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Women in Tech: SpyCloud’s Female Leaders #InspireInclusion for International Women’s Day

SpyCloud participates in International Women's Day 2024

When our founders came together to create SpyCloud, they were clear that they wanted to have the best talent regardless of location, background, or demographics. And they also knew that diversity – including a strong showing of women throughout the company – would lead to innovation and growth, which is why this philosophy remains a core part of SpyCloud’s organizational structure today.

Across various teams within SpyCloud, women hold key contributor and leadership positions. So in celebration of this year’s International Women’s Day theme (#InspireInclusion) and to mark the larger occasion of Women’s History Month this March, we sat down with a few of our accomplished female leaders to explore their perspectives and experiences in the professional realm. 

The women we spoke to for this year’s blog had some good stuff to say, so read on.

Lisa Salinas Schneider
Vice President, Legal and Compliance
Sara Silva
Director of Human Resources
Rachel Dunner
Senior Director of Demand Generation
Kaylan Griffiths
Senior Product Designer
Ashlie Ketteman
Director of Revenue Operations

What is something you appreciate about sharing space with other women in the workplace?

Lisa: I love the sense of solidarity and support that women can foster in the workplace. Each person brings unique perspectives, experiences, and insights to their work, and women especially bring a strong sense of empathy and understanding, making the workplace feel more inclusive for everyone. I find that workplaces that are more inclusive are more inspiring – you feel like you’re working on a mission together, rather than being a small part of a larger whole. Building that sense of solidarity is something that women do really well.

Rachel: One of the things I appreciate most about sharing space with other women in the workplace is that we all come from various backgrounds – whether it’s degrees, jobs, departments, and just overall life experiences – and we are able to learn from each other every day – making us stronger individuals.

Sara: It’s the power you feel when you know other women are showing up to do their best work right alongside you. There’s nothing better than teamwork, especially when you get to see those women shine in their roles.

Ashlie: Being able to see women at all levels of the business is so empowering and inspiring. Having the ability to share experiences and advice with those who are up-and-coming while also getting the same from female leaders is something amazing.

Kaylan: One thing I deeply appreciate about sharing space with women in the workplace is the sense of empathy and camaraderie we bring to the table. The plethora of communities at work – whether it’s moms, crafters, Bravo fans, or gardening enthusiasts – provides opportunities for meaningful connections and friendships that transcend departmental boundaries. We also share common goals and challenges, and there’s a natural inclination to build each other up. I’ve found that when women have their minds set on something, they’re incredibly determined to get it done.

What are the most important things organizations can do to make women feel included at work? What makes you feel included at SpyCloud?

Rachel: To have a voice. To be heard. To be supported. It’s hard to be a woman in tech, let alone in a male-dominated industry like cybersecurity. It’s so important to feel valued and that your opinion, thoughts, and ideas all matter regardless of your roles and responsibilities at an organization.

At SpyCloud, it’s the support that you have across all departments regardless of whether you are an IC or on the C-Team. We are truly a collaborative team and that shows in all of our accomplishments. It’s also so reassuring that we have a culture that fosters women supporting women. I know there is always someone that I can go to when I have questions, need advice, or just want to chat.

Sara: Put women in leadership roles! Let’s hear those voices from the top down and make sure other women know the path it takes to grow in their careers. I’m so lucky to be surrounded by powerful women at SpyCloud, especially those in leadership positions. We share our stories, we hype each other up, we give each other feedback, and most importantly, we have fun. It’s such a supportive group of women here.

Kaylan: At SpyCloud, I’ve witnessed firsthand the importance of having women in leadership positions. These leaders are not only valued and respected but also serve as inspiring examples for the rest of us. The organization actively fosters avenues for meaningful relationships among coworkers, whether through Slack channels or happy hours, creating a sense of belonging and inclusion. Personally, as the only woman on a team of men, I’ve been consistently made to feel that my questions, opinions, and suggestions are not only welcomed but valued equally. This culture of inclusivity stems from leadership’s commitment to hiring individuals who respect diversity and foster an environment where pretentiousness or arrogance is simply not tolerated, regardless of gender.

Lisa: See and treat colleagues as humans first! People are so much more than just the work they bring to the table, but especially women – we have a lot going on in our lives! Creating opportunities to get to know people as people, inside and outside the workplace, helps foster relationships across gender lines, which can break down stereotypes and biases about women in the workplace and create opportunities for inclusion. The team events put on by our awesome Culture Club have been great for making these types of connections and have led to me being included in some conversations I might have otherwise not been a part of.

