Women’s History Month at OpenVPN
As we close out Women’s History Month, we want to celebrate by highlighting three of the incredible women on our team. While every single one of the women here is invaluable to the work we do, today we want to introduce you to Sheryn, Diana, and Nadine, all members of the Customer Success Team. According to the Customer Success Manager, Martin, each woman has something unique to bring to the table, and each makes the CS team stronger as a whole.
Sheryn is from the Philippines. She is raising four kids and is an avid traveler who loves to spend time at the beach. Before coming to work for OpenVPN, she lived in Singapore for over a decade and worked for different multinational companies. These days, she’s also exploring a new passion: cooking.
Diana is from Ukraine. She has one young son and a huge orange cat. She loves reading and spends almost all her free time buried in books — particularly fantasy and adventure. She was also a competitor at the black belt level of Taekwondo (Poomsae) and has participated in several international tournaments.
Nadine is from the Philippines. She has one daughter who she describes as incredibly smart, kind, and artistic. Nadine enjoys traveling with her family, and they frequently go on road trips together. She enjoys organization, both at home and at work, and loves to build logical and efficient systems.
How did you get started at OpenVPN?
Nadine graduated college with a degree in Information Technology and started her career in IT sales. “I love my work in this field and enjoy developing my skills,” she says. “I worked as a college professor at the largest university in my hometown, then returned to customer support which is what I am most passionate about. My positions have catered to IT businesses, and I have been able to travel all over the world to meet with customers and engage in training. Now, I am proud to be part of OpenVPN and share my skills here.”
All three women started at OpenVPN in 2020. While they each have a strong background in sales and customer service, Sheryn found she needed to expand her knowledge of tech to get started. “This is my first time working for a SaaS company,” she explains. “I am not that familiar with the technical jargon. I’m lucky to have the full support of both the customer success team and the technical team; they provided training for us to understand all aspects better.” Diana also mentions that training often takes a month or more, but she found that shadowing her colleagues helped speed up the process and allowed her to learn new skills on the fly. Nadine says that she feels lucky working for OpenVPN, because “I believe that having a career is not just about money but the fulfillment that you can get out of it.”
What are your most important career goals and priorities?
One of Sheryn’s top career goals was to improve her work-life balance; she didn’t want to have to choose between career and family. Her dream became a reality when she came to work at OpenVPN, thanks to the flexibility working a fully remote job. “Being with my family and spending time with them is a dream come true for me. When I was working abroad, my kids spent most of their time with my mom. Now I get to spend time with them, even while working.”
For Diana, her goal was to start a career that she was passionate about. “I had a period of burnout, so I took some time to remotivate myself and understand what I wanted to be doing and where I wanted to work,” she says. And fortunately for the company, OpenVPN is where she wanted to be. “My brightest memory is getting offered this job at OpenVPN; it was such a happy feeling when I accepted the offer.” She goes on to explain that she is passionate about working directly with customers, and her most significant career accomplishments all stem from those interactions.
Nadine explains that for her, being recognized for her work ethic and building trust with her leaders and team members is very important to her. “I am at OpenVPN because they recognized that I have a strong work ethic and that I am trustworthy,” she says. “Being highly trusted by my managers and teammates is my greatest accomplishment so far. Because of this trust, I am given a lot of freedom and opportunities.”
What positive changes have you noticed in the tech industry?
Diana has noticed the change in tech companies providing more job opportunities to women adapting to keep them in the workforce. “I do believe that every human being is capable of becoming a specialist in any industry, job, and career. It should depend on us what we choose to do. It’s great that tech is open for specialists, no matter their gender.” Nadine adds that she believes women are more respected in the industry than in years past. “People now look highly on knowledgeable women who go above and beyond and can get things done.”
Sheryn adds that she’s noticed many women from different backgrounds are learning more skills and doing their best to adapt to the ever-changing technology. “Some tech companies open doors to women even with non-tech related backgrounds, as long as skills match the need,” she explains. “Background isn’t always the most important thing, especially if the individual has a positive attitude and is willing and able to learn and adapt.”
How can the industry better support women?
“With the ever-changing innovation, especially in technology, I think companies can build a more inclusive culture in a few ways,” Sheryn says. “They can challenge women with assignments that require them to learn and practice new skills. They can connect women with mentors to provide feedback and support. And they can invest in them by offering formalized leadership development opportunities. This will allow women to focus on building the leadership competencies needed to thrive in the workplace.”
Nadine explains that over the years she has worked with a lot of successful women in the IT field — but she believes that organizations can still utilize more technology to provide greater support. “Women can be very resilient, creative, expressive, and share a lot of ideas in this growing industry. With all the technology at our disposal, businesses can utilize new tools to help support women.”
Diana explains that one of the most important ways to offer support is to have an inclusive culture and supportive team mindset. “The most important thing is the team, no matter what the industry is. Everything depends on the people we are surrounded by and what they bring to our lives.”