, my immediate goals were to be able to design and deliver good and robust solutions for complex engineering issues. I wanted to solve real issues affecting the business so that I could learn and grow as an engineer, while also making a positive impact on the company. 

It has only been a few months since I joined, but I was impressed by how quickly I was given responsibilities for big projects. I was made project lead on a very complex and large project that would impact revenue directly. We just delivered the project in July, and it has been noted in company all-hands meetings with special attention from the founder and the CEO. I could not have imagined a better opportunity to showcase my work and learn so much as an engineer in such a short span of time.

As an individual contributor, these kinds of opportunities are essential in making one’s career. I am glad that there was no favoritism or seniority that played into assigning this project, and that the team and management trusted a new hire for it.

Flexible work arrangements and generous parental leave policies create a welcoming environment for most employees, including women.

 

What benefits does Wonder offer that help support and elevate women in the workplace?

The Wonder Women ERG has been functioning almost since the company started. Within the ERG, there are mentorship programs that support career growth and provide advice from outside the reporting chain. This is a very valuable asset, in my opinion, for career growth. 

Recently, Wonder also started a policy of advertising the payscale for various job opportunities on the website. This kind of transparency is a valuable asset in reducing the pay gap. I believe that flexible work arrangements and generous parental leave policies create a welcoming environment for most employees, including women. 

 

How has Wonder built an inclusive and equitable culture for women? 

One of the things that impressed me about Wonder from the get-go was its high representation of women at all levels, along with its motivation to do better in representing women and people of color. This shows that the company has an inclusive and equitable culture. 

The company is young, but on the right track. Over time, we will find out how it fares in ensuring balance as it grows; but as it stands now, the culture is very collaborative and supportive of all employees. 

 

 

Suzanne Ross
Director of Product, Mortgage • Ocrolus

 

At Ocrolus, a document automation platform for financial services, Director of Product Suzanne Ross says there is a culture of empowering and respecting women. From her first day at the fintech company, Ross has felt like she was involved in discussions at all levels and provided with support, including invaluable mentorship sessions. 

The Ocrolus Women group welcomes new women hires into a community of supportive professionals. The company also observes International Women’s Day with presentations from women and men in leadership. 

 

What are your overall career goals, and to what degree have you been able to fulfill them at Ocrolus?

My career goal has always been to work in a position where I can help empower and support others, especially women, to achieve their goals through thought leadership. This is while making an impact with my work, not just in the company but also in the community, by directing teams to build products that make a difference in the lending industry. 

My desire for a long-term career with a company that has a culture of positive influence and respect for diversity was not previously fulfilled, so I took a leap of faith and came to Ocrolus. With more of a lending background than a technical background, I was honestly nervous that my voice would not be heard — but my experience has been completely the opposite. 

From day one at Ocrolus, I was influencing decisions and being included in discussions at every level within the company, while also having the support needed to make an impact.

 

What professional development resources does Ocrolus offer that help support and elevate women in the workplace?

Ocrolus is the most collaborative and inclusive organization that I have had the pleasure of working for. They highly encourage everyone to expand their knowledge through online or in-person courses using the annual learning and development stipend, open lines of communication and company training programs. 

For women, there is a culture of empowerment and respect. Women are celebrated and elevated through mentorship sessions that enable us to explore options and ask questions in a judgment-free zone. Additionally, I am given the freedom and opportunity to share my experiences and industry knowledge with others, who eagerly participate and reach out for mentorship through one-on-one sessions and larger quorums.

At Ocrolus, I do not feel like a woman leader — in a good way.

 

How has Ocrolus built an inclusive and equitable culture for women? 

At Ocrolus, I do not feel like a “woman leader” — in a good way. I don’t think there are boundaries that I must overcome to lead as a woman effectively; instead, I am a valuable member of the team with a voice and a seat at the table. I have been elevated, encouraged and inspired to speak up and offer my opinions and expertise. 

Additionally, the network of Ocrolus Women immediately reaches out to all new women on board to welcome them to the community of women on staff and readily encourages the expression of personality and vision in a very non-competitive and synergetic way. On International Women’s Day this year, I was part of a celebration of women that I had never experienced before. The presentations from men and women leaders alike were impressive and sincere. 

