Published on 8 March 2018 by

International Women’s Day is a day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women.

​In support of this year's global International Women's Day, Press for Progress, we continue to anchor our diversity, equity and inclusion efforts around improvements in recruitment, retention and career growth of women at Puppet. We strive for progress every day and dedicate today's blog post to celebrate the achievements and successes of some of our incredible women employees:


Photo of Padmashree Koneti

Padmashree Koneti

Senior director of product operations
Portland
@pkoneti

What does it mean to you to be a woman in tech?

Own your truth; trust yourself; be agile; have a point of view.

What woman do you particularly admire?

Condoleezza Rice and Sheryl Sandberg

What advice do you have for being a better ally to women?

Simplify your language to make tech more approachable to all women.


Photo of Stacey McPherson
senior customer success manager at Puppet

Stacey McPherson

Senior customer success manager
Portland

What is your proudest achievement?

After graduating from undergrad, I decided to move to Beijing, China, on my own for a job and to learn Mandarin. It was one of the most incredible experiences of my life.

What does it mean to you to be a woman in tech?

Being in tech is something I always aspired to, as many people in my family have careers in technology. Despite certain challenges in the industry as a woman, I love the fact that I get to be a part of an innovative and creative culture. It's exciting!

What woman do you particularly admire?

My mother is someone I admire most. She has amazing work ethic and drive. She came to this country as a young adult to have a better life and took night classes in computer science, while working full-time with twins. Knowing how hard she and my father worked has always helped me remember that no matter how tough life gets, I cannot make excuses for myself.

What advice do you have for being a better ally to women?

We need to celebrate where we are today and do a better job at lifting each other up. Also, if you happen to be fortunate enough to have accomplished much, find someone you can mentor to help her along the way. Giving back and creating positive energy is very rewarding.


Photo of Katie Abbott

Katie Abbott

Senior vice president, legal & people
Portland

What is your proudest achievement?

Traveling around the world solo when I was 25 -- I was both excited and terrified when I got on the first flight. The year turned out to be one of the best years of my life and I'm now addicted to traveling alone, as it forces me to meet so many more people than I otherwise would.

What woman do you particularly admire?

Mother Teresa — she respected the dignity of every person, regardless of their situation in life. I appreciate the example that she set, as it is important to realize that, no matter how successful or powerful you are, each person with whom you interact deserves to be treated with dignity.

What advice do you have for being a better ally to women?

Be a mentor — that is a special relationship that can open doors for women they may not even know exist.


Photo of Yasmin Rajabi

Yasmin Rajabi

Senior product manager
Portland
@yasminnx13

What is your proudest achievement?

Building a team of engineers that went on to successful roles in several different organizations. I had the opportunity to manage a group of talented young engineers and help them grow to great roles in successful companies. Watching them become leaders has been my proudest achievement.

What does it mean to you to be a woman in tech?

Representation. Meaning setting an example for younger generations of girls who don't see enough women in STEM careers. Young girls don't see enough women in tech to look up to and think "that could be me". We can break down stereotypes through greater representation.

What woman do you particularly admire?

Carla Harris, Vice Chairman and managing director at Morgan Stanley.

What advice do you have for being a better ally to women?

Listen with the intent to understand rather than listening with the intent to reply.


Photo of Sarah Brody Webb

Sarah Brody Webb

Senior manager, program management
Portland

What is your proudest achievement?

Re-entering the tech workforce after an extended hiatus (12+ years) raising a family and volunteering with nonprofits. After initially being very much out of my comfort zone, I regained confidence once I realized that the skills I had gained in those years transferred remarkably well to the tech industry and actually made me a more well-rounded and balanced contributor.

What does it mean to you to be a woman in tech?

Constantly having to prove that I am as capable, as smart, and as worthy of being listened to as the men in the room.

What advice do you have for being a better ally to women?

A simple act is to be an amplifier: when you observe a woman's voice being ignored or drowned out by a louder one, rather than repeating what she has said and attributing the idea to her -- which is advice that is often given -- instead take a moment to call out the fact that she was interrupted/shut down and then invite her to repeat her comment. Also, be aware of your own implicit bias, even if you are a woman. It may be subconscious, but it's there.


Photo of Marianne Calder

Marianne Calder

Vice president and general manager of Puppet EMEA
London
@mariannencalder

What is your proudest achievement at Puppet?

Building a cohesive and united team that achieves success together.

What woman do you particularly admire?

The inspiring Malala Yousafzai. “We were scared, but our fear was not as strong as our courage.”

What advice do you have for being a better ally to women?

Let’s support each other — there is only real progress if we make it together.


