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Wise Words from Women in Tech at Duo Security

At Duo, there are some truly remarkable human beings working on our Security, Engineering, Product, Legal, Marketing, Sales, you-name-it teams, many of whom happen to be women.

In honor of Women’s History Month, here are the wise words of a few making history at Duo:

Jennifer Lawrence at Duo

Jennifer Lawrence, VP Inside Sales - Americas

LinkedIn

What advice do you have for other women in tech?
Advice I have for anyone coming up in their careers:

  1. Jump in before you believe you are ready.
  2. Remember to say thank you. It goes a long way.
  3. Assume positive intent.
  4. The do'ers are some of the most important people in an org. Thank them and invest in them.
  5. Care about the people around you. It isn't just about the numbers. Treat people like humans and you may be surprised what you get back.
  6. Always hustle.

What has your experience been like at Duo, compared to other companies?
I have worked for companies that led by fear and intimidation. QBRs would be in front of 150 managers and the goal was to Stump the Seller vs. collaborate and move people forward. They looked for mistakes in your PowerPoint to focus on.

I came to Duo for three reasons: Cutting edge tech, customer evangelists and a culture of collaboration.

It was a bit of a leap of faith to trust the collaboration part - you don't really know until you are in it. I never understood how much life would change if I took a risk and jumped into something that I loved. I had all different types of people from my parents to neighbors to friends who told me - You look different - you look relaxed and happy, after starting at Duo.

I walk into Duo every day with a smile and leave with a smile. I never thought it could be like this - a team who drives towards results, yet, are always helping each other. I have never seen anything like it. I call them Hunter Helpers.

We encourage each other and we support one another. This is what makes it so unbelievably rewarding. Duo is such a special place.

LuLu Tang at Duo Security

Lulu Tang, Product Designer

LinkedIn

What advice do you have for other women in tech?
An easy tip for being bolder and taking action is to change your requests from:

--> "Would it be possible if you could ..." "Maybe if we ... that would be great." etc.

To:

--> "Let's do [Action]."

If people have questions or concerns, they can still voice them. Phrasing the request in a statement like this automatically assigns you as the point of contact (giving you more leverage), presents a concrete decision, and still sounds amicable.

It's a really small change, but has made me feel more confident in my decisions and also helped move along discussion much faster!

Wendy Nather at Duo Security

Wendy Nather, Principal Security Strategist

LinkedIn

What advice would you give yourself, years ago?
"It's going to be all right." When I started in this field [information security], we were all figuring it out as we went along (and I'd argue that we still are, bigtime). I took chances on opportunities in very different roles and environments, and I'm glad I did all of them. As women, we can sometimes question ourselves too much when we need to be bold and jump. When we're comfortable with uncertainty, we come across as confident. It's okay not to know what you're doing. It's called "learning," and everyone should try it. :-)

The only thing I can recommend [to other women in tech] is "find you a place where you don't feel like a unicorn."

I can only hope that more companies will be like Duo, where being a woman is unremarkable because there are so many of us.

I want to concentrate on my work in security; I don't want to waste cycles Being Female, because it's distracting and it's tiring.

Kendra Mitchell at Duo Security

Kendra Mitchell, Assistant General Counsel

LinkedIn

What advice would you give yourself, years ago?
Be confident in your voice and your perspective. Imposter syndrome is very real and can be heightened when you’re sitting in a room with men who may speak more loudly and forcefully than you do.

But do try to remember: the loudest voice in the room is not necessarily the most informed voice.

Also, I’d say, give yourself the space to take on new challenges, be uncomfortable, dream big - and fail. Don’t internalize failure, instead view it as a byproduct of growth and ambition. Research suggests that women have been socialized to be less risk averse. So, this is not a trivial obstacle to overcome. Still, give yourself the permission to, say, take on daunting projects, learn new skills ... maybe even consider a different career! If you have yet to experience failure, you have yet to learn how to do life right!

What has your experience been like at Duo, compared to other companies?
Certainly worlds apart from a law firm, where being both young and a woman can be negative assets. And similar to the tech company I was at previously, wherein people are given opportunities to challenge themselves and succeed - regardless of their age and gender (or race).

Kimi Heskett at Duo Security

Kimi Heskett, Senior Manager, Marketing Operations

LinkedIn

What advice would you give yourself, years ago?
There's no path to follow, no rule book, no right way to get "there" -- there is only your own way. Don't be afraid to work hard, don't be afraid to put things before work when it matters to you and don't be afraid to be yourself.

What has your experience been like at Duo, compared to other companies?

Working at Duo Security has let me feel safe to make bold decisions, do my best work and quiet that voice questioning my decisions.

I hope all women, and men, have the chance to work at an inclusive and inspiring company such as Duo.

Thu Pham

Information Security Journalist

@Thu_Duo

Thu Pham covers current events in the tech industry with a focus on information security. Prior to joining Duo, Thu covered security and compliance for the infrastructure as a service (IaaS) industry at Online Tech. Based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, she earned her BS in Journalism from Central Michigan University.