I am so happy to have found a career with a company that celebrates diversity and champions women and people of all colors, genders and backgrounds. They value the input provided by every person who leads and supports the company’s efforts and goals. There is genuinely a feeling of unity and collaboration that we are all working together toward one common goal.

 

 

Ribbon Health team photo in the office
Ribbon Health

 

Kara Brown
Senior Director of Customer Partnerships • Ribbon Health

 

With healthcare at the core of its mission, Ribbon Health, a healthcare data platform, offers a number of excellent benefits including unlimited PTO, generous parental leave and fertility and growing family support. As a mom of two, Brown says that one of Ribbon Health’s best perks is its flexible work schedule, which allows her to dedicate time to her family every day. 

 

What are your overall career goals, and to what degree have you been able to fulfill them at Ribbon Health?

I joined Ribbon because I saw family members struggle with confusion around a disconnected healthcare system. I wanted to make it easier for others to get access to high-quality, affordable care. Ribbon is building infrastructure to enable a world where navigating healthcare is simple, and I’m able to bring my experience to contribute toward that mission. 

I was also looking for a company where I could really build out a function and a team I feel passionate about. I’ve had the opportunity to create a strong team that looks for ways to lift each other up and motivates each other on a daily basis. This kind of collaboration is really inspiring. 

One very important career and lifestyle goal for me is the ability to have control over my time. I’m a mom of two kids, and the most important part of my life is ensuring I can spend quality time with them. It’s crucial for me to work at an organization like Ribbon that respects this and allows me the autonomy to manage my time accordingly.

I carve out dedicated family time every day, and my teammates support and hold me accountable to this boundary.

 

What benefits does Ribbon Health offer that help support and elevate women in the workplace?

Ribbon has an incredible suite of benefits that help support and elevate women and encourage all employees to invest in their own well-being. Beyond standard benefits like paid sick leave and fully sponsored insurance, Ribbon offers unlimited paid time off, generous parental leave, fertility and growing family support, employer-covered mental health services and a healthcare advocacy and assistance program. 

I love that Ribbon offers the flexibility of either working in the office or from home, and encourages all employees to find a strong work-life integration, whatever that means for them. All team members share a working norms document on how they prefer to manage their daily and weekly schedules and what their most important lifestyle goals are. For me as a parent, Ribbon’s flexible scheduling allows me to be supportive of my kids and have time in my day to be with them. I carve out dedicated family time every day, and my teammates support and hold me accountable to this boundary.

 

How has your Ribbon Health built an inclusive and equitable culture for women? 

Since its inception, leaders at Ribbon have acknowledged the importance of developing equitable principles and processes, seeking balance in representation and ensuring individuals act inclusively. Ribbon has a dedicated DEI council that focuses on implementing these practices around recruiting, learning and building community through celebrations. 

Our executive team is 50 percent women. To me, this is a very clear example of actually putting DEI principles into practice. Representation, especially in leadership, matters and can have a huge impact. 

I see this equitable culture come to life in the way Ribbon approaches career development. We commit to a personalized coaching plan for each individual based on their interests and goals, and all employees have monthly development conversations with their managers that tie back to companywide competencies and values. 

This commitment to transparency and openness ensures all employees have the same opportunities for development, regardless of gender. Ribbon also provides resources on how to reduce bias and regularly supports local women-owned small businesses for team events.

 

 

Ali Sipher
Lead Product Manager • Parsley Health

 

Lead Product Manager Ali Sipher says that, as a result of Parsley Health’s leadership team being majority-women, nearly every company benefit and professional development opportunity is geared toward serving women employees. 

The healthtech company, designed to help women with chronic conditions, also partners with businesses owned by women and Black, Indigenous and people-of-color leaders to offer discounted Parsley Health memberships.
 

What are your overall career goals, and to what degree have you been able to fulfill them at Parsley Health?

From the very beginning, I’ve found myself gravitating toward teams who are shifting their industries from analog to digital (a.k.a. the “digital transformation”). This pursuit began with my first product role, building a mobile app to modernize the way women shop for clothes with friends. I moved on to lead a product team that transformed catalog management for one of the world’s largest retailers. 

