Notarize is pleased to celebrate and honor Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day by highlighting experiences of females in our company. Stay tuned for the remainder of this series, with articles being published weekly throughout March.
I started my career as a lawyer, but after a few short years, I realized that my true passion is in technology and helping others navigate digital platforms. For the past 15+ years, I have been working at high-tech SaaS companies such as HubSpot, IBM and now Notarize.
My career in Customer Success started as the first US-based CSM hire for an Israeli startup and I grew the team over a period of four years as their Director of Customer Success. I then joined Hubspot as a manager in their Professional Services division and was tasked with overseeing, motivating and empowering a team of Strategic Success Consultants responsible for the company's most strategic customers.
I currently work at Notarize as the Director of Customer Success and am also the Founder of The Customer Compass, where I help companies find balance between managing their customers and running their business.
I love working in tech, but that’s not to say that there haven’t been challenges that come with being a woman in this industry.
I think many women can empathize with their kindness or emotions being incorrectly perceived as an inability to get the job done, which couldn’t be further from the truth.
Throughout my career I have worked twice as hard to “prove” myself and my skills, internally and with customers, to ensure that people I work with have immediate confidence in my abilities. Despite my warm demeanor, I consider myself to be highly professional, knowledgeable and results-driven.
I have learned that three months is the necessary time for me to gain trust and confidence from professional peers. Therefore, I tend to stay patient until we hit the three-month mark. Showcasing my skills, focusing on my strengths and confidently contributing my ideas in meetings are just some of the things that I do to transform the stereotypical attitudes that one might experience as a female.
Another challenge I have faced is working in tech while juggling my two kids’ dance, soccer and basketball practices (yes, they are super active kids!). My biggest tip to parents is to pick after school activities that are held in places with really great wifi and work for organizations that are not rigid about work times or locations. This has allowed me to work from dance studios or basketball courts at times when I needed to shuffle my working hours.
I am very cognizant about the organizations and teams I work for and have been fortunate to be able to choose to only work for companies that treat women fairly and with the highest level of respect.
That being said, the one shift that I am happy to see is how women in tech are now treating themselves. This change seems to have stemmed from COVID and women working from home with their kids, family and pets in the background. The women I interact with are no longer apologizing for having to attend to their loved ones, and instead, are approaching that as an integral part of their work-life balance. It’s refreshing to see women taking a two-minute break in a meeting because their children just came in to ask them a question or are crying because they had a bad day.
One of the most inspiring moments I’ve had since COVID started — as a woman in tech and a parent — was watching an incredible teammate strike the perfect balance between her job and her children, as her toddler ran into the room screaming during a conference call. She didn't get mad or frustrated. She didn't get embarrassed or apologetic. She just gently picked up her daughter, and with full confidence, continued presenting to the 30+ people on the call.
Women are no longer trying to live up to the outdated version of success that says that the more time you dedicate to work, and the less you dedicate to your life, the more successful you are. Women are finding that balance and proving that they can have both.
While workplace equality has come a long way, women continue to face challenges with career development and progression, developing their confidence, gaining visibility within an organization and not being recognized for their talents and abilities.
But there are ways in which organizations can improve. For example, providing flexibility in terms of work location and hours (placing more emphasis on success metrics driven by results instead of time spent in the office/online). Organizations should also provide their employees with merit-based promotions and acknowledgement — based on their actions and not their words. This is how the true superstars of an organization will shine (regardless of gender, race, etc.).
Additionally, organizations should offer internal mentorship opportunities so that women can learn from one another, in conjunction with facilitating more opportunities for socializing with the senior leadership team of an organization. Especially in organizations where senior leadership is predominantly male, socialization may be harder for women and other minority groups.
I’m really proud to be a woman in tech. I love the fast pace, the incredibly smart people, the daily creative juices that flow, the challenges that turn into opportunities — it all keeps me on my toes and ensures that I’m never bored. I’ve learned to approach every challenge as an opportunity and to take ownership of paving my own personal success story, and it’s been an incredible journey so far.
But I wouldn’t be where I am without the support of other successful women. I have worked with some of the most amazing women in tech and can honestly say that I would not be where I am today without them. Each one has taught me how to be a better person and a better professional.
Two of the most impactful mentors I have had and continue to learn from every day are Varda Tirosh, Chief Customer Officer at Optimove, and my current manager Kim Rose, Senior VP of Customer Success at Notarize. Their guidance echoes in my mind, telling me to push forward and always drive for what I believe in — for myself, for my team and for my customers.
Now I’ll leave you with the best career advice I’ve gotten: Be proud of the things that you’ve spent your time, resources and effort on. The fact that someone else doesn’t appreciate your work, doesn’t mean your work isn’t good. Focus on the people who see the value in your work and what you bring to the table every single day.