• Employee Spotlights

Women’s History Month: What we learned from the women of Khoros

by Franny Harold, Content Specialist | Mar 29, 2022

Introduction

March is Women’s History Month, and we’re so excited to celebrate all the women who make our company, industry, and world so great. That’s why we asked a few of the incredible women at our company to share their own stories, as well as their perspectives on what it means to be a woman in tech, the significance of intersectionality, and more. We asked each of them a few questions, and here are their answers.

Sejal Amin, Chief Product and Technology Officer

Sejal Amin


What does being a woman/marginalized gender in tech mean to you?

While I had an uphill battle as a woman in technology, I persevered and sought out support when I needed it. Most importantly, I always found a way to pay it forward and be a better ally — not only in one-off instances but as a champion for systemic changes that could have a long-lasting effect on the environment. When lending a hand to someone, it is important to step back and look for systemic changes that will benefit many to create a real feeling of belonging.

Beyond this, I work hard to immerse myself in perspectives that are not my own, recognizing that I will not know everything but must stay open to continuous learning. I try to be an ally, and allies ask questions over making statements and stay flexible, as much as possible, to change. Allyship involves both advocacy and action built on a foundation of humility, listening and learning.

I hope that if I model these behaviors that others will as well and make a meaningful change in the environment. As a leader, I recognize that people will follow what I do, so I am committed to casting the right shadow.

Sakshi Singhal, Software Engineer III

Sakshi Singhal


What does being a woman/marginalized gender in tech mean to you?

Women have always been harbingers of change in all walks of life. The domain of technology is no exception. With the ever-shifting technological landscape defining our daily lives, the participation of women in tech can not be overlooked. Having worked as a software engineer for over five years myself, I can say I feel empowered. Being able to take up challenges and leave a mark on this company and industry gives me a sense of pride. Being able to contribute to a field that has become the core of our world today is simply wonderful.

But reaching this point has not come without challenges and problems. Whether it’s working late in the office or being expected to handle both work and home during this WFH setup, it has been and continues to be a tough path. Facing stereotypes and biases often brings me down, but I come out of these situations more determined and polished than before. I want to keep going stronger and work towards #breakingthebias by doing what I do best — being myself.

When I look at my fellow women who are shining and excelling in a field that remains largely male-dominated, I feel a sense of accomplishment. We do, however, have a long way to go. While we rejoice in the progress made, we should not take our eyes off the ball. Let's encourage more and more lovely ladies to enter STEM fields. Let us help each other move forward. Be supportive, be inclusive!

Dre Hey, Marketing Programs Specialist

Dre Hey


What does being a woman/marginalized gender in tech mean to you?

So often with new technology, we see spaces carved away by men. Not because of higher interest or skill level, but because that’s the way things are, and have been. Even in the newly blooming cryptocurrency and NFT space, male dominance is apparent. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t women there too, working equally as hard. It just means they’re less visible — something women and gender non-conforming people often have to deal with in a myriad of situations.

Writing about being a woman in tech can be a daunting task. For every woman who has lived a similar experience, there will be someone else there, doubting you. But if even just one person relates, sharing your voice and message is worth it. This is what working in tech has taught me — not only as a woman, but as a person. Each of us has different lived experiences to bring to the table, and gender has nothing to do with it (at the very least, it shouldn’t).

Being a woman in tech means being confident in yourself and your work. It means putting yourself out there. It means knowing that sometimes people will doubt you, but that if you stay persistent, you will persevere. It means that without you, so many young girls, women, and gender-nonconforming people would not have the guidance and inspiration they need to pursue their dreams.

And at Khoros, it means even more. It means being supported by your teammates, not because of your gender but because of your work. It means having the opportunity to be a mother and be successful in your career. It means seeing women in leadership positions across the entire organization, including our C-Suite (shoutout Sejal Amin, Katherine Calvert, Alifya Curtin, April Downing, and Staci Satterwhite). It means being yourself, wholeheartedly, and being respected and looked to for your unique perspectives.

I have grabbed lunch with our talented CMO, Katherine Calvert. I’ve watched our female-led EMEA team throw an incredible Sales Kickoff event. I even had the opportunity to work with not one but two badass managers who returned from maternity and exceeded our team goals and expectations. And through all these experiences (and more) with the women of Khoros, I am constantly reminded that as women, we can accomplish anything we set our minds to.

Brittany Harris, Senior Strategist

Brittany Harris


Could you please speak about the significant importance of understanding intersectionality?

Being a woman, being Black, and being a Black woman are all different experiences. But these experiences often cross paths, and that makes it easier for the people who have them to understand, relate to, and support one another. There have been spaces where I was the only woman or the only Black person in a room, and I know that other people who identify with a marginalized group share that experience with me. Being able to identify with those similar moments and relate increases our mutual devotion to allyship. We want to see one another win so much more.

In your opinion, who are some of the greatest (or your favorite) pioneers of Black women’s history?

While I love to focus on the pioneers, I also feel like they get a lot of attention. For me, my greatest inspiration comes from the Black women who are continuing to forge ways and make an impact. Women like Nichole Barnes Marshall, Global Head of Inclusion & Diversity at Pinterest, and Rachel Rodgers (@rachrodgersesq), who taught me to dream beyond the status quo. These women are making history and are giving the roadmap to help me make some of my own.

What does being a woman/marginalized gender in tech mean to you?

Being a woman in tech is a unique experience. I love being able to pave the way for young women who want to explore career fields outside the gender norms. I am grateful for the opportunity to break stereotypes and shift the narrative.

Emily Caldwell, Digital Strategist

Emily Caldwell


What personal experiences would you like to share/shed a light on?

As a woman in the workforce with non-visible disabilities and young children, I’ve historically had a difficult time finding a position that allows me to balance the challenges and leverage the skills I’ve developed. I’m grateful to have found a company in Khoros that allows flexibility and purposefully engages in learning about employees’ strengths and weaknesses to create a positive work environment.

Who is a woman in your life (or historical figure) that’s inspired you? What should we know about them?

There are so many women I’ve drawn inspiration from in my life, from my stubborn (in the best way!), outspoken grandmother — who taught me to stand up for and challenge myself — to more public figures. I have a list a mile long of inspirational women who have helped shape me into the woman I am today, but one who has made a huge, unexpected impact on me in recent years is Chanel Miller. Her book, Know My Name, was extraordinarily healing and eye-opening. I highly recommend it, but trigger warning: the content is largely centered around SA.

Most of the women I’ve drawn inspiration from in recent years are authors. So, if you’re a reader like me, I highly recommend Brene Brown, Tarana Burke, Elizabeth Gilbert, Rachel Cargyle, and Roxanne Gay!



We’d like to thank each of our contributors in this blog, as well as all of the women who make Khoros such a special place to work. It was amazing to hear how some of the women at this company think about their jobs, their industry, and the world.

If you want to learn more about how Khoros is committed to making our company and the world a better place for women (and everyone), check out our Annual Impact Report.


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