In this series, we celebrate this year’s International Women’s Day theme of #BalanceForBetter by interviewing the women of TextNow and gaining knowledge of their experience working in the tech industry.
As previously mentioned in this series, we pride ourselves on challenging the status quo and committing to self improvement.
In the past 2 years alone, we have seen a 71% increase in female employees at TextNow. And while we can boast about our wellness programs, flexible work hours, and a wine bar, the real reason why we have seen such as increase is a change in attitude.
This change didn’t mean that we went out looking for all-females to fill in the roles needed, nor did it mean that we were suddenly biased toward female applicants. This change simply meant that we recognized there was a problem. So we started an initiative to get to know the women that worked in the company better, and to plan after-work activities where they can feel comfortable to share stories with each other, and develop a support group to help them succeed in their respective roles.
One of the women that helped make this happen is Lindsay Gibson, Chief Operations Office. And to celebrate International Women’s Day 2019, we asked her to tell us a little bit about her working experience:
1. What was your first professional job? Which field/industry was it in? My first professional job was in the big city of Toronto in the Food Industry. I started my career at Campbell Soup Company in corporate communications.
2. Was it difficult to find a job in that field? How many companies did you interview with before landing it?
I was a co-op student there first and they converted the job to full-time position so it wasn’t hard [to find a job] because I had already worked there.
3. If the field that you started out in is different than your current field, what made you change? (other than the free food, wine bar and massages)
Yes it is different. I went from [the food industry] to BlackBerry [tech industry] in a similar communications/marketing field. One of the greatest things about working at BlackBerry was the pace was so fast and there was so much work to do, you often got tapped on the shoulder to try something different. This is how I ultimately ended up in operations.
4. In your experience, what has been the biggest difference between men and women in the workplace? Do you think these are specific to your field, or widespread?
My personal experience is that women work hard and wait for the tap on the shoulder or the recognition. Men ask for it.
5. What support system (if any) do you have that helps you succeed in your role?
My motto back to the days as a co-op student has always been to say yes when my boss asks me to do something and then go figure it out. My support system is the network of friends, family members and colleagues that I reach out to when I am trying to figure something out.
6. What advice would you give to a new female graduate today looking for a job in this field?
Not specific to this field but I think everyone should have a personality assessment like Myers Briggs done because who you are at your core doesn’t really change. Having insight into fields that are suited to you is helpful insight when you are starting out.
7. Lastly, for fun, if you could have any group of women (real or fictional) come out for an International Women’s Day brunch with you, who would you choose?
My two grandmas, two great grandmas and my husband’s grandma. All women I knew and loved but all before I became a mom. I wish I could spend time with them now asking about what it was like for them growing up and getting them to meet my daughter.