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June 02, 2020
Inside Calendly

Celebrating women in tech: Calendly’s women share career advice and what inspires us

International Women's Day 2020

By Paige Jones

It’s a privilege to work with Calendly’s women – or “Galendly,” as we’ve branded ourselves. Every time I walk into a meeting, I feel a wave of gratitude for the amazing opportunity to work with this bold, brilliant group of leaders.

The women of Calendly approach problems with creativity, diligence, perspective, rigor, and empathy. They make me belly laugh and challenge my ideas, while also leaving sticky notes on the bathroom mirror that say, “You are KILLIN’ it today!”

However, navigating roadblocks that stem from single-perspective thinking – like inequities in wage, invisible work, and mental load – is an arduous, ongoing process in the tech world.

Calendly, and a handful of other organizations like us, have seeded open and adaptive cultures that allow for expansion of the way we operate today. Through continuing education, Calendly builds opportunities from these challenges.

So, in honor of International Women’s Day, the Galendly women share their advice and inspiration for making our own place at the table in the tech industry. (Check out last year’s, too!)

Paige Jones
Content Marketing Manager

Paige JonesQuote SeparationMiriam Makshanoff

Miriam Makshanoff

Senior QA Engineer

What are you most proud of about your career?

I’m very proud to have gone from working in customer support with no background in tech to eventually working as a software engineer. I moved back to my homestate of California after finishing college with a Psychology degree. I found a job in customer support at a tech company, moved into QA, and fell in love with tech. From there, I went into software engineering. I’m so proud of the time I spent working on production code, particularly creating services (which I never would have thought possible to do on my own). Then I went back to my first love of QA, when I realized that the cross-department collaboration was a better fit for my personality.

Do you have any hidden talents?

I can weld! And refinish furniture, and install insulation, and a bunch of other random skills that I hope to use someday to build my own house.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten?

Talk to everyone. Everyone has a unique story, something to bring to the table. A different life experience, a different struggle. The best way to fill in the gaps in your own world is by listening to what others have to say.

What are three of your favorite things?

Bob Dylan, Scotland, Coding

Quote SeparationKatie Williamson

Katie Williamson

Lead Content Strategist

What brought you to Calendly?

I have an amazing mentor, Susa, who recruited me to join her at Calendly. Susa gave me a chance in tech and coached me to be the person I am today. She’s my biggest champion and someone I can truly look up to. I knew that if Susa wanted me to join her team, I’d be in a great position at Calendly.

What do you think it takes to be successful as a woman in tech?

You have to be confident and willing to promote yourself, your team, and great ideas. It’s easy to do the work, get paid, and go home, but to be successful you have to push. Discover how you can change the world with what you are doing. Always think bigger. Even if you’re not passionate about your job, you can always find a way to bring your passion to your work.

What’s your favorite Slack emoji?

I’m a big fan of the dancing shark and the muscle arm 💪

What advice would you give to someone applying for a job on your team?

Think about the story you want to tell. When you are working with product, the end users should come first. What is the story you want to tell them in every interaction? How can we help our users become the hero of their story? How do we make Calendly the tool that they use to reach their goals?

What’s your favorite place to eat in Atlanta?

Aviva by Kameel is the best restaurant in Atlanta.

Quote SeparationRyan Croom

Ryan Croom

Customer Success Manager

Why do you love to work at Calendly?

Calendly provides an environment where my ambitious mindset is encouraged and the people really matter. The people I work with and the customers I serve are at the heart of every decision I make. I am encouraged by this organization to bring my best self to the office each day.

Do you have any hidden talents?

I can rap all the songs from the hit musical Hamilton and make a pretty tasty pasta alla vodka, homemade noodles and all!

What’s a typical week like in your role at Calendly?

I talk to customers every day! My ultimate job is to advocate for Calendly users. So, sometimes that means presenting a feature request to our product team; other times, it’s brainstorming the best place to hyperlink a scheduling page in an email signature. Each day is different, but I learn something new every time I interact with a Calendly customer.

What are three of your favorite things?

The color pink, my dog Woolf (named in homage to my love of feminist literature), Jeni’s brambleberry crisp ice cream

What are words you try to live by?

“If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.” – Shirley Chisholm

Quote SeparationRachael Wright-Munn

Rachael Wright-Munn

Sr. Full-Stack Engineer

What does working in the tech industry mean to you?

Technology is a great enabler. It makes any process faster, less error-prone, and enables iteration. When you codify your processes, you never forget past learnings. I like that opportunity to help people, build things that make people’s lives easier, and expose opportunities on a larger scale. My favorite tasks are ones where we build tooling that automates rote tasks, so people can focus on the parts of their job that they enjoy. The parts that really make an impact.

What’s your favorite Slack emoji?

✨ :sparkles: ✨

What do you think it takes to be successful as a woman in tech?