What experiences have you had in your career that relate to inclusion for women in the workplace?

Kaylan: Throughout my career, I’ve been fortunate to work under great female leaders who have been rightfully highlighted for their successes. Even in companies predominantly owned by men, the culture has consistently supported and uplifted women. My first opportunity out of college was under the guidance of a strong woman who led her department with confidence and success. In my recent roles, I’ve worked under women leaders who have taught me invaluable lessons, such as the importance of confidence in decision-making and the necessity of advocating for oneself. These experiences have not only shaped my career but have also reinforced the belief that gender should never be a barrier to success. 

Sara: I’ve been lucky enough to work for some incredible leaders who have seen the potential in me and gave me clear feedback to help get me to the next level. But even with all the great advice they gave me, it was their actions that truly helped me understand what inclusivity entailed. The countless times they spent ensuring everyone had a voice in meetings, the great questions they asked to better address a challenge, the way they reminded those around them to see the bigger picture, and how they made sure the women in the company represented hiring, business development, and culture.

Lisa: I’ve been fortunate to work for an amazing series of female managers! Seeing how they’ve approached professional and personal challenges has been a major inspiration to me in my own career as I navigate new work/life challenges like being a working mom. My manager at SpyCloud has been so supportive since I joined, and I’m so proud of some of the challenges that we’ve tackled together. I joke with my team that I want to be her when I grow up.

Rachel: The experience that stands out the most in my career that relates to inclusion for women in the workplace is having women in both mid and senior-level leadership positions. For most of my career, I’ve reported to strong, hardworking, smart women leaders. Those experiences have helped and will continue to help me as I look to continue to grow in my career, as well as help everyone on my team grow and progress into their own careers.

What advice do you have for other women for how to nurture a sense of inclusion either for themselves or for other women?

Rachel: Surround yourself with women that support each other, encourage each other, and mentor each other. I certainly wouldn’t be where I am today without those three key pillars both personally and professionally. I’m grateful for all the women in my life that have challenged me, supported me, and paved the way for me.

Ashlie: Talk to each other! So often we get lost in our own thoughts and there is something so special about sharing your experiences, concerns, and questions with other women. It can be so uplifting to hear someone else say, “oh yeah, I totally understand!”

Lisa: Show up for yourselves and for each other! Be the mentor that you want to have, and find the mentor you want to be! Speak up about your experiences and needs, and advocate for changes that promote inclusion. Use your voice to amplify the voices of other women. Get involved in diversity and inclusion initiatives inside and outside of your organization. And, as trite as it sounds, believe in yourself – your ability to create an inclusive environment starts with you feeling empowered and confident in yourself!

Kaylan: My advice to fellow women is to lead by example. Celebrate each other’s successes openly and be vocal about acknowledging wins within the team. If you’ve been fortunate enough to have had strong women leaders, remember how inspiring it was and strive to be that inspiration for others. Foster a culture where everyone, especially newcomers, feels supported and valued. Self-advocacy is key; speak up for yourself and for other women. Surround yourself with examples of strong women making an impact, whether through social media groups or industry newsletters. By continuously nurturing a sense of inclusion, we not only uplift ourselves but also pave the way for a more inclusive and equitable workplace for others.

Sara: Authenticity breeds connection! By authentically presenting our true selves, we create a space that invites others to do the same. This helps create an environment where genuine self-expression is not only welcomed but celebrated. And we must advocate for the women around us by ensuring their experiences are heard and validated without fear or judgment. Lastly, I always recommend connecting with other women in your company, your city, your industry, etc. It’s fun to learn how others are tackling similar challenges, what and how they’re learning, and establishing those relationships.

We know that diverse perspectives breed better innovation and are the foundation for growth. With 200+ global employees and growing, our productivity can only thrive when all our team members feel included and empowered. Through our recruitment programs, internships, externships, and peer-to-peer mentoring programs, we’ll continue to advocate for inclusion for women in the workplace and everywhere.

Did you know? SpyCloud made Forbes’ list of Best Startup Employers in 2024! See the list here.

We’re always looking for inventive problem solvers who are passionate about building a safer internet. Check out current openings if you’re interested in a career with SpyCloud.

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