International Women’s Day: Celebrating the Women at Camber Creative

Jenna Rodrigues
March 8, 2022

In honor of International Women’s Day, we decided to take a moment to spotlight some of the key women driving the work that we do here at Camber Creative. Within each team member spotlight, we highlight the individual’s role at the company, some of the core challenges they have faced, advice they’ve been given, and some of their core beliefs.

On this special day that’s meant to highlight and celebrate women around the world, we hope you’ll join us in celebrating some of the women right here in our own workplace. Let’s dive in!

Meet Aliya Al-Balooshi!

Role: Audience & Revenue Strategist II, Community

Why do you think it is important to celebrate International Women’s Day?: Women and gender minorities are incredible and should be celebrated every day of course, but it’s nice having a holiday all to ourselves. 💖 Bringing awareness to the hardships women face is important to continue changing the narrative and building better futures for the kids. We’ve come a long way in gender equality, however there is much more work to be done.

Have you faced any barriers in your career due to being a woman? If so, how did you overcome them?: As a woman, I’ve been the most critical of myself and my own achievements. There’s a built in lack of confidence and sense of self I believe many, if not all women are born with and meant to overcome. Society tells us everyday we aren’t good enough, powerful enough, attractive enough, etc. so keeping a pulse on where my mind goes when faced with challenges in my career and how I react to them keeps me grounded and constantly overcoming those self-barriers I tend to put up. Remembering my worth and looking back at how far I’ve come despite the world being set up against me for being a woman and a person of color at that, keeps me going, keeps me growing.

What do you think is the single biggest issue currently facing women/ feminism?: More women and gender minorities of color need a seat at the table in my humble opinion. We’ve come far for non-poc women (with plenty of room to grow of course), but it’s time to build on that and extend that same energy to minorities.

What is the most important piece of advice you have been given?: The only person who can give you everything you want is yourself. Never rely on anyone else to push your dreams forward. If you want it, go get it.

Is there anyone that inspires you in your career?: Heck yes: my mentor & Director, Carla Shaw. She saw something in me about 5 years ago that I couldn’t see in myself. She’s empowered me with valuable career and interpersonal skills that have been pivotal in my growth as a career-driven woman in the marketing and tech industry. Forever grateful and stoked to be back working with her at Camber Creative.

If you could have dinner with three inspirational women, dead or alive, who would they be and why?: Marie Antoinette: she faced a lot of adversity as a woman and Queen of France during the French Revolution. Like many women today, she combated harsh criticism while still maintaining good faith and making a difference as best she could considering the circumstances. There is a lot of misinformation out there surrounding her, for example “Let them eat cake!” was never uttered by her, it was political propaganda used against her before she even became Queen.

Umm Kulthum: one of the most prolific singers/songwriters/actresses of the Arab world. Her music takes me home, but more than that, she broke many barriers faced by SWANA (South West Asia North Africa) women, especially during her active years between 1920s — 1970s.

Isabella Rossellini: this is mostly my film nerd speaking, but Isabella Rossellini is incredible. David Lynch’s muse, Ingrid Bergman & Roberto Rossellini’s daughter, successful actress, author, and philanthropist. Enough said.😘

Meet Carla Shaw!

Role: Director, Audience & Revenue

Why do you think it is important to celebrate International Women’s Day?: International Women’s Day has been celebrated for 100 years! Can you believe it? So, it’s a long standing tradition and a great opportunity to raise awareness of gender equality and equality in general. Women and minorities have been absent from a shared historical point of view for a long time. IWD is a great way to shine a light on the historical achievements of women and integrate the stories of women into long-standing narratives where we have been absent.

Have you faced any barriers in your career due to being a woman? If so, how did you overcome them?: Barriers I have faced have primarily been created by other women. Unfortunately, culturally, women who want to succeed have adopted a hyper competitive mindset and cut down other women to get ahead. I think this may be because in the past there weren’t as many opportunities for women, and these negative behaviors are from opportunity scarcity. I choose not to engage. I want to break the cycle and lift other women up and help them succeed. It’s an unpopular opinion, but I think women are one of the biggest challenges to one another. I think IWD is a great opportunity to remind women to support the efforts of other women and shine an issue on women-on-women bullying in the workplace.

What do you think is the single biggest issue currently facing women/ feminism?: We need more strong, compassionate women at the table. Women who are not waging war against each other, men, or other marginalized groups, but looking for a path forward for everyone.

What is the most important piece of advice you have been given?: Growing up, after a day of sulking over a failure I was always encouraged to ‘pull yourself up by your bootstraps and keep moving forward’. It helped to build resiliency and I think I get over things and let go much faster than most people. Feel what you need to feel to learn your life lessons and then keep going.

If you could have dinner with three inspirational women, dead or alive, who would they be?: Boudicca, Sappho, Jane Goodall

Meet Jenna Rodrigues!

Role: Senior Audience & Revenue Strategist

Why do you think it is important to celebrate International Women’s Day?: Women continue to face unique challenges in everyday life and in the workplace. It’s important to take a step back and celebrate women and their accomplishments.

Have you faced any barriers in your career due to being a woman? If so, how did you overcome them?: Yes, in some companies, I have found that women tend to be competitive with other driven women, whether the behavior is intentional or not. This is what I’ve found to be so special about Camber. The women in this company really love collaborating and working together to boost each other up rather than pull each other down.

What do you think is the single biggest issue currently facing women/ feminism?: One of the biggest challenges that women face is the unrealistic expectation that they can do it all, and that they also need to make it look easy. This places too much weight on women’s shoulders. While some women have the support they need, others don’t, which places unrealistic levels of stress on women.

What is the most important piece of advice you have been given?: Design the life that you want for yourself.

Is there anyone that inspires you in your career?: In my career at Camber, my manager Carla really inspires me! She has created such an accessible and engaging workplace and has made me feel incredibly confident in my ability to continue learning new things and asking questions to improve my knowledge base.

If you could have dinner with three inspirational women, dead or alive, who would they be and why?: I would like to have dinner with Meg Whitman as I am impressed by the transformative impact she has had on companies, Jennifer Lawrence as she is confident in who she is and is able to maintain her sense of self, and my sister as she helps me to be the best possible version of myself.

Meet Stephanie Gordon Roy!

Role: Senior Project Manager

Why do you think it is important to celebrate International Women’s Day?: I was not introduced to IWD until college. But now my daughter is learning about it in kindergarten! It’s important to use this day to introduce supporting women and women supporting each other to young children.

Have you faced any barriers in your career due to being a woman? If so, how did you overcome them?: For