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IWD 2022 – Meet Penny’s Inspirational Women in Tech

WID2022 BlogHeader

To celebrate International Women's Day 2022 we asked some of the incredible women at Penny to answer three questions. We wanted to share their incredible wisdom, get to know more about their life outside Penny and inspire other women who might be thinking about pursuing a career in their specialty.

  1. What's your favourite activity?
  2. What's your favourite quote?
  3. What's your advice for other women in your industry?

Explore their answers below:

Maria Osipova – Chief Marketing Officer

Favourite activity
Hiking the mountains, especially finding waterfalls. Muay Thai, I try to train daily, love pads and sparring. Columbian salsa. Food – exploring restaurants and cooking new things.

Favourite motivational quote
Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you are right. Henry Ford

Advice for women 
Be intentional about where you want to be in your career and build knowledge, experiences and expertise towards that goal. Define milestones towards that role and don’t be afraid to take on projects and responsibilities that help you build the expertise before you have the title.
Don’t think that anyone else in the room knows the answers –

Maria Osipova
Maria Osipova
Chief Marketing Officer

Amy Villarreal – Senior Director of Strategy & Implementation

Favourite activity
Morning Priming – Each morning I sit in the sauna to meditate, vision cast and read my identity. I then spend at least 15 minutes on a spin bike watching motivational videos. I can’t start my day without that routine!

Favourite motivational quote
“I am a great believer in luck. The harder I work, the more of it I seem to have.” -Coleman Cox, referenced in a collection of sayings called “Listen to This”

Advice for women
Learn as much as you can and as often as you can. Read about things you don’t know, always be curious. It’s OK to not know something, it’s not OK to not know that something later on in your career. Every moment is a teaching moment, so we must always have a sense of wonder in what we do. Check your ego at the door and remember that the only way to improve yourself and contribute to improvement of company goals is to ask yourself how you can be doing something better. Be creative and put yourself in your client’s seat to really question your process and strategy from their perspective.

Amy Sifontes
Amy Villarreal
Senior Director of Strategy & Implementation

Elsa D’Andrea – Vice President of Customer Support

Favourite activity
Hiking in the forest as a family. A morning run outside on the seawall, Spin Class – of course with awesome loud music, Beach Volleyball on a sunny day!

Favourite motivational quote
50 – The age that Brook is excited to hit. “So many women dread this point, “ she says.
“I look forward to the second half of my life that embodies where I’ve been and celebrates the journey ahead.”

– Brooke Burke

The whole point of being alive is to evolve into the complete person you were intended to be.

With every experience, you alone are painting your own canvas, thought by thought, choice by choice.

– Oprah Winfrey

You grow most in your areas of greatest strength. You will improve the most, be the most creative, be the most inquisitive, and bounce back the fastest in those areas where you have already shown a natural advantage over everyone else, your strengths. This doesn’t mean you should ignore your weaknesses. It just means you’ll grow most where you’re already strong.

Focusing on strengths is the surest way to greater job satisfaction, team performance and organizational excellence.

You will excel only by maximizing your strengths, never by fixing your weaknesses.

– Marcus Buckingham

Advice for women
Be yourself, no one is more qualified!

Leadership is a journey not a destination, make sure to have fun along the way

Define your Personal Purpose Statement. It gives you direction to accomplish what’s important to you…what you stand for, your goals and core values. See below mine: “build momentum by creating space for others to succeed and achieve goals”

Know yourselves best and focus on your strengths, these activities that strengthen you. Activity that before you’re doing it you look forward to doing; while you’re doing it, time goes by quickly and you can concentrate; after you’ve done it, it seems to fulfill a need of yours

Reserve focus time in your calendar always; daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly so that you are a couple steps ahead of everybody else

Be fascinated by the future so that your passion for customer experience is having a positive impact throughout the broader organization and within your team. Remind others on the importance of the Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS)

“take care of your employees, they will take care of your customers”
– Richard Branson

Be the difference between good and great. Be an influencer leader that is restless for change, impatient for progress and deeply dissatisfied with the status quo. Because in your head, you can see a better future. The friction between ‘what is’ and ‘what could be’ burns you, stirs you up, propels you.

Elsa D'Andrea
Vice President of Customer Support

Jane Creed – Director of Engineering

Favourite activity
Anything in the mountains

Favourite motivational quote
The joyful heart sees and reads the world with a sense of freedom and graciousness.”

— John O’Donohue.

Advice for women 
Be open to change to ensure the needs of your company, team and you are all being met. This requires listening to understand the needs, hearing the ask not the demand both from ourselves and others.

