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Women’s History Month in March was a special time to celebrate all of the dedicated and brilliant women in our lives.

In honor of last month, I had the privilege of speaking with some of the incredible women who have joined Socure. I had the honor of listening to them as they reflected about their career paths, why they joined this amazing organization, and offered great advice on how to overcome adversity both personally and professionally.

See what it takes to be not only a woman in tech, but a woman at Socure. Thank you to everyone who was willing to share their stories and to ALL of the wonderful women in this organization. I look forward to sharing more stories about my amazing team in the future!

Wendy Filipiak

Account Manager (Michigan, USA)

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Brief Summary of Career:

My first job in the data world was with Experian in 1999 and since then I have been with TransUnion, LexisNexis, D&B and ID Analytics, as well as a few years spent on the client side with a large debt buyer in which I handled the agreements with the data providers.

What brought you to Socure?

I reported to Garient Evans at ID Analytics and when he left, I was devastated. I found out where he was, looked into Socure and decided that if someone I respected as much as Garient was going there, I should probably think about doing the same.

What obstacles have you faced in your career and how did you overcome them?

I was working for Experian when I had my first child. 9/11 occurred and I decided I didn't want to travel as much with a new baby, so I was going to start looking for a new position. When I contacted my largest client to let them know they offered me a position to run their new Data Acquisition Department. I negotiated a 4-day work week, and took a pay cut, but at the time, it was what I needed. I then learned what it was like being on the customer side of things, which in the end I think helped me to be a better Account Manager and Sales Director when I decided to get back out there!

How do you maintain a work/life balance?

Work/life balance is extremely important to me but being the Type A personality I am, sometimes I struggled with that balance. As noted in the previous question, early in my career, I gave up some salary to have more time at home. As the kids have grown older, it has been easier to travel, but still sometimes a challenge. I have been lucky to work from home most of my career and that allows more flexibility than going into an office, so that also helps me balance my time. Part of why I joined Socure was that Diana, Director, People and Culture stressed the importance of that balance here and the culture around that, which just reinforced my choice.

What advice do you have for women entering the tech industry?

I had never really felt uncomfortable working in a male-dominated industry. I think I just used my voice to make sure I was heard...whether on calls or through written communication. I also found my supporters internally and externally that would back me up and I think that support and validation goes a long way to building your own self-confidence and also respect from others, regardless of the industry you are in.

 

Angayarkanni M.

Senior Software Engineer (Chennai, India)

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Brief Summary of Career:

I’ve been in the software industry since 1996. I have worked in technologies like COBOL, Fortran, and for other product based companies. I specialize in developing trusted relationships and credibility within teams with a “can-do” attitude.

What brought you to Socure?

Previously I had worked for a company where Socure was a client. Later on when the team was de-merged, I chose to work for Socure!

What obstacles have you faced in your career and how did you overcome them?

Well, I would not say that it's an obstacle... but I took maternity leave, which I enjoyed! Going back to work after a period of leave definitely presented a new set of professional challenges. Self-confidence and self-motivation are the key to break these challenges. Always have a thirst for learning. Keep trying.

How do you maintain a work/life balance?

Do what you love so you will never feel that you are sacrificing things. Prioritize, and stick to it.

What advice do you have for women entering the tech industry?

  • Mark your strengths and play the role
  • Shield yourself from any kind of offense
  • Do not react and do not forget to respond
  • Look out for a mentor, if required
  • Don't forget to update your work wardrobe!

 

Michelle Brisby

Technical Account Manager (California, USA)

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Brief Summary of Career:

I began my career in banking in the early 90’s as a bank teller. While there, I caught a fraudulent scheme occurring in the retail bank center and linked the fraud trend together. Because of my inquisitiveness and call-out to an active fraud ring, I was asked to apply and be a part of the banking fraud team. I quickly found my niche. I've worked in banking, retail, beauty, online gaming, and social media type companies solving KYC and fraud needs. I learned early on that my passion was behind the scenes and began onboarding customers through technical account management.

What brought you to Socure?

I chose Socure because they stood out from the other vendors that play in the same space. Socure has a unique product that focuses on day zero identity, then takes it one step further by utilizing correlation and fraud to learn more about the identity.

What obstacles have you faced in your career and how did you overcome them?

Fraud is a heavily male dominated profession which often means very pointed constructive feedback; no fluff. For me, I use my time in this space to become factual by learning the industry rules and regulations at government and state levels. I apply my learning into my work and remain open to feedback, challenge, and change. I became a certified fraud examiner (CFE) a few years back which helps with my technical conversations with new clients and peers. I attend as many women in tech conferences and meet-ups as possible to stay current; knowledge is key in this ever changing industry.

How do you maintain a work/life balance?

Balance came over time. Fraud is a 24x7 and 365 day issue to solve. As we learn, the fraudsters are learning too. With that said, I learned to utilize my network and internal peers as well as think ahead. If it's happening for one customer, it's probably happening somewhere else too. I missed a lot of holidays and family time burning the midnight candle. I had a manager state to me, "learn how to balance work and life or face burn-out." That was the best advice I ever received... because I didn't have balance. I quickly began to utilize my support team, network, peers, and share the workload, ideas, and ask questions. Once you realize that great minds think alike and learn to trust your resources; work and life balance falls into place.

What advice do you have for women entering the tech industry?