Photo of Molly Waggett

Molly Waggett

Release engineer
Portland
@mollywaggett

What does it mean to you to be a woman in tech?

It means that I work in tech and happen to be a woman. And unfortunately, that means sometimes things are hard.

What advice do you have for being a better ally to women?

Call out discriminatory language (but don't expect a gold star for it).


Photo of Sandra Hamilton

Sandra Hamilton

Vice president, customer success
Boston
@sandyjhamilton

What is your proudest achievement?

Retiring at age 48 and then having the choice to get back into the workforce.

What does it mean to you to be a woman in tech?

I don't qualify myself as a "woman in tech" as much as a woman executive — where I can best leverage my experiences to help build and shape teams and grow people's careers.

What woman do you particularly admire?

Madeleine Albright.

What advice do you have for being a better ally to women?

Mentor and advocate based on capabilities and potential, not only because she is a woman.


Photo of Heather Flynn

Heather Flynn

Senior director, global talent acquisition
Portland
@heathereflynn

What is your proudest achievement?

Throughout my career my proudest accomplishments come from building a strong team that delivers great work and watching individuals reach their full potential. I have had three amazing teams in my career at three different organizations (including Puppet). The building of a high performing team is an incredible amount of work, but the payoffs are amazing.

What does it mean to you to be a woman in tech?

I think in any industry, women are not as represented in the leadership ranks. I am new to tech, but come from the sports apparel industry that had a high percentage of women across the organization, but fewer as you moved up the ranks. In every organization and industry, it is paramount for women to help other women and do all we can to mentor leadership capabilities to create environments where women can thrive. It isn't your job to "fit in" — it is your job to be your most authentic self in the environment you are in.

What advice do you have for being a better ally to women?

Be gracious in times of slights and know who you are and what you stand for. Recognize when something happens and graciously respond and add your perspective and thoughts. People will help you throughout your career and you need to always pay that forward.


Photo of Fiona Bennett

Fiona Bennett

Supervisor of workplace services
London
@admnsuperhero

What does it mean to you to be a woman in tech?

As a woman in a traditional female role I didn't realise I was a woman in tech until I joined the ranks of some amazing women here at Puppet. Being a woman in tech has given me the opportunity to create conversations broaden horizons and be part of a wonderful supportive network.

What woman do you particularly admire?

I admire Katie Abbott, our head of Legal and HR. Even though she is way up there in the leadership team she has always remained approachable and down to earth.

What advice do you have for being a better ally to women?

Listen.


Photo of Emily Williams

Emily Williams

Finance business partner
Portland

What is your proudest achievement?

I've run a marathon/half marathon in 26 states in my quest to run all 50 states.

What does it mean to you to be a woman in tech?

I grew up as a middle child with two brothers, so I know what it's like to be in a male-dominated environment. I also grew up with a mother who taught me to have a strong voice in this type of environment. My childhood taught me to challenge adversity and to push through the stigma because you can learn so much about yourself and what you're able to achieve. When someone tells you you can't do something, you show them that you can do it and that you can do it well.

What woman do you particularly admire?

Jessie Graff. She has proven and inspired many women out there to feel that they are strong enough to be able to successfully compete in American Ninja Warrior.

What advice do you have for being a better ally to women?

We're stronger when we work together and learn from each other.


Photo of Nadja Pfaeffle

Nadja Pfaeffle

Inside sales rep
London

What is your proudest achievement at Puppet?

Making it into Puppet’s Presidents Club and breaking into the top 10 global sales people as the only female in the group.

What woman do you particularly admire?

My oldest Sister, Manuela. She is 20 years older and had a successful career as a reporter and opened her own magazine. When I was young, she inspired me to want to become more and become more similar to her — successful and independent but also respected. It wasn’t something that was expected of me. My grandparents and parents were old school and pushed me into a assistant role saying, “Believe me, this is the best job you can get and make money.” But I had my older sister pushing me out of the comfort zone. She is amazing — without her I NEVER would made the decisions that brought me to where I am today. I still try to be like her — trying to become someone who inspires women to step out of their comfort zones and reaching the stars.

What advice do you have for being a better ally to women?

Take the risk and step out of your box. You might be able to fly.


Photo of Michelle Fredette

Michelle Fredette

Senior manager, technical publications
Portland

What is your proudest achievement?

Establishing a solid career of over 20 years in tech.

What woman do you particularly admire?

The women on my team. They are brave, they are smart, and they are so extremely capable.

What advice do you have for being a better ally to women?

Create a safe place for honest conversations about promotion, career growth, and salary. Recognize imposter syndrome when you see it.


Tanya Webb is head of diversity, equity & inclusion at Puppet.

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