Finding Inspiration on International Women’s Day

What International Women’s Day Means to Us

For over 100 years, International Women’s Day has been recognized on March 8th to celebrate women’s economic, political, and social achievements. 

The women of FullContact propel the company forward, making it a better place to work. We strive to create a diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace. This year, the theme of International Women’s Day is #ChooseToChallenge, and it’s on all of us to fight for gender parity and challenge gender bias and inequality. 

In honor of the day, a few of the women who help make FullContact great are shining a light on the women who have influenced them, the personal significance of International Women’s Day, and sharing advice to young women coming up in the workforce. 


Who is the most influential woman you know?  How does she inspire you?

Amanda Hudgins, Senior Manager of Media & Planning: My mother. She inspires me to keep fighting every day to be the woman I want to be and always be kind to others.

Stacie Granata, Senior Customer Success Manager: My Mom. Her parents told her women shouldn’t/don't need to go to college. She had three girls and brought all of us up to be strong, independent women, and each of us has grown in our personal lives, careers, and overall in learning how to help other women continue to break social norms and be amazing people in this world.

Heather Schichtel, Senior Account Executive: I was talking to my stepmom after RBG passed away.  "I don't think I realize the freedoms I enjoy because of what women before me have fought for," I said. "I feel I have been riding the coattails of braver women before me."

She then told me the difficulty she had getting a line of credit as a recently divorced woman in 1980. She had to have a male friend cosign on a loan so she could buy a refrigerator for her new house. She told me how stressful it was to depend on a friend to verify she was credit-worthy enough for a Frigidaire. I was shocked that I had not heard that story until now and that the women in my lifetime had to overcome these issues so they could be independent. 

As we celebrate International Women's Day, those who have fought for our independence mean so much--if that be those who ensured we all have the right to pursue an education or those who guaranteed financial freedom so we could buy a refrigerator. For me, I try not to forget my success are based on women before me who pushed for something better not only for themselves but for future daughters, nieces, and sisters.

Who is your favorite historical female figure?  What do you admire about her?

Mary Hennen, VP Marketing: Katherine Hepburn. She didn’t conform to society’s expectations of a woman. She was sophisticated, smart, charitable, and most of all, she was entrepreneurial. She masterminded her own comeback, buying out her contract from RKO and getting the rights to The Philadelphia Story, which led to her winning an Academy Award for Best Actress. 

Khristin Dickey, Senior Director, Customer Success: Amelia Earheart. It has been said that she is the definition of a rule breaker. Earhart refused to be boxed in by her gender from a very young age by playing basketball and taking auto repair courses. She set multiple aviation records, such as the first person ever to fly solo from Hawaii to the U.S., and was a true female trailblazer. Her actions have inspired women to follow their dreams and try things that women had never tried before.

Stephanie Cafasso, Associate Creative Director: Lucretia Mott. She was an abolitionist and a suffragist who fought tirelessly to bring women's equal voting rights to the US. She's made amazing contributions to women's rights in U.S. history. She also fought for an end to slavery and truly cared about equal rights for every person.

Amanda Hudgins, Senior Manager of Media & Planning: Marsha P. Johnson. I really admire how fearless she was as she fought not only for Black rights but Trans rights as well.

Diana DeMarsico, Senior Manager, Revenue Operations: Maya Angelou. She was an author, poet, civil rights activist, among so many other things. 

Some of her quotes that have inspired me and always make me come back to my core belief that kindness is truly the most important thing to hold on to are:

"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."

"If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be."

Who is a woman alive today that you think will be influential for future generations?

Stephanie Cafasso, Associate Creative Director: Dolly Parton! Artists and musicians have always had a big influence in my life, and I think that Dolly's music and message will continue to be special to the world for generations to come. 

Diana DeMarsico, Senior Manager, Revenue Operations: Glady West, an African American woman and an awesome mathematician in her 90's. She was born in Virginia and broke down a lot of barriers during the civil rights movements and  for Women in STEM. We have her to thank for the ability to use GPS and not get lost!

What does International Women’s Day mean to you, and how do you celebrate Women’s History Month? 

Amanda Hudgins, Senior Manager of Media & Planning: It’s a time to remember and appreciate strong women of all colors who fought for my rights. I like to spend the month researching and educating myself on those ground-breaking women who came before me. 

What is a stand-out moment of women’s empowerment that inspired you?