Now, at Parsley Health, we’re bringing the delivery of root-cause, personalized healthcare into the digital age.

The overwhelming majority of Parsley’s leadership team is made up of women, which makes us a very proud outlier in the healthtech space.

 

What benefits does Parsley Health offer that help support and elevate women in the workplace?

The overwhelming majority of Parsley’s leadership team is made up of women, which makes us a very proud outlier in the healthtech space. It might sound too good to be true, but that means nearly every professional benefit and development resource serves the women on our team. 

A personal favorite is our development stipend. Every member of the team gets an annual budget to dedicate toward career growth. Teammates have used these funds for everything from courses to career coaches to conferences. 

 

How has Parsley Health built an inclusive and equitable culture for women? 

Parsley’s patient population plays an integral role in our company culture. In fact, a meaningful percentage of our current team began as Parsley patients. 

Recently, we launched Parsley Pals, a pilot program designed to provide high-quality, holistic healthcare to Black, Indigenous and people-of-color communities. We do this by partnering with BIPOC businesses across the country and offering discounted memberships to marginalized communities who lack access to high-quality healthcare. Our first two partners are BIPOC, women-owned businesses in the fitness and culinary spaces.

 

 

Maureen Shaw
Senior Communications Manager • DataDome

 

Aiming to achieve gender parity in its employment, cybersecurity company DataDome recently joined 50inTech, a movement that encourages hiring, promoting and retaining women in technology companies. DataDome, a provider of SaaS solutions to protect customers’ websites, also hosts DEI pods, during which employees discuss and craft company policies related to women’s empowerment, LGBTQIA+ rights, parenting and more. 

Senior Communications Manager Maureen Shaw says that her work experience is a testament to DataDome’s inclusive culture. As a single mother, Shaw sometimes needs to adjust meeting times or deadlines when last-minute schedule changes arise, and she says her manager and team have always supported her in doing so. 

 

What are your overall career goals, and to what degree have you been able to fulfill them at DataDome?

My career path has not been linear. Since I entered the workforce nearly 20 years ago, I’ve had a rather eclectic resumé, ranging from public relations, to journalism, to nonprofit advocacy work, with gaps in between to raise my children. 

Similarly, my overall career goals don’t follow a prescriptive trajectory. Rather than setting financial or promotion goals and timelines, I take a more holistic approach. I want to leverage my skill set in communications in a positive work environment that both challenges me and leaves me with a sense of satisfaction at the end of each day.  

When I began at DataDome 14 months ago, my goal was to build a successful, sustainable and scalable communications program from scratch with autonomy. This was a challenging undertaking, but extremely rewarding. Since day one, I have been given the support — both in terms of resources and encouragement – that I need to do my job. Not once have I encountered any red tape, hesitation or dissuasion when presenting new ideas. 

Because of this, I have succeeded in building and expanding brand awareness for DataDome in a tough market, and my successes aren’t mine alone; they belong to all of my colleagues. 

 

What benefits and professional development resources does DataDome offer that help support and elevate women in the workplace?

DataDome makes every effort to invest in a gender-diverse team, with the ultimate goal of achieving gender parity, which is something that is generally lacking in the technology industry. To this end, women represent nearly 28 percent of DataDome’s total employee base (higher than the industry average), including many roles in engineering, management and leadership. Recently, DataDome joined the 50inTech movement, which encourages the hiring, promotion and retention of women in technology companies.

Additionally, DataDome proactively invests in its employees’ professional development and supports structured career paths, both monetarily and from a work-life balance perspective. With a new training plan in place, employees can access relevant training courses at no cost to them, as well as participate in industry conferences. 

Too often in corporate culture, mothers can feel torn between work and their children. At DataDome, I luckily do not have that problem.

 

How has DataDome built an inclusive and equitable culture for women? 

