The tech world has a reputation for being a bit of a boy’s club. Statistics do show that more men than women work in the industry, but these numbers don’t tell the whole story. While their ranks may be small, women's contributions to technology have been anything but. We owe WiFi, home computers, and several coding languages to female tech pioneers. The computer itself would have never existed without the work of Ada Lovelace. And, it isn't just through scientific discoveries that women have galvanized the tech world. From cultivating brand identities to creating office culture, so much iconography of the industry can be credited to women. By voicing their unique perspectives and challenging the status quo, women have helped to define the technology industry.
Jonar recently had the honor of being named a 2022 Best Workplace™ for Women. We're excited to be recognized this way, but Jonar never explicitly set out to win an award like this through campaigns or recruitment. The only requirements to become a Jonar employee are to be smart and hardworking. And, a lot of smart and hardworking people just so happen to be women. This award is credited to the exceptional women we are lucky enough to call colleagues. We hope you enjoy reading about a few of them.
Junior software developer, Heather, never pictured herself working in tech. Despite how popular computer science was at her high school, she had her heart set on a career in medicine or biology. Heather didn't take a computer course until getting to university, where several of her friends were enrolled. Less than two months into her first comp-sci class, she decided to participate in a hackathon, and the rest is pretty much history. "I started doing hackathons that pushed me in the right direction. I didn't want to keep doing school, I just wanted to code." So, Heather switched her degree to computer science and joined McWics, McGill University's women in computer science club. Through McWics, Heather helped organize a beginner-focused hackathon. "We had 50 percent women. It was very high for a hackathon. Everyone was super comfortable, it was really open and welcoming, I think those experiences are really important to let people know they belong in the field." By the summer of her third year, Heather felt confident enough to try development professionally, which is when she landed an internship at Jonar. Heather's hackathon experience has served her well during her time here. She gets to use her technical knowledge and her collaboration skills. She can always connect with and learn from senior developers in the team, like Sara, who "...knows everything. Every day she can name something new in the software and is so quick on her feet. I have so much to learn from her."
Our Chief of Staff, Tamaryn, first came to Jonar in 2014 while she was still in university, as a summer intern in the marketing department. She was a psychology major and wrote in her cover letter that "marketing is just micro-psychology," a unique spin that made her stick out to CEO Jon Ruby. Her journey from marketing intern to Chief of Staff by 26 is a long story for another day. But at its core, it's about seizing opportunities and being open to challenges. Like many people who enter leadership positions at a young age, she felt a bit of imposter syndrome. "Sometimes the biggest obstacle is the voice in your head," explains Tamaryn. But she overcame these voices the best way she knew how, by proving her intelligence and resourcefulness. By saying yes to everything and sticking with Jonar through many company and job changes, Tamaryn has defined her role and become an invaluable member of the team. She is Jonar's first Chief of Staff, and the truth is "there are a lot of questions I didn't know the answers to, but I still had to figure them out." Through the support of colleagues and a lot of trial and error, Tamaryn and Jon were able to forge the office culture that has won Jonar plenty of awards and excellent employees.
Daphne also has a degree in computer science (and was in McWICS alongside Heather!). But near the end of her four years at university, she realized that the developer life might not be for her. "I had been doing a lot of computer science courses where you sit in your head and think by yourself. I wanted more interaction with other people." Her mom worked in tech and suggested Daphne try out product management. "We are very similar in the way we think about our job, and she knew that I would be good at this and that I'd actually like it." Now Daphne uses her comp-sci knowledge to take on a product owner role. Communicating across departments and with customers, Daphne is an all-around Paragon expert. And she does it all alongside Senior Product Manager, Kayley. "I love working on a small team, I love the relationship I have with Kayley. I don't feel nervous asking stupid questions." Through collaboration and support, Daphne and Kayley ensure our software is always performing at its best. But Daphne might not be done with development just yet - at some point, she wants to go through Jonar's rigorous dev training.
Jonar's Director of Marketing, Beth, spent her childhood believing she would grow up and become a lawyer. But during her university years, she started to think about what she wanted her life to look like long-term. "I thought I wanted to be a lawyer, but what I knew more was that I wanted to be a mother." Beth realized that she needed a career that would let her do work she loved while providing her with the flexibility to be a great mom. This epiphany inspired Beth to pursue a master's degree in public relations. For many years, she worked in marketing and public relations, forming brand partnerships and writing killer content. After having her first child, she was even more aware of the struggles moms face in their careers. "There is guilt whether you are a working mom or stay-at-home mom. It is a constant struggle. It can feel impossible to spend enough time with your kids while still getting to do the work that makes you, you.” Beth sampled every style of work while trying to find the balance. She has worked part-time, full-time, and at-home as a remote work trailblazer. Thanks to the flexibility provided by Jonar, Beth says that she has now "struck the perfect balance" in work and motherhood. Dedicated to helping her kids and her team navigate challenges and do their best work, she edits marketing materials and book reports with equal care.
Jonar would not be the same without the women who work here, they play a role in every department. They are leaders, mentors, colleagues and friends. We have never had to manufacture a path for women to succeed, we've simply let talented women lead the way in the workplace. By providing entry and senior level roles along with space to learn and grow, Jonar has helped women get into and stay in technology. We are proud to be a “Great Place to Work for Women” but we are even prouder of the women who choose to work with us and make Jonar a great place to work, period.