Life at TUNE

Celebrating International Women’s Day at TUNE

Ali Kollman

Today is International Women’s Day, and people all over the world are celebrating and recognizing the wonderful achievements made by women in our lives. This celebration also extends to the women in the tech industry. Whether you’re in a technical or non-technical role, many of us have one thing in common: working to close the gender diversity gap across the world within the tech community.  

Over the years, TUNE has proudly made numerous efforts to move the needle and close this gender diversity gap. Through the creation of programs like the TUNE House, a scholarship program providing free housing for eight female students pursuing degrees in certain areas of study within science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields at the University of Washington, and WeLead, our women in tech initiative, we at TUNE believe that women should not be a minority in the tech industry.

In honor of this special day, we want to highlight a number of the women who make up TUNE and have not only been with the company for many years, but have scaled their careers and played a huge role in scaling the company.

Sabrina Oldham, Director of Recruiting

What does it mean to be a woman in tech?

Being a woman in tech to me does not mean I need to know how to code. It’s much more than that; it means that I have a career in the technology field. It also empowers me to inspire and create awareness for other girls and women who are deciding on their career paths, because I think a lot of the engagement issues are because of the lack of education and awareness about what being “a woman in tech” means. It’s incredibly inspiring to affect change in this way.

What advice can you share with women who are looking to move into a leadership role?

The first thing to think about is why you want to move into a leadership role. What does it mean to you and why do you want to pursue it? Being a great leader takes a lot of vulnerability, emotional intelligence, self awareness, and service. In my opinion, those are some of the core things great leaders possess — they think about their team and people first and innately. Start with making sure you know the answers to that and learning from other people through conversations and coffee on their experiences both good or bad, and see if anything truly resonates with you. Strive to always achieve your best with high integrity and deeply reflect on what aspects about a leadership role interest you.

Heather Wade, Director of Engineering

What does it mean to be a woman in tech?

I’ve been working in tech for many years now, and the tech industry has changed leaps and bounds in that time. It is refreshing to begin to see companies that value diversity in the teams building their products, and reaping dividends from the incredible output of these teams. While that’s something I love being a part of here at TUNE, it is not yet a universal experience. Being a woman in tech, especially in an engineering leadership role, means fostering a culture of humility, trust, and respect that allows diverse teams to thrive. Outside of the office, I also feel a strong calling to serve the Seattle tech community, working to create opportunities for women through the Seattle chapter of Girl Develop It.

How has TUNE supported you as a woman working in tech?

I love that TUNE puts its money where its mouth is when it comes to inclusiveness and diversity, from supporting the TUNE House to internal initiatives like pay equality. I appreciate that these initiatives reflect the values of our leadership team, as well as how they have carefully shaped our culture.

Eve Rallo, Director of User Experience

What does it mean to be a woman in tech?

It means so much more now that I have two kids who will see everything I do for myself and others.

What advice can you share with women who are looking to move into a leadership role?

Be yourself and embrace your natural tendencies to empathize and nurture. Studies show that women have an edge when it comes to building an environment of “psychological safety,” and in such an environment people have a higher propensity to take risks. If you want to lead, lead with heart first and all will follow.

Gili Tidhar, Director of Account Management

What do you do for fun when you’re not working?

I’m a major foodie and always checking out new places to go eat. I also love traveling and try to see as many new places as I can, even if it means just going for a short weekend.

How has TUNE supported you as a woman working in tech?

A few years ago, TUNE started different programs both internally and externally to support women in tech. Throughout the programs, I have had the opportunity to get to know the incredible women that make up TUNE. This group of strong and passionate women have become a very significant source for support and inspiration for me as a woman in the company.

Nessa Voigt, Director of Inside Sales

What attracted you to the tech community?

I have always been drawn to technology. I wanted to be in an innovative fast-paced work environment that was always pushing the envelope. It’s important for me to learn something new every day, and tech has been the perfect foundation for that.

What advice can you share with women who are looking to move into a leadership role?

Know yourself and work style before jumping into a leadership role. Not everyone has the personality or desire to be a good manager. It takes continuous, conscious effort. You have to have a clear vision for your team and at the same time be a bit selfless. You have to know your team and how to play to their unique strengths and still achieve your team’s goals. It’s a hard job, but truly the most rewarding one.

Sheila Bhardwaj, Director of Client Success

What do you do for fun when you’re not working?

I try to stay active — lots of yoga, running, skiing, climbing, swimming. Right now I’m doing weekly track workouts with a local club team in SF called West Valley. I also make an annual pilgrimage to Burning Man with a group of my closest friends.

How has TUNE supported you as a woman working in tech?

The leadership team trusted me with a lot of responsibility early on in my career. This often meant I had to fail fast and move on quickly, and I’ve always had support throughout a myriad of challenging experiences in our early growth.

Jamie Dieterich, Director of Client Engagement

What does it mean to be a woman in tech?

I feel especially proud being a woman in technology because it’s one of the few areas a woman can non-verbally disprove the outdated bias (that tech is a man’s world) just by being hard-working and relentless. Which we women are very, very good at.

How has TUNE supported you as a woman working in tech?

This is one of the first companies I’ve worked at where I’ve felt truly valued for who I am and what I bring to the table. I love that the world is catching up with the notion that intuition can be powerful at work, too; TUNE especially honors that. This means that I feel heard, seen, and needed not only from my direct boss, but all the way up to the CEO. When my ideas are encouraged and celebrated, it creates a strong desire within me to continue being someone they’d want to support.

Jennifer Wong, 
VP of Marketing

What attracted you to the tech community?

Technology affects every person’s daily life. It’s a tool that supports innovation to improve lives. I started my career in technology. As a marketer I believe advancement of technology is a game changer for marketers to deliver the best experience and reach the right person, with the right message, at the right time. Personally, I also just love to geek out on technology: VR, AR, 360 cameras, 3D printing, self-driving, self-heating, connected everything! My favorite things are enchanted devices.

What advice can you share with women who are looking to move into a leadership role?

Understand “business” so you can identify areas where you can help contribute to the success. When you see the bigger picture outside of just your technical role or function, you will better understand priorities and always make decisions that are inline to support the growth.

Help us support women in tech year-round 

Join us at TUNE in celebrating the women around the world today and every day. If you’re interested in learning more about how TUNE is making efforts toward closing the gender diversity gap, or if you’d like to learn more about our women in tech achievements over the last year, see how we’re using our annual conference, Postback to facilitate donations to support our women in tech initiative, and be sure to check out our newest program the TUNE House Roadshow.

Author
Ali Kollman

Ali is a content marketing manager at TUNE. She is also a manager of the TUNE House program and creator of the TUNE House Roadshow. Ali received her bachelor's degree in Communication from the University of Washington. Outside of work you can find her traveling and exploring new neighborhoods by foot with her husband and furry companion.