Jane (2)
Jane Creed
Director of Engineering

Akshita Rathee – Director of People

Favourite activity
Yoga Meditation and being in Nature!🧘‍♀️

Favourite motivational quote
🤔 What is Success??…. “Progress is Success !!!”
Tony Robbins

Advice for women in your field
Focus on “PEOPLE” rather than processes and tools. Build genuine connections – we learn the impact of the work we do when we connect with the people who are affected by it. Be the true partner to Business by developing and practicing 3 key skills – Business Acumen + High EQ + Influence.

Approach any difficult situation with humility & respect and you will be surprised how far it takes you in life, both professionally and personally. 💜

And don’t forget to sprinkle some fun along the way… trust me it’s contagious !!! ✨

Akshita Rathee
Director of People

Julie Atkinson – Senior Manager of Projects

Favourite activity
Depends on the season, but if I have to choose one it’s definitely Kitesurfing. While to observers it looks like an extreme sport, to me it’s about mindfulness and the awesome feeling of being at one with the elements.

Favourite motivational quote
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle

Advice for women in your field
Not everyone has the ability to see the big picture and the pieces needed to get there, this is why you’re in Project Management.

It’s important to keep focused on the big “why” in order to ensure teams are working on the right activities and to adjust the plan when needed to reset the course.

Aim for improvement, not perfection and don’t be afraid to share your ideas for organizational change. The worst anyone can say is “no”.

Julie Atkinson
Senior Manager of Projects

Cindy Szutu – Finance Manager

Favourite activity
Being outdoors by the water

Favourite motivational quote
“If you want to fly, give up everything that weighs you down” – Buddha

Advice for women in your field
Financial literacy empowers women to be independent

Cindy Szutu
Finance Manager

Lauren Mason Carris – Vice President of Learning Design

Favourite activity
Exploring, discovering, learning. Be it a new trail, a new city, a new recipe, or new music, my curiosity is satiated by the novelty of discovery.

Favourite motivational quote
If you get, give. If you learn, teach. – Maya Angelou

Advice for women in your field
There is great insight to be gained by seeing things from a different, novel, “newbie” perspective. Stay curious, move beyond your comfort zone, and keep learning.

A good learning designer requires not finite expertise, but a lasting curiosity to explore, experiment, fail, and learn. Get out there and try something risky. You might surprise yourself!

Lauren Mason Carris
Vice President of Learning Design

Erica Haight – Product Manager

Favourite activity
Snowboarding and hiking with my dog

Favourite motivational quote
“I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.”
― Maya Angelou

Advice for women in your field
Don’t let the pursuit of perfectionism stop you from achieving your goals. Successful product managers come from non-technical backgrounds too!

Erica Haight
Product Manager

Christina Mior – EA & SQM Office Manager

Favourite activity
Walking in the forest with my dog. Hikes in and around the Sea to Sky region and on Vancouver’s North Shore will do nicely.
2nd Favourite Activity (not that you asked…): cooking a delicious meal for friends and family.

Favourite motivational quote

Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.
Eleanor Roosevelt

Advice for women in your field

Be empathetic in the execution of your day-to-day tasks and in your every interaction with others. By being empathetic, by truly putting yourself in the shoes of others, you can anticipate the needs of those you support. Adapt to the working styles and preferences of those you support. Be open to feedback to hone the way you support your executive/team. Maintain confidentiality at all times.

Christina Mior
Christina Mior
EA & SQM Office Manager

Jaime Lamy – Senior Business Development Executive

Favourite activity
Doing the things I love with the people I love out in nature.

Favourite motivational quote
When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us. – Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone

Advice for women in your field
Be a sponge; listen, learn and connect with the leaders, mentors and people that surround you and that you respect in business. Develop your own style & boundaries but be open to constructive criticism/change. Stay focussed on the big picture and how to get there. Persistence and relationship building do pay off. Always be on the look out for opportunities to support and empower other women around you.

Jaime Lamy
Senior Business Development Executive

Chelsea Ramage – Field Engagement Director

Favourite activity
I love spending time in the mountains skiing, snowboarding or hiking with my family. Another new favourite activity is playing piano – I recently decided to learn how to play, and have been taking lessons!

Favourite motivational quote
“I don’t associate with people who blame the world for their problems. You are your problem. You are also your solution.”
– Megan, ‘Bridesmaids’

Advice for women in your field
Stay curious, ask questions, listen actively – and don’t be afraid to fail!

Chelsea Ramage
Field Engagement Director

Learn more about the amazing people who work at Penny. ABOUT PENNY.

Looking for your next role? Learn more about Penny and explore our open positions. CAREERS.

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