Persistence. Being a professional woman is hard, and being one is technology is harder. You’ll face challenges to your experience and reputation that men won’t. Being recognized for what you’re bringing to the table is a constant struggle. Your mistakes count harder against you, and your successes are often given to someone else. It’s so easy to just fall silent, but you have to keep trying, because your detractors want you to be quiet. They want you to give up. They want you to be scared to ask questions and share your opinions, because when you speak up, you find allies, learn new information, and you’ll realize you’re not as alone as you thought. You just have to keep trying, seize every opportunity, and not let the imposter syndrome get to you.

What advice would you give to someone applying for a job on your team?

Just apply! Finding the right job is about finding the right fit. Maybe you’re not sure if Calendly is right for you, but you’ll never know if you don’t apply. Just do it! Come work with me!

What brought you to Calendly?

Calendly is a stable company that’s small enough for one person to make an impact, and large enough that no one person is bearing full responsibility. There are bright, hard-working people to learn from. It has a bright future and I’m looking forward to being part of it!


You heard her! Come work with us!

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Quote SeparationCarla Bates

Carla Bates

Product Specialist

What do you think it takes to be successful at Calendly?

A positive attitude and natural internal drive to work hard and be a part of a solution.

What are words you try to live by?

Our most potent influence is our choice of who we want to be, reflected by how we live our life.

Do you have any hidden talents?

I can play guitar!

What’s your favorite place to eat in Atlanta?

Food Terminal.

What are three of your favorite things?

Cycling, Donuts, Adventuring

Quote SeparationKaren Shih

Karen Shih

Senior Project Manager

How did you get into your line of work?

When I graduated, I didn’t even know this kind of role existed, so it was really happenstance. Every internship or job I ever held, I evaluated which aspects I liked and disliked. When I was ready to move on, I made sure my next opportunity had more of what I enjoyed doing. Eventually, I found myself in a job where I love coming in to work every day.

What does working in the tech industry mean to you?

Representation in the tech industry is very important to me because so much of it is creating products that affect our day-to-day lives – and we are not all the same. People come from such a rich background and it’s important to make sure our products reflect all the different lenses that we view the world by.

What’s one thing you’ve had to overcome to get to where you are today?

Speaking up.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten?

If you know you did a good job, that should be enough. Don’t wait for other people to tell you what you already know to be true.

What are words you try to live by?

They seemed to be good people. Most people are if given the chance. -Patrick Rothfuss

What are three of your favorite things?

Warm bread, organization products, pretty handwriting

Quote SeparationAmy Fincher

Amy Fincher

Office Manager

How did you get into your line of work?

I went to school for hospitality, then worked in hotels and convention centers for over a decade. I like to treat office management the same way I ran my hotels; every one of my coworkers is a guest in my office. It’s my job to make sure they have what they need and are comfortable enough to perform their jobs to the best of their abilities.

What does working in the tech industry mean to you?

Tech is a whole other world! They tell you that before you come in and they are not kidding. Tech moves so quickly and decisions are well evaluated before execution. I love it. The pace keeps it busy!

What’s the best part about working at Calendly?

I have a life outside of work for the first time in my adult life. I’ve worked plenty of places that say they have work/life balance but don’t in actuality. Calendly lives by its promises. Before I got here, I spent weeks stalking articles about best workplaces in the city and Calendly consistently popped up. Then I just waited until something I was qualified for came up. I picked Calendly more than the job and I couldn’t be happier.

What advice would you give to someone applying for a job on your team/in your department?

Be ready for change and hit the ground running. What we do today won’t work tomorrow when our numbers double. Remember that “best practices” are temporary in this company because we adapt and grow constantly. Keep finding what’s best for NOW.

What’s the moment in your career you’re most proud of?

When I ran special projects for a Disney hotel we had a Make A Wish child come to check in with their family. They were lost and at the wrong hotel. I drove them to their correct location and on the way the little girl kept on about how much she wanted to see an ostrich egg because she thought they looked like dragon eggs. After dropping them off I was able to track down a real ostrich egg to give to her. Knocking on their hotel door and then seeing her face when she saw the egg is one of the best moments of my career.

What’s your favorite word?

Snorkel – it just sounds funny.

Quote SeparationLauren Haile

Lauren Haile

Senior Product Manager

What are words you try to live by?

“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss it you will land among the stars.” – Les Brown

Why do you choose to work at Calendly?

I work at Calendly because we have one of the best product-led organizations in Atlanta. We highly value deeply understanding our users and using this knowledge to decide what to build and when. We also have an amazing culture of supporting our users and also supporting each other. People are excited to come to work to collaborate on solving these problems, and it shows in the energy here on a daily basis.

What’s your favorite Slack emoji?

The dancing penguin!

What do you think it takes to be successful as a woman in tech?

Not feeling lesser or different because you’re a woman. Knowing you’re just as smart as that guy next to you and having the confidence to show it.

What’s your favorite place to eat in Atlanta?