Anecdotally, I can attest to DataDome’s inclusive, equitable culture. Case in point: I’m a single mother, which sometimes requires last-minute changes in my workday schedule. This can mean moving meetings or pushing back deadlines, and I have always had my manager’s support. I’ve never been made to feel like my job or value within the company might suffer because I have to press “pause” on work to parent when the need arises. This is a wonderful thing. Too often in corporate culture, mothers can feel torn between work and their children. At DataDome, I luckily do not have that problem.

Our HR department also recently kicked off DEI pods, focused on topics such as LGBTQIA+ rights, women’s empowerment, parenting, accessibility and culture and ethnicities. Each of the five pods are led by an employee, four of whom are women, with the goal of fostering a sense of shared community and making an impact internally, whether in the form of policies, education or awareness. At DataDome, women are celebrated and treated with respect.

 

 

ALT team photo
ALT

 

Lauren Brand
Head of Customer • ALT

 

ALT, a platform for buying and researching sports cards and other alternative assets, sits at the intersection of three historically male-dominated fields: sports, tech and finance. That’s why it’s all the more impressive, Head of Customer Lauren Brand says, that the fintech company has achieved equal representation of women on its leadership team. 

ALT provides learning and development stipends, which women employees have used to attend conferences hosted by the Women of Silicon Valley and NFT.NYC. Through a mentorship program run by ALT investor First Round, employees are matched up with experts at other portfolio companies. Finally, ALT and its investors support a generous parental leave policy, which especially appealed to Brand as a mother. 

 

What are your overall career goals, and to what degree have you been able to fulfill them at ALT?

Ever since I got involved in startups back in college, I’ve aspired to join an early-stage company and help shape it from the ground up. I spent the first decade of my career working in client-facing roles, where I worked to shape customer experiences and go-to-market strategies. This taught me what “great” looks like, and allowed me to experience a wide range of industries and approaches.

ALT was an opportunity to achieve one of my career goals, which was to take my learnings from helping other companies and have a chance to build a customer organization from scratch. As the first employee on the customer team, I had the unique experience of doing the job of each function before scaling it. On day one, I was answering support tickets, and I still review them to this day. 

This gave me a front row seat into how our customers experience ALT, which enables me to craft a best-in-class strategy for them. As ALT continues to grow, I continue to have more chances to learn and grow along with it, and we are just getting started!

 

What professional development resources does ALT offer that help support and elevate women in the workplace?

At ALT, we are focused on fostering a culture of empowerment, and this starts with providing our employees with the resources needed to reach their full potential. One way we do this is through our $2,000 learning and development stipend, which each employee earns after 6 months of employment. 

One great example of how some of our women employees used this stipend was to attend the Women of Silicon Valley conference. This focused on connecting women to each other, inspiring them and improving their expertise. Another example was when we sent some ALT women to attend the NFT.NYC conference, which was a way to bring diverse viewpoints into historically male-dominated conversations on topics such as Web3 and investing.

We are also fortunate to have access to wonderful resources through our investors, such as First Round’s mentorship program. This program matches our employees with experts at other portfolio companies in their field and gives them the opportunity to prepare for becoming a leader by opting to become first-time mentors. All of these resources provide our women employees with experiences and skills that allow them to continue excelling in their day-to-day roles at ALT.

Knowing that ALT has a generous parental leave policy as well as investors and leaders who understand the importance of these benefits, I feel supported in my roles as both a mother and business leader.

 

How has ALT built an inclusive and equitable culture for women? 

What I appreciate most about ALT’s culture is that we don’t just talk about building an inclusive and equitable culture for women, we live it. In addition to providing resources for women employees of all levels at ALT, we also lead by example with a leadership team that is 50 percent women. We are very proud of this and believe it allows for all women employees to clearly see an achievable path to leadership. 

We are especially proud of doing this in our industry which, at the intersection of sports, tech and finance, traditionally struggles to maintain equal gender representation.

We’ve also taken on investors who align with the cultural values we are trying to build. Our lead investor is 776’s Alexis Ohanian, who is one of the foremost advocates for parental leave in the United States and has been very open about his experience taking paternity leave. Knowing that ALT has a generous parental leave policy as well as investors and leaders who understand the importance of these benefits, I feel supported in my roles as both a mother and business leader.

 

 

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