Don't be afraid to follow your tech passion. There is room for everyone. There is no such thing as a dumb question; ask, learn, and grow. We all make mistakes; it's what you do next that matters most.

 

Nikitha Rachapudi

Data Science Engineer (Chennai, India)

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Brief Summary of Career:

With a bachelor’s degree in information technology, I started my career as a mainframe developer at a Computer Sciences Corporation. With a thirst for knowledge and being inquisitive by nature, I started exploring new streams and technologies and decided to pursue a postgraduate degree in Business Analytics and Business Intelligence; thus starting my journey in data science. I was soon a Data Scientist at Cloudix Inc getting my hands dirty with pools of data. I worked closely with clients translating business problems to analytics statements and deploying predictive models in productions, and also on many PoCs for various clients.

What brought you to Socure?

I have always been interested in joining a data science product company. Also after working on umpteen POCs, I was eager to see customers using my work to experience the magic created from their data. With data science as a building block to the company and a large client base using their established product, I decided that Socure was the right place for me to grow in all spheres. The discussions during the interview process made me feel at home and further instigated my interest in joining the Socure family.

What obstacles have you faced in your career and how did you overcome them?

When I hit a roadblock, I look back at the approach and look at it with a different perspective to approach the problem. I also choose to see obstacles not as roadblocks, but as building blocks and opportunities to start thinking from a new angle.

How do you maintain a work/life balance?

Work is important but life is a level higher! I make it a point to have my “me time” every morning. Once at work, I capitalize on the 8 or so hours to complete my tasks, strictly against the idea of carrying work home. It’s family/friends time later in the evenings and over the weekend. I’m more of a person who opted for a gradual career growth, never willing to compensate for real life lessons.

What advice do you have for women entering the tech industry?

I would call it a ‘women-friendly’ industry. Knowledge, skill, and talent is irrespective of gender. Any able woman can climb up the ladder at the same speed as their male counterpart provided they give their best and ever willing to learn. Furthermore, women are naturally and psychologically better equipped to face any challenge and manage it efficiently. With a little creativity and hard work they can tread on any uncharted waters!

 

Ambika Srinivasan

Manager, People & Culture (Chennai, India)

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Brief Summary of Career:

I have over 15+ years of experience in HR Operations, Policy Formulation, Strategy Planning, Organization Development, Performance Management, and more. Prior to Socure I worked with Nihon as a Senior Manager of Human Resources, where I was promoted from a Senior Executive, Assistant Manager, and Manager. Over the years, I became an integral part of the company and worked closely with the top management in charting the company’s growth strategy. Prior to Nihon, I worked with 24/7, ESRC, and Coromandel InfoTech (India Cements Group). I hold a Master of Social Work in Human Resource from Madras Christian College 2003-05 batch.

What brought you to Socure?

The people, culture and systems.

What obstacles have you faced in your career and how did you overcome them?

I see obstacles & challenges as opportunities. Any obstacle I’ve encountered has been a great learning experience— all it takes is patience, time, and dedication to make it through!

How do you maintain a work/life balance?

I do what I love and always set time for myself and my loved ones. I also make sure to prioritize my health through yoga & meditation! My love towards my duty never sneaks my mind on sacrifice yet.

What advice do you have for women entering the tech industry?

"Know your worth and stay positive".

 

Parya Roustaee

Business Analyst (California, USA)

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Brief Summary of Career:

I have a degree in software engineering and worked as a research assistant during my graduate studies. The focus of my research was on enhancing the robustness of theSocure first responders' service in the DFW area using machine learning and data science. I entered the financial industry as a data scientist intern of Experian, where I leveraged machine learning algorithms in fraud prediction. The biggest milestone was joining Socure as a business analyst supporting both the data scientists and the sales team.

What brought you to Socure?

Besides the attractive job description which was a great fit for my skill set, I discovered the successful background and bright future of Socure. More importantly, it is just felt right to work with a professional, smart, supportive, flexible, and diverse team.

What obstacles have you faced in your career and how did you overcome them?

Coming from an engineering background, understanding the technical terms in the financial industry took me quite some time. Additionally, trying to deal with new applications and new problems is always challenging. Working with a smart and supportive team guarantees success by endless efforts to reach ambitious goals.

How do you maintain a work/life balance?

I think the best way to manage work-life balance is to optimize my time which is my limited resource. I always try to maximize productivity, while it is constrained to the minimum level of life sacrifices. To reach this goal, I manage to prioritize different tasks and be flexible to adapt as needed.

What advice do you have for women entering the tech industry?

It very much depends on the culture of the company. Working with a group of nice and helpful colleagues created an environment for me that I did not even think about the gender of my colleagues. My advice would be to get a sense of the company's culture and choose the one who will treat the team members equally and carefully.

 

Want to be a part of the Socure team? Check out the careers page for our latest and greatest job opportunities. We look forward to hearing from you!

 

Topics: women, womenofsocure, careers, socure careers, womeninIT, women in tech

Michelle Tovar

Michelle Tovar

Michelle is Socure’s People Operations Coordinator. Previously, she was at Enterprise Holdings as a Management Trainee and then HR Professional where she discovered her passion for helping her colleagues in a variety of areas specifically employee development and growth. When not working, you can find her at the Kensico Dam Plaza where she loves to walk and catch up with her friends.