BLOG POST10 MINUTES
We Are Nexthink: Celebrating International Women’s Rights Day
In this Special Edition of our We Are Nexthink blog series, we sat down with three inspiring Nexthinkers to discuss the International Women’s Rights Day theme, “Break the Bias,” and what this means to them in their role at Nexthink and beyond. Read on to hear from:
- Carolina Carnoto Amat, Product Manager | Madrid
- Shikha Singh, Agile Coach | Lausanne
- Gosia Czerwonka, Account Executive | Boston
Tell us a little bit about your role – what team do you work on? Where are you located? How long have you been at Nexthink?
- Carolina: I work as a Product manager and have had the opportunity to work on two amazing teams already, one focused in providing useful remediations and the other focused on supporting and evolving key parts of the product that allow other teams to build great solutions for our customers. I’ve been at Nexthink for 2 years and I’m based in Madrid, Spain. In my role, I am responsible for figuring out what needs to be built based on a combination of customer feedback and internal objectives. I work with several teams to ensure they have the right information so all of us together can create an even better product.
- Shikha: I work as an Agile Coach as part of Transformation & Growth Team. I am proud to have completed 8 years with Nexthink. I work with teams to support an Agile culture.
- Gosia: I’ve been at Nexthink for a little over 5 years, based in the Boston office. I started off in the Business Development organization, then to managing and building out the now all-star US BDR team. I recently moved into a new role as an Account Executive on a newly built-out team (that’s run by an inspiring Woman Leader!). I tell my friends/family that I’m taking over the world one day at a time, while making IT issues disappear for end users.
What is a project or something you’ve worked on at Nexthink that you’re most proud of & why?
- Carolina: Since I joined Nexthink I’ve had the opportunity to take part in several initiatives and all of them make me feel proud. I remember with special satisfaction my first library content pack. At that time, I had only been with the company for a few months. I worked it out all the way through, from the design to the development and finally the publication in the time defined thanks to the assistance and support of the team during the whole process. It was great to receive positive feedback from customers about how this new pack was helping them make decisions.
- Shikha: Working with such a smart and creative bunch of Nexthinkers is itself a thing to be proud of 😊. As for specifics, teaching, mentoring and coaching in close collaboration across teams has made the journey even more worthwhile so far.
- Gosia: When I started at Nexthink, I was the only woman on my team. When I moved into a management role, I wanted to make sure the culture was one where women can thrive and be successful, building a foundation of enablement and support so they can do their best #confidenceiskey. Also, being there as a resource if they needed me for anything. We have a strong group of up-and-coming female leaders on the team, and that continues to make me feel inspired and excited for the future! Also, fostering an environment to build people up and then see them start to become more confident and grow in their roles is rewarding. My goal has always been to be an advocate to the people around me and help the team gain exposure where I think they will shine. It’s been great to see some those team members move into new roles and continue to be successful.
Today we’re celebrating International Women’s Rights Day. This year’s theme is “#BreaktheBias.” What does this theme mean to you? In what ways are you, in your role within a male-dominated industry, “breaking the bias”?
- Carolina: My hope is for a world free of bias, that appreciates a person’s value and potential regardless of their gender. I think you can “BreakTheBias” by being an example and showing the people who surround you – your colleagues, friends, family and now, for me, my daughters – that it is possible to study a technical career, work at a tech company and have a great career path while achieving a good work-life balance if that’s what you seek and dream.
- Shikha: Content matters and diversity adds richness to create that content. Towards that philosophy, I think focusing on shared effort and collective ownership of thoughts and actions in any team I participate on definitely helps #breakthebias.
- Gosia: One thing I believe is truly important, especially to continue to #breakthebias is to treat each other with respect, no matter what role you are in. Whether it’s a management role or a member of the team, building up the women around you is key. We need to learn from each other, and also continue to instill confidence in each other. I regularly think about what I can do to make a difference. I think it’s continuing to be bold, being able to have those difficult conversations around stereotyping for all and sharing my experiences to support and encourage others.
Everyone can strive for women’s equality and continue to make positive gains. How have you felt supported by an Ally in the workplace?
- Carolina: There are different ways to be an ally for women at work and it doesn’t only have to mean taking on the role of being someone’s sponsor or mentor, it can also be shown through small actions. In my opinion there is one action that is so simple and at the same time so profound: it’s just to listen. Listening more and with intention, resisting sometimes the need to fix the situation and just being an empathetic ear in moments of need or uncertainty.
- Shikha: Indeed! I have grown in my current role, in large part, thanks to the valuable support of my colleagues who assisted me without any biases.
- Gosia: Yes, having allies in the workplace is key! I have been lucky to be supported by a great team and manager.
While there is a continued need for more progressive mindsets and inclusive behaviors, gender-related conversations in the workplace are on the rise. What has been your experience with the progress of equality in the workplace over the course of your career?
- Carolina: I started working in a very technical area dominated mainly by men, with less than 5% of women representation. I remember from my early days a woman colleague who would run around to finish her work and make it home to her baby, while excelling at her job, but still facing a longer time to get a promotion. I can say I’ve been lucky to be able to find a work-life balance that’s guided by goal achievements while prioritizing family and quality time. Although we have seen progress around equality and life balance in the past few years, there is still much work to be done in our societies and at the forefront of our companies. Companies have an important role in making sure their policies promote equality in the workplace.
- Shikha: I have seen Nexthink evolving into a much more gender-neutral workplace. It is a welcome sign, and we should foster this progress even more, especially in Engineering & Product roles.
- Gosia: It’s been great to see more and more women leaders emerge. Also, what I have seen over the last few years at Nexthink is the increase in hiring women in typically male-dominated fields like sales or engineering. They are a talented bunch and it’s great to see that here. Yes, there are always things that can be better, but having more women in management has been encouraging to see. At Nexthink, we have some inspirational women in pivotal roles including our VP of Marketing, VP of Sales, VP of Customer Success, and CPO (and many more in key roles across the entire org)!
What are some of your hobbies and interests outside the workplace? How did you get into them?
- Carolina: One of my main hobbies outside the workplace used to be running. I used to wake up early to go out for a run before starting the day. I also love reading, especially about history. I use the term “used to” because I now have two little babies and my running these days gets done while chasing them around the house. 😊
- Shikha: Outside of workplace, I have interests in painting, yoga and running. Though Covid times made us a bit farther from each other, it also gave us an opportunity to look inwards and have some time for ourselves.
- Gosia: I really enjoy cooking, for me it’s fun to learn about different techniques, cultures, and bringing an element of art into it. I try to post my best shots on Instagram @eatsbygosh! Also, I spend way too much time watching food shows, and you can catch me on the weekends trying new restaurants around the city. I also really enjoy traveling – it’s exciting for me to try new things and meet new people.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
- Carolina: One piece of advice that I received when I was just starting my career was: “Caro, sometimes good is enough. Doesn’t have to always be perfect.”
- Shikha: There is no fun in being perfect and it’s okay to make mistakes; just make new ones every time. 😊
- Gosia: It’s hard to choose just one. The one person who can’t stand in the way is yourself. There is always going to be blockers and difficulties, but what’s nice is that everyone is unique and brings a different perspective to the table. Being able to believe in yourself is key! Continue to build relationships, learn from others, and don’t be afraid to ask for help or support.