Celebrating and uplifting the achievements of women is crucial to breaking down barriers and building a more equitable world. It shouldn’t be relegated to one day of the year, but today, as we celebrate #InternationalWomensDay, we are reminded that we are still working to create a world free from bias, prejudice, and discrimination.
This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is #BreakTheBias, which acknowledges that the world still has work to do to overcome bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. A world free from bias is a world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive, and one that values and celebrates difference.
Throughout the month of March, Mapbox is celebrating Women’s History Month, recognizing women trailblazers and celebrating the incredible women that inspire us. But today, as we join the world in celebrating International Women’s Day, we want to highlight the team driving engagement and educational opportunities for women and helping #BreakTheBias internally at Mapbox - our GEnder Minority (GEM) Employee Resource Group.
GEM focuses on creating a community that celebrates, uplifts, and supports gender minorities at Mapbox with the mission to support a diverse and inclusive work environment that champions mentorship, community, and advocacy. GEM identifies ways to celebrate the accomplishments of gender minorities in tech and uplift one another in our careers internally and externally.
Maia Rosengarten is a Software Engineer on our Logistics team and chair our GEM employee resource group; here is her story:
Throughout my studies and career in computer science, I’ve experienced two consistent themes. On the one hand, I felt imposter syndrome as “the social science kid.” On the other hand, I felt a new sense of empowerment that slowly came from doing something that I never thought I could do – in this case, software engineering (or anything in STEM for that matter).
The game changer for me came from a mentor of mine, a woman with a 25-year career in tech who entered the field as a software-engineer-turned-product-manager at a time when there were even fewer women in tech than there are now. She’s the one who encouraged me to take my first computer science class in my second-to-last semester of college when I was gearing up to apply to law school.
Apart from supporting my career shift, she supported an even more profound change within my life – a mindset shift from imposter to empowered. I learned to see things that were the hardest or most uncomfortable as the very things that made me stronger rather than serve as “proof” that I didn’t belong.
My mentor also connected me with a community of women across areas of tech and levels of tenure, many of whom also came from humanities and social sciences backgrounds. The simple act of sharing stories, inspirations, advice, and questions was equally empowering. Many of us opened doors for one another in our careers, helping each other find jobs, update resumes, advocate for greater pay, and work through challenges in school and our respective teams.
I know from my own experience the power of being part of a network of friends and allies in the tech space which is why I volunteered to be the Chair of the GEM. I’m excited to help build this community at Mapbox so that we can find new ways to champion, celebrate, empower, and connect gender minorities and allies across the company.
As we continue the conversation, on behalf of GEM, we wanted to share this short video we put together covering the topic of allyship.
Happy #InternationalWomensDay from all of us at Mapbox!