Michelle Warren, VP, Human Resources:  I love that we now have a female Vice President in the United States. Vice President Harris is an inspiration to us all to keep fighting for what we believe in.

As she said, "While I may be the first, I won't be the last." 

Stacie Granata, Senior Customer Success Manager: I’m inspired by women who persevere, even under the worst odds, and then give back to other women and communities.

Diana DeMarsico, Senior Manager, Revenue Operations:  After numerous studies that showed discrimination around women in the professional space due to neuro-divergencies, Jenara Nerenberg decided to combat that. She’s a Bay Area local who started The Neurodiversity Project and wrote Divergent Mind, Thriving in a World that Wasn't Designed for You, creating an incredibly supportive and helpful community.


What advice would you give to younger women?

Stacy Falbaum, Senior Account Executive: Trust yourself. Seek to learn, contribute, and collaborate. Encouraging others doesn’t threaten your abilities. It’s okay to ask for guidance. Don’t take yourself too seriously--have fun!!

Amanda Hudgins, Senior Manager of Media & Planning: Appreciate other women and their struggles. You are not and will never be an imposter. You are better than you think you are.

Kate Nooning, Product Manager: Trust yourself. Make your voice heard, and don't be afraid to speak up. Have an opinion and reasons to support it. Pursue what you're passionate about, and don't worry about what others think. There's nothing worse than a failure of expectations, so be sure to understand others' as well as set your own expectations. Do not be afraid to set boundaries. You're stronger than you know.

Michelle Warren, VP, Human Resources: Advocate for yourself; make sure your voice is heard. Be the person you want to be, not the person others tell you that you need to be. Connect with your community; they need you as much as you need them. Know that you are seen, you are valued, you are worth it, you are loved.

Nimi Nair, Data Research Manager: Society has a tendency to dictate how we as women should live our lives--and that includes what career path is "safe" and "good" for us and how far we should go in life.

Say goodbye to such neanderthal thoughts. It requires the willpower of a mountain to remain secure and believe in your passions and dreams, no matter how much the storm around you tries to pull you down. You choose your path in life--no one else does. 

You will eventually succeed. And while you are at the top and look around you, be sure that you have your family standing right next to you. They say, "it gets lonely at the top." We don't know what life has in store for us. But no matter what, your family will always be your rock. Do not abandon them, do not disrespect them. Remember they are not your punching bag, they are the ones who love you for who you really are. Everything else is temporary. If you want to be known as an empathetic leader, love your family first. Every decision you make, every change you seek, will be a reflection of the goodness in you. And then set out to change the world.

Stephanie Cafasso, Associate Creative Director: Be kind to yourself. If you wouldn't say it to your friend, then don't say it to yourself. Respect yourself - don't compromise your values and ethics. Be true to yourself and accept yourself for all the unique strengths and weaknesses you have -- that's what makes you, YOU. And the world needs you just as you are.

Stacie Granata, Senior Customer Success Manager: Always be true to yourself and work hard for what you want. Don’t settle, and never be afraid to be out of your comfort zone to push yourself.



What would you like to see improved for women in the professional settings?

Kate Nooning, Product Manager: One of the many things I'd like to see is more women and women of color in higher-ranking positions and have companies further develop and support those women wanting to make their way up the corporate ladder. This creates more women mentors and role models for all of us to look up to and emulate.

Nimi Nair, Data Research Manager: I know many married women who have not been hired because they are childless--the real reason for not hiring them is because these organizations think such women will turn into a liability once they have children. The reasoning seems to be that the company has to bear the expenses of paid leave without work. Maybe they believe women can't focus as they used to after having a child. There are so many other excuses. They don't realize that women are better managers than men. Women are sophisticated enough to handle home and office and still have a flourishing career and a close-knit family. It's really sad to learn that such organizations exist, but that is the unfortunate reality. And I hope that someday, no companies reject a woman for a job because she is married and has decided to start a family.

How do you think the fight for gender equality will change over the next 100 years? 

Amanda Hudgins, Senior Manager of Media & Planning: The upcoming generations have shown that they are more tolerant and don't understand why people are so stuck on norms. I think we’ll see a lot of growth in terms of equality, shared responsibility, and increased diversity in politics and businesses.

 

Want to get involved? Learn more about #IWD2021 #ChooseToChallenge here.
Below are some amazing nonprofits that support women & girls:

Thank you for all you do!
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