International Women's Day: Choose to Challenge

March 8, 2021

At Tatari, we think it’s important to celebrate International Women’s Day not just today, but throughout the year, which we accomplish in different ways. There’s a “ladies-of-tatari” Slack channel, the “Women in Tech” group, and an initiative by our DE&I Committee to increase gender representation both at a departmental level and within our management ranks.

The “ladies-of-tatari” Slack channel was started by Thuy-Van Watts (Senior Data Engineer) two months after she joined, and this channel has grown from just 6 of us to now 38. In “ladies-of-tatari” we celebrate each other’s achievements, give shoutouts, coordinate ladies-only HH, and really, discuss anything under the sun. I remember when we gave a shout out to Ilaria Lobo (Media Ops Associate) for her great acting skills on playing the part of a challenging prospective client during a mock Tatari sales call in front of the whole team, and when Elizabeth Spear (Product Manager) gave an update on the Product roadmap for the first time during our February monthly huddle. And of course, there are also non-work related topics, some of my favorites include: (1) Katie Miltimore (Senior Media Buyer) giving us a “homework assignment” to watch Love Island at the beginning of COVID; (2) what it’s like to have a virtual bachelorette; (3) skincare recommendations; and (4) our favorite sweatpants (Vuori, in case you’re wondering). The “Women in Tech'' group uses working lunch sessions to facilitate a safe place to discuss professional progression. While still at its early stage, the group held its first session on writing impactful resumes, which led to discussions about leadership. Last week, Brad Geving, our VP, Media Buying, gave a talk about his management career progression and advice to those that want to move into management.

This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is #ChooseToChallenge—to speak up against gender inequality, bias, and question stereotypes. At Tatari, we are committed to these challenges, and to create an environment that is supportive in the process. Now, let’s hear from some of the ladies-of-tatari. We asked the following questions and are sharing their responses.

  • What do you think is the biggest challenge women face in the workplace

  • Share your favorite discussion/chats from the “ladies-of-tatari” slack channel

  • Tell us something you work on at Tatari that you’re most proud of

Vicky Chang, Director of Media Buying

Top challenge women face in the workplace: One of the biggest challenges in the workplace is overcoming inherent biases. An example could be when male voices are heard without question and male opinions carry more weight. Women must work harder and can be expected to have stronger voices so that they can be heard equally. It can be a tricky balance because women need to find a way to come off strong and speak louder without coming off combative. As more women have seats at the table, we can work towards getting rid of these dynamics.
Favorite thing about LOT: I love to get a glimpse into the personal lives of the ladies-of-tatari. We share the best places to travel, favorite color sweatpants, our latest in skin regimen, and cool charities and causes. 
Most proud of: At Tatari, I’m responsible for laying the foundation and evolving media buying for the company with mentoring, best practices, and product development through a media buyer’s eyes.

Elizabeth Spear, Product Manager

Favorite thing about LOT: While the entire company is supportive, “ladies-of-tatari” is really about looking out for each other, giving the extra boost of encouragement, and acknowledgment to team members. Who doesn’t benefit from a little extra support?! 
Most proud of: Though I haven't been at Tatari very long, I really enjoyed working on our Ad-hoc tool that gave our media buyers more flexibility and efficiency in creating their plans. It's a smaller feature in the grand scheme of things, but crucial in encouraging the adoption of the newest version of the platform. I'm excited about where we are going and can't wait to tackle the challenges that lie ahead.

Liana Sanders, Software Engineer

Top challenge women face in the workplace: As a woman in the workplace, fighting implicit bias is my biggest challenge. There are preconceived notions, perpetuated by the media, of what a software engineer looks like, what their interests are, how they dress, etc.— notions that I feel are at odds with my identity. For example, at developer conferences people will sometimes assume that I'm a product manager, or some other engineering-adjacent role, but will not assume the same of my male colleagues. More female representation in these roles will help change some of these assumptions.
Favorite thing about LOT: My favorite part about our Slack channel is giving other women their due props. 
Most proud of: At Tatari, I'm most proud of the work I do that supports our media buyers. Our internal tool funnels most of our business and is heavily relied upon. I understand my contributions to the tool are a vital part of my coworkers’ productivity and I take great care in making sure my work makes their job that much easier.

Lauren Salka, Media Buyer

Top challenge women face in the workplace: The biggest challenge I face as a woman is that I feel I have to work twice as hard to stand out and be recognized. In the workplace, people can help uplift women’s voices and accomplishments to ensure we get the same recognition as male counterparts. 
Favorite thing about LOT: I love that the women of Tatari have an outlet to bring up female-related topics. I also love that it's a space for us to support one another. 
Most proud of: In my role, I’m most proud of leading the local linear buying process and creating a how-to guide for the department’s onboarding. The advertising industry is pretty competitive.

Meghan Hill, Client Services Associate

Top challenge women face in the workplace: I've been lucky to have good experiences as a woman in the workplace, but there's still a subset of the population that doubts women’s place in the workplace. We have our work ethic and capabilities questioned in ways I haven't seen in male coworkers. I personally was often questioned for studying math in school versus a more feminine-expected discipline. As a society, we need to acknowledge that there's a problem and that inequality does exist so we can put in the work to make changes.
Favorite thing about LOT: I love having our “ladies-of-tatari” channel to chat about work and non-work related topics, and to give each other well-deserved praise for projects.
Most proud of: In my role, I'm most proud of fully integrating Hubspot as a CRM/customer service tool for our Client Services team. It was a really big undertaking with a lot of moving parts, and I made great headway in improving organization and operations across our team. 

Kristina Stojadinovic, Senior Accounting Manager

Top challenge women face in the workplace: As a female manager, I feel that men are often celebrated for being "assertive" leaders, whereas women are portrayed as "bossy" or "being a b$%@#/." As a society, I think we need to change this perception. Let's raise up strong women and let our unique perspectives be heard.
Favorite thing about LOT: My favorite thing about the “ladies-of-tatari” Slack channel is when we share product recommendations
Most proud of: At Tatari, I work on all of the day-to-day accounting that helps keep the company running; I'm most proud of helping my team navigate and manage finances for our ever-growing client list, and how we never back down from complex or ambiguous challenges.

Alex Truong, Operations Manager

Top challenge women face in the workplace: The biggest challenge I face as a woman in tech is the fear of appearing unworthy of my place in the industry; I feel a constant need to prove my abilities to others. It’s important for companies to forge an inclusive culture where women are given a voice.
Favorite thing about LOT: I love that our “ladies-of-tatari” channel has become a space where we can acknowledge each other's accomplishments. Whether one of us is speaking at a Tatari Talk or just launched a new client, we show each other love in the channel! 
Most proud of: I’m most proud of the onboarding template I created that we use for each new hire, which contains resources like company docs, whom to ask what, an onboarding checklist, and much more. This document ensures that our new hires have everything they need to get started at Tatari. We’ve onboarded 55+ employees using this template since I joined in August 2020! And of course, we're constantly working to improve our onboarding experience so the template gets better and better with feedback from each new hire. 

Muller Luo

I love getting to know people and drive efficiency.

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