My current favorite is Nina & Raffi’s pizza in Old Fourth Ward on the Beltline! Their Detroit deep dish pizza reminds me of the deep dish Chicago pizza I had growing up! They also make a mean pizzeria salad!

What’s your favorite neighborhood in Atlanta?

My hood – Old Fourth Ward! It’s a great mix of everything – old and new houses, young and old people, new and interesting food and long standing staple restaurants, eclectic and trendy, active and chill, etc. Also, the Beltline has brought additional revitalization into the area to help it become a really high energy, active neighborhood with amazing food and lots to do!


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Quote SeparationIsa Rosario

Isa Rosario

Customer Success Manager

How did you get into your line of work?

I started in support back in 2018, helping our customers (big and small) on the front line. Eventually I realized how vital scheduling is to business and how Calendly was impacting this on the larger scale. I grew to love our customers and was literally begging to get on the phone with them. Long story short, quick onboarding calls turned into my next career move as a customer success manager!

What does working in the tech industry mean to you?

It never occurred to me I’d be drawn to the tech industry today but I am so glad I took that leap of curiosity. Tech is the future (so cliché), and it’s an honor to be part of the community that’s innovating the lives of future generations!

What’s a typical week like in your role at Calendly?

Unpredictable! For the most part, I spend my time with customers but things can change as the week goes. I can be either on a training call, talking about growth, or handling something that needs to be done ASAP – you never know! When I’m not with a customer, I’m collaborating with our product, support, and success teams to level up our customer experience!

One weird thing about me that most people don’t know is…

I like to practice calligraphy for fun!

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten?

Be okay with your decisions. In other words, learn to be okay with your choices and stop looking back in the past. They are all necessary parts of your story!

Quote SeparationKristyn Bryan

Kristyn Bryan

Developer Support Specialist

How did you get into your line of work?

I moved around in many different fields to meet my varied interests and abilities. I went from being an event planner to being an elementary school teacher to teaching software engineering to being a software developer to being an office manager and then found my way to the world of customer support. I love helping others and solving problems. I’ve grown at every opportunity and continue to welcome new challenges.

What’s your favorite Slack emoji?

:pusheen-dancing:

What do you think it takes to be successful at Calendly?

The willingness to leave your ego at home. Collaborate with others. Be open. Be willing to speak your mind and bring new ideas to the table.

What do you think it takes to be successful as a woman in tech?

Confidence in your abilities. Even if you’re the only woman in the room, feeling self-assured that you are meant to be there because of what you have to offer.

What’s your favorite neighborhood in Atlanta?

Midtown (where I live and work). You can’t beat walking through Piedmont Park everyday.

Quote SeparationShannan Farmer

Shannan Farmer

Recruiting Coordinator

What’s a typical week like in your role at Calendly?

I manage the full-cycle recruiting process for our Product Specialist team and manage every single onsite interview, as well as our entire candidate experience – so my week is a solid mix of recruiting and recruiting operations. This means my week is always excitingly chaotic – I love it!

What’s the best part about working at Calendly?

I’m a working mom and work/life balance is my love language. I’ve never experienced work/life balance like what we have at Calendly. Because of this I am a much better team member.

Who is someone that inspires you?

Sara Blakely, CEO of Spanx. She created Spanx with $5,000 and hustle. She’s the primary owner of her company and she’s a working mom of 4 who is literally killing it. The amount of energy and effort she puts behind supporting women is inspiring and it’s so great to see someone like that in a CEO role.

Quote SeparationKatie Christian

Katie Christian

Head of Customer Success

What’s a typical week like in your role at Calendly?

As Head of Customer Success, my week is a mix of learning and collaborating, coaching the stellar CS team, celebrating wins, and strategizing how to better serve Calendly customers.

How did you get into your line of work?

Fostering relationships and experiences has always been a passion of mine. Twitter led me to the world of startups. Atlanta and SalesLoft is where those two worlds intersected, and the rest is history!

What do you think it takes to be successful as a woman in tech?

Big question – worthy of a long lunch! I’ve found three things to be most helpful over the years:
1. Connect outside your function/department and build strong relationships.
2. Be vocal and advocate for the people and ideas you believe in.
3. Own your growth! Ask for things: feedback, resources, the promotion…

What are you most proud of about your career?

Committing to worthy work that impacts the lives of others and trusting myself throughout the journey to go after the BIG things I’ve wanted.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten?

Find a mentor. My mentors rock and have been incredibly helpful over the years. They encourage, teach, and ask the hard questions – allowing me to continuously level up.

What are three of your favorite things?

Pancake Sundays, beach days, and gardening!


Feeling inspired? This is how I feel every day working with these amazing women!

If you think Calendly is the right place to grow your career, check out our current openings on our jobs page.

View Current Openings

Paige Jones

About the Author

Paige Jones works on marketing content for Calendly. She spends her time at home covered in flour, craft supplies, or cat hair. Always cat hair.

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