To celebrate Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, we organized a panel of women-identifying SalesPage professionals who shared their career journeys, challenges, successes, and advice for women (and men!) in all stages of work and life.
We’re sharing some of their stories and advice to promote a broader positive impact on women in our community.
Note: The quotes attributed to participants should not be considered exact quotations, though every effort has been made to accurately convey the statement they expressed during the panel.
How did your career path unfold?
“With two degrees in English, I planned to write and to teach. I worked as a librarian, as a college and university instructor, as an editor, and as a software-focused technical writer and trainer. To meet my financial and professional goals, I decided to focus on technical writing and training. SalesPage is always innovating; I’ve enjoyed that SalesPage has always offered me opportunities to develop new skills and find new solutions—over the entire 28 years I’ve been with the company. My advice to women at any stage of their career and life: Don’t be afraid to try something new. If something isn’t working for you or you’re not feeling fulfilled, try something else.” Nancy Hutson Hale
“I took a different track to start my professional career. I went from high school straight into the workforce, starting at a bank, and then on to an opportunity at OppenheimerFunds, where my sister and Mom were working. At the close of the Invesco acquisition, my role would have either been New York or Atlanta based. My life and home are in Colorado and nothing is more important to me. I knew of SalesPage as a client and from industry conferences, we’d both frequent. When SalesPage incorporated a virtual workforce into its culture and operations and approached me with an opportunity, I knew it was the right fit. Today, I am doing the work I’m most passionate about and I encourage others to speak up and follow their own path, however unconventional or non-linear it may be.” Shonda Jaquez
Have you had to navigate your career differently because you are a woman? How?
“While working towards my Computer Science degree, I found that classes were challenging when I wasn’t taken seriously. As one of the minorities (roughly 23% of CS majors in my class were women), I found that I was singled out more than my male classmates. I had to be ahead of the curve and not only know my stuff but also prove myself. If I didn’t always have the correct answer, I would second guess myself and my right to be in that room. I advise women to shoot for their goals and do what they need to do to get there, but make sure they’re taking care of themselves along the way.” Allie Kalhorn
“In the early days of my career, I was socialized to be a people pleaser. I wasn’t always good at setting boundaries and advocating for myself. Mid-career, I pivoted to stay at home with my young kids and get my master’s degree at night. After reentering the workforce, I gained self-confidence, built up self-taught knowledge, and took pride in sharing that to help co-workers, clients, and friends at non-profits succeed. I’m grateful to have a career with flexibility and a position that gives me balance. I encourage women to talk to as many people as they can. Advocate for yourself and don’t undersell yourself. Ask for help when you need it.” Melissa Klein
What are you most proud of in your career so far?
“In the moment, the projects are cool and there were many I am still proud of today, but when I look back it’s the people and how I helped them succeed. With over 20 years in the software industry, it’s hard to choose just a few things as there have been many highlights. From RFID, custom software, product software, e-commerce websites, payroll systems, brand websites, and business intelligence, I’ve seen a lot! Technology is ever-changing and I’ve loved the variety of work that it brings. I am proud to say that I built the first-ever workatmcdonalds.com, and worked with a talented team to build the first-ever heinzketchup.com. Leading the project management effort for the Pop-Tarts-sponsored American Idols concert tours was another exciting journey. To keep growing in your career, I recommend that you create an annual plan with milestones. What do you want to do (goals)? How are you going to accomplish it (books, training, projects, certifications)? Who can help you (mentor, friend, co-worker)? Use a journal to track your progress on a monthly basis and know that it’s okay to change course.” Jen Rutledge, PMP
“I’m most proud of taking a leap. In school, I started on a pre-med track and shifted to statistics after acing an intro to stats course. My choice of major, Biostatistics, was a logical choice and I was able to work ahead on a master’s degree. Initially driven to stick to my plan and use the education I heavily invested in, I spent 4 years working as a Biostatistician. What I realized is that while logical, this path wasn’t filling my cup and my passion really resided in Project Management. Making the change from Biostatistician to Project Manager was scary. Being the primary earner in my household, making a change was risky, but ultimately I found both support and success. I earned my PMP and am thriving at SalesPage. I encourage other women, if they find they aren’t fulfilled, to take a leap and pursue what they’re truly passionate about.” Alyssa Woodwyk, PMP
Interested in joining out team? Check out our job openings
Thank you, SalesPagers, for being a part of this dynamic discussion. We are proud to foster an environment and culture where our team feels comfortable sharing their stories and we are thankful for the inspiration they provide our community to pursue their goals and support others.