Before starting at Mark43, I worked in traditionally female-dominated industries — higher education, recruiting, and the nonprofit sector. When presented with the opportunity to join the Mark43 team to focus on social impact and footprint, the position immediately appealed to me for several reasons. At the top of my list was the chance to grow professionally and intellectually by helping build out a critical new initiative (on a brand-new team, nonetheless) and working at the intersection of technology and public safety.
Within days of starting, Ganesha Martin invited me to join her and other women in developing the Mark43 Women’s Initiative. Admittedly, this was a welcome surprise as I hadn’t realized during the interview process or onboarding that Mark43 had a women’s employee resource group (ERG). I assumed they would not offer one, given that technology and public safety are traditionally male-dominated spaces. I discovered that the Women’s Initiative is a blossoming group with sponsorship and leadership of two senior women leaders and founded at the encouragement of our CEO.
During the first few months on the Women’s Initiative working group, we hosted various internal focus groups, called Listening Sessions, to get a sense of what Women of Mark43 want and need to know they are heard and supported by the company. These sessions provided significant feedback about women’s experience at Mark43 and beyond, leading to specific actions Mark43 is undertaking to increase support of women employees.
Our growing Women’s Initiative clearly demonstrates our company value of inclusion, which implores us to embrace people, ideas, and diversity of thought. Specifically, our Women’s Initiative creates and provides space for each woman’s voice to rise and have the company listen. Already, based on direct feedback received from women employees of Mark43, we hosted two professional development sessions on the importance of negotiating in life and a hands-on workshop to develop those skills.
My experience affirms, for me, Mark43 as a supportive place for women to work and flourish. Women’s History Month inspired me to reflect on being a woman and, particularly, being a woman in the workplace. My story aims to highlight my understanding of how Mark43 values women employees and strives to create a bias-free workplace where women, regardless of role or experience, can contribute and thrive. But my experience is just one of many. Fortunately, through my part in the Women’s Initiative, I’ve gotten to know outstanding women who are just as badass as you’d imagine them to be.
In honor of Women’s History Month, I reached out to several colleagues about their experiences. They shared insights and impressions on their professional pathways – what it means to be a woman employee at Mark43 and a woman leader in our changing world. As you can imagine, they dropped a lot of wisdom and insight.
There is too much knowledge for one blog post, so consider these quotes the first in a series of spotlights on a few of Mark43’s fantastic women employees.
What does Women’s History Month mean to you?
“Women’s History Month is a time to honor the achievements of women and give them well-deserved recognition.” Elsie Militar, Software Support Analyst, Mark43 CAD
“It provides perspective. I think each generation looks around and thinks, “Why is it like this???” and then sets out to change it. That’s how it should be. However, what is not always clear is that the last generation did that too and the one before. Women’s History Month provides perspective on just how far we have come. I think that is vital for the women with boots on the ground today. The long road ahead has a history and momentum behind it. When it seems like there’s too much in front of them, it can help to look at just how much has been done already.” Lori Cox, RMS Compliance Product Manager
“Women’s History Month, for me, means a time to be grateful for and inspired by the women who came before us, and a time to continue to advocate for and work for the women who are coming after us. So many women have dedicated so much to empowering each other, and we have definitely come a long way. But at the same time, there is still so much to do to get to where we want to be.” Tina Wu, Software Engineer, Mark43 JMS
“Women’s history month, to me, is a little bittersweet. While the world has ample opportunity to celebrate all the extraordinary women around us, I also believe it’s a reminder of how much work we still have ahead of us. The conversations are still concentrated on the inequality of pay, limited to inaccessible resources for women’s healthcare, and how we’re still questioning ourselves on how much of a hit our careers will take if we decide to become mothers. I want to say optimism is still present, but I think I speak for most women: we’re tired. We have many critical topics; everything mentioned above is purely fundamental. You can’t move forward until those foundations are set. I want to believe the only thing my generation leaves behind is the expectancy women are included in every discussion, not just the difficult ones that target what can or can’t be.” Araxie Miller, VP of Product Design & Research