Happy International Women’s Day from Mattermost!

Today is International Women’s Day and we’re kicking off the celebration with a profile series featuring 15 women at Mattermost who have made significant contributions to our product and community. One thing they all have in common is a dedication to making the Mattermost community more approachable and inclusive for generations of women to come.

Read the interviews below to learn more about these amazing individuals whose passion and drive contribute to a better workplace and world.

We’re proud to celebrate #IWD2021 with Mattermost!

1. Amy Nicol

Amy Nicol

Toronto, Canada 
Senior Executive Assistant to CEO

What am I working on? 

Personally, I am currently working on planning an art show for when COVID is over and researching the Canadian citizenship process. 

What is one tip I’d give other working women?

Don’t be afraid of self promotion. I know a lot of women who feel uncomfortable talking about their accomplishments, but why shouldn’t people outside of those you work closely with be aware of your contributions?

Do you have any special interests, hobbies or other fun facts you’d like to share?

My friends call me the “activity captain” because I am always looking for different things to do. COVID has really impaired this. Over the years, some of the things I’ve done include falconry, ziplining, indoor and outdoor skydiving, trapeze school, tap dancing, running a marathon, and mermaid classes. If anyone has any suggestions for others that might be fun, feel free to send them my way!

2. Carrie Warner

Carrie Warner

Kitchener, Canada
Senior Technical Writer

What am I working on?

I deliver Mattermost product documentation that teaches decision makers, end users, and system administrators how to set up, use, manage, and embrace Mattermost features and functionality. I enjoy the challenge of creating content that meets a reader’s needs while exceeding their expectations.  

What is one tip I’d give other working women?

Stretch yourself beyond what you believe you’re capable of. If something new frightens you, it’s likely a really good idea to embrace it! Don’t let your impostor syndrome get in the way of what can always be a great learning opportunity, regardless of the outcome.

Do you have any special interests, hobbies, or other fun facts you’d like to share?

Outside of work, you will find me curled up with my cats and a good read, trying something new in the kitchen, capturing moments with my camera, growing something new in the garden, singing in my car like a rockstar, or rewinding and recharging outside.

I’m a word nerd and an Oxford Comma enthusiast who gets a huge kick out of empowering people with knowledge.

3. Elisabeth Kulzer

Elisabeth Kulzer

Berlin, Germany
Build Engineer

What am I working on?

I am working on improving the build pipeline for releasing Mattermost to approximate the one button release.

What is one tip I’d give other working women?

Self-reflection is underrated and has to be deliberately done.

Do you have any special interests, hobbies, or other fun facts you’d like to share?

I didn’t follow the advice of having a hobby least similar to my job and picked up playing Pen&Paper in my spare time. It’s a highlight during COVID times for sure!

4. Hanna Park

Hanna Park

Toronto, Canada
Team Admin

What am I working on?

I am working on our first International Women’s Day celebration at Mattermost. Better late than never, right? 

What is one tip I’d give other working women?

Don’t take things personally. It gives us more power over our thoughts, feelings, and actions. Also, it helps recognize the individuality of others and their uniqueness. We should accept that other people are different from us.

Do you have any special interests, hobbies, or other fun facts you’d like to share?

This year, I am working on getting my Century Club Peloton shirt #iykyk 😉

5. Isabel Alorro

Isabel Alorro

Cinnaminson, New Jersey, USA
Accounting Lead

What am I working on? 

My team and I are wrapping up year-end procedures and closing the books for FY21. In preparation for FY22, we are documenting and cleaning up our processes, planning and budgeting for our program and system spend through our new and improved procurement process, and supporting our internal stakeholders.

What is one tip I’d give other working women?

My tip for fellow working women is own your mistakes and then work on fixing them. Also, take a break when you need it because nothing is more important than your physical and mental health.

Do you have any special interests, hobbies or other fun facts you’d like to share?

I love traveling to new places (and hoping, like the rest of the world, to travel again soon!) and experiencing and learning about new cultures and trying out new dishes. My other interests and hobbies are listening to and watching true crime podcasts and documentaries, watching horror movies, relaxing and chilling with my two, stubborn and mischievous pugs, and attending kickboxing classes.

6. Jamie Hurewitz

Jamie Hurewitz

Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Head of Legal

What am I working on?

I recently joined Mattermost in December as the company’s first internal legal counsel. I will be responsible for establishing the legal and compliance infrastructures, including all of the accompanying policies and processes, while supporting the legal and compliance needs of the broader organization generally as a whole. I am currently working on learning all of the ins and outs of the company so that I can find ways to make the business run more efficiently and reduce risks. I am also helping the People and Finance teams with a global expansion strategy that will streamline the hiring and contracting process so that Mattermost can easily and quickly onboard talent anywhere around the world.

What is one tip you would give your fellow working women in general?

Don’t limit yourself because there will be plenty of people who will already do that for you. That being said, I cannot limit myself to providing just one tip!

Speak up for yourself, and, if and whenever you have the opportunity, speak up for other women or other underrepresented groups who do not have a voice. Help lift up others.

