Women in tech, women on the rise

I recently attended a HylandWIN (women in networking) meeting, where we gather to empower each other to excel professionally and personally. The group’s mission is to identify and promote the strengths of Hyland’s female employees to enhance the overall success of our company and community.

During the meeting, I had the pleasure of listening to a presentation by Amy Martin, vice president of Marketing for Mezu. She’s also the founder of SheintheCLE – a blog collective dedicated to raising the visibility and voices of women through purposeful conversations.

I had never heard of SheintheCLE, but after hearing from Amy, I felt empowered.

Amy inspired me with her relentless attitude of embracing who you are as a person and not allowing anything or anyone to define your limitations or successes. Amy talked a lot about her individual personality and how, at times, people used to perceive her as aggressive, instead of determined. This particular part of the discussion transitioned into the difference of how people can inaccurately perceive men versus women.

Many times, she said, people look at aggressive men as people who “get things done,” while they see aggressive women as “hard to work with.” It’s a double standard that’s changing, but I still know many women who have encountered it.

If I start a family, will it affect my career?

Later in the conversation, Amy talked about her personal life and her difficulty deciding whether to have children, which she later did. Every day, women have to debate whether or not having children will negatively influence their professional growth.

Again, we’ve come a long way, but we can still do more.

That’s why I was so proud when Hyland was named to the Top 23 Best Employers in Technology for Women 2018 List, published by Forbes. This is something we take seriously. But we don’t stop there.

As Susan deCathelineau, our vice president for global healthcare sales and services, said, ”We provide a safe, comfortable, and inspiring place to work for all of our employees.”

Do I really need a Master’s degree?

In addition to her discussion around expanding her family, Amy went on to talk about her education. She’s always wondered whether her lack of a Master’s degree when she was younger affected her career or not.

This was very interesting to me, because in December of 2017, I finished my last course at Tiffin University and finally completed my Bachelor’s Degree program in Business Management and Administration. This accomplishment was nothing short of miracle, as I was a full-time Hyland employee and along with my husband, was raising two small boys while I finished my degree.

However, a few weeks before Amy’s presentation, I was struggling to decide if I should get a Master’s Degree to help further my career.

Amy and I spoke in-depth about this after the meeting. When she was younger, she felt like having an advanced degree did open some doors for her. But now, with the professional experience she has gained and her abilities to shine, she opens those doors for herself.

After going back and forth for weeks about what was the right move for me, my family, and my career, I listened to an inspirational speech from someone a lot like myself, and was able to make a final decision. I decided NOT to get my Master’s degree after listening to Amy’s story, because much like her, I am capable of selling not only myself, but there is a laundry list of beneficial reasons why I am a contributing asset to any company.

I’m a lot like Amy. I am aggressive, a mother, ambitious, at times loud, but also incredibly talented, strong, and capable. Speaking with her reminded me that my successes are a reflection of myself and my life choices.

Like any good leader, Amy inspired me to be inspired by myself.

What women have inspired you? Leave a comment and let us know!

Alex White

Alex White

Alex White is a wife and mother who has worked as a Proposal Specialist at Hyland for two years.

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