Know your value and do not back down. No one else determines your value other than yourself. If the people around you do not value you then find people who will.

Do you have any special interests, hobbies or other fun facts you’d like to share?

I love traveling. Maybe that is something that draws people to the life of remote working. This lifestyle provides the flexibility of working from anywhere, plus you build relationships with wonderful people around the world that you can then go visit. Unfortunately, this pandemic has put a real damper on my travels and has left me feeling rather trapped over the past year. When not traveling, working, or doing homework, you can find me spending time with my husband and four children.

7. Jennifer Lawler

Jennifer Lawler

Seattle, Washington, USA
Senior CSM

What am I working on?

Helping to build out the CSM team at Mattermost including onboarding new hires, rewriting the CS playbook, and training. And when I’m not doing that, I’m working with our AMER/APAC Enterprise and mid-market customers, helping them with post sales onboarding, implementation, product adoption, and training. 

What is one tip I’d give other working women?

To quote Marie Forleo, “everything is figureoutable”! Regardless of the situation or scenario, there is a path forward, a solution that will be the next right step. Don’t doubt yourself and trust your gut instincts. 

Do you have any special interests, hobbies, or other fun facts you’d like to share?

I’m a CSM by day and candle maker by night! When I’m not experimenting with new scent combinations, vessels, or wick types you can find me cooking like a mad woman for my five kids, running my two dogs (Hugo and Ollie), honing my mixology skills, beachcombing on the Puget Sound, antiquing/junking with my daughter, planning my next trip to back to Norway, or climbing hills on my Peloton.

8. Katie Wiersgalla

Katie Wiersgalla

Menomonie, Wisconsin, USA
Sr. Manager, Product Management

What am I working on? 

The Product Management team is busy planning new features to improve Mattermost. I love that my role has such variety in talking with customers, working with designers, and building with engineers to deliver high-value products that make our customers more productive and safer. 

What is one tip you would give your fellow working women in general?

You got this! I remind myself on a daily basis that I am capable, knowledgeable and can handle all the challenges that I encounter every day. It is so important to keep a positive mindset about yourself and your environment because if you focus on the negative, you will bring yourself down and challenges will feel overwhelming.   

Do you have any special interests, hobbies or other fun facts you’d like to share?

For the last year-and-a-half, I have been doing Crossfit. It’s been an incredible journey of learning to believe in myself more. I have learned to do handstands against a wall, lift incredibly heavy weights, and be more mentally tough. It’s been a catalyst to promote a more healthy lifestyle with my husband and my kids, who often join workouts with me or participate in at home competitions on who can do the most pushups. As a family, we also love camping, fishing, and generally being outdoors.

9. Lynn Conway

Lynn Conway

Toronto, Canada
People Partner

What am I working on? 

As part of the HR team at Mattermost, I’m working on a number of different initiatives in training and manager enablement, learning and development, performance and engagement, and inclusion and belonging. True to our leadership principles of “ownership” and “high impact,” I pitch in on recruitment efforts and anywhere else I can help set our incredible staff up for success. 

What is one tip you would give your fellow working women in general?

Give and ask for feedback. Feel empowered to take ownership. Empathy is a powerful tool. What I’m working on: not apologizing so much and limiting my use of qualifying statements/words (e.g., “just” checking in on…).

Do you have any special interests, hobbies, or other fun facts you’d like to share?

I used to live in Mexico and have a special place in my heart for it. What I love most about remote work is that I’ll finally be able to live the dream: escape Canadian winters and spend them in Mexico! I adopted a senior lab mix from Texas named Fable; she’s the perfect and most snuggly work-from-home buddy.

10. Maria Nuñez

Maria Nuñez

Wellington, Florida, USA
Software Engineering Lead, Cloud Features

What am I working on ?

I currently lead a team of amazing engineers. Our team is focused on the onboarding experience for Mattermost Cloud and supports our customer portal where customers can purchase their self-hosted Mattermost server licenses

What is one tip you would give your fellow working women?

Dive into what you are interested in regardless of the lack of diversity in the field. Software development hasn’t been known for strong female representation in the past, but this is slowly changing, and we have the opportunity to keep driving this change forward. Do not feel intimidated to go for what you are passionate about because you will succeed if you work hard and have the right skills regardless of gender.

Do you have any special interests, hobbies, or other fun facts you’d like to share?

I am a mom of two beautiful kids: a 6-year-old boy and a 3-year-old girl, so life can get pretty hectic. Besides spending time with my family, I always try to find some time to be active to keep myself healthy not only physically but also mentally. I am currently doing this though kickboxing which keeps me moving and a great stress outlet as well. You would be surprised how good you feel after a few kicks and punches!

11. Natalie Jew

Natalie Jew

San Francisco, California, USA
Director of HR

What am I working on? 

I’m excited about one of our primary focuses this year: to foster and support an inclusive workplace where people feel empowered and enabled to do the best work of their careers. I think we have an amazing group of people here who care a lot about fostering an inclusive and open workplace, which makes me really excited for many of the initiatives we have planned for this year around training, hiring, learning, and development.  

What is one tip you would give your fellow working women in general?

Be open to learning and different approaches, but always be yourself — and celebrate this! Take time to self reflect and have regular check-ins with yourself. Continually cultivate and leverage your strengths, explore weaknesses, and hone that intuition. 

Do you have any special interests, hobbies, or other fun facts you’d like to share?

I’ve gotten into planting lately and it’s been a very humbling hobby. I’ve definitely had a few plant-missteps, but thanks to my plant guru, aka my 8-year-old nephew, I continue to learn new techniques to revive and take care of my plants. I also enjoy working out; it’s my favorite “me time” activity. The home workouts have been harder for me to stay engaged with, so I’m learning to find new ways to stay active or re-learning old ways. For example, I bought rollerblades a few months ago and it’s been so much fun. Highly recommend!

12. Nevyana Angelova

Nevyana Angelova

Sofia, Bulgaria
Software Design Engineer

What am I working on?

I am really excited to be working on our new design system implementation, which we call Common Components. It aims at building atom components from the ground-up taking into consideration HTML structure, accessibility and best practices in styling. It gives me great satisfaction knowing that we will be improving our customer experience in an inclusive way while optimizing the performance of our web app. 

What is one tip I’d give other working women?

The tech industry is starting to become more diverse, but there is still a long way to go. You might be feeling impostor syndrome and you might doubt your place in the company. I know I did. But the right employer will make sure you are welcomed and appreciated and help you improve your skills and encourage you to grow! If you feel like your opinions are disregarded or your expertise is questioned, bring it up, and it might improve.

Do you have any special interests, hobbies, or other fun facts you’d like to share?

While I LOVE my job and coding while working, I want to do completely different things in my free time. This might not be the case for all developers, because oftentimes coding is a hobby, too. But I am an outdoorsy person. I enjoy improving my yoga practice internally and externally, bouldering and traveling. While doing that, I like to take pictures and make videos as well.

13. Prapti Shrestha

Prapti Shrestha

Seattle, Washington, USA
Software Design Engineer (Test)

What am I working on?

I am working on developing software tests for the Incident Collaboration plugin, an enterprise feature for Mattermost, as well as working with other QA needs within the QA guild at the company.

What is one tip I’d give other working women?

Be nice to each other. This applies not only in a bigger picture out in the world, but also with all the coworkers. Communication is key for delivering a high-quality product and to get that communication going, one of the important things is that people are approachable. If “approachable” means being a little nice to others, why not? It takes very little effort. I’m happy to admit that everyone I’ve come across at Mattermost exemplifies this, and I think this one of the best bunches of people to work with.

Do you have any special interests, hobbies, or other fun facts you’d like to share?

I am in love with photography and am always learning different “genres” of photography. I also like going on day hikes, so whenever I’m out and about, I try not to miss bringing my camera along. Other areas of interest are traveling and exploring, good food, fun movies and shows, and nice books.

14. Shreena Maistry

Shreena Maistry

Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Customer Advocate Intern

Tell us about something you’re working on?

I am researching and analyzing ways to spur company-wide development both for internal stakeholders and customers. Currently, my priorities include outbound lead generation and developing strategies in order to improve customer engagement. My aim is to nurture quality leads and move them through our sales pipeline.

What is one tip you would give your fellow working women in general?

Be bold. Don’t settle for the bare minimum. Perseverance and resilience are key to success.

Do you have any special interests, hobbies, or other fun facts you’d like to share?

One of my favorite hobbies is dancing. I have been dancing ever since I was three starting with Bharatanatyam, which is an Indian Classical Dance form, and over the years I have tried numerous other dance forms as well. My most recent one is Cuban Salsa. I also love to paint as well, mainly watercolor and acrylics.

15. Teresa Novoa

Teresa Novoa

Buenos Aires, Argentina
Technical Recruiting Manager

What am I working on? 

I am happy to say that I have one of the best jobs at Mattermost! I am currently and usually working on hiring, which involves interviewing people from different parts of the world (that’s one of the things I like most about global recruitment). I also act as a Community Advocate, trying to keep an eye on our community members and see if there might be an opportunity for them to join us as staff members.

What is one tip I’d give other working women?

Don’t take things personally! When working remotely and not having the opportunity to see who you are talking to and their reactions, you tend to think things were said in this or that tone, and it’s probably not the case. When the whole company is remote-first, you get to understand that you are working with people from different backgrounds and cultures. At some point, you all end up understanding that no one has bad intentions.

Before taking a job, check the company’s core values and make sure you identify with them.

Do you have any special interests, hobbies or other fun facts you’d like to share?

I love traveling and I really miss it! I think that once the pandemic ends, I will travel more than ever. Remote work privileges!

Work with us!

If you’re interested in open source software and remote work, consider joining our team!

From our team to yours, happy International Women’s Day!

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Hanna Park

Hanna Park is a team admin at Mattermost, Inc., having joined the company in January 2016. Prior to Mattermost, she was an operations manager at a nonprofit organization and a customer support manager for a FPS game called CrossFire. She lives in Toronto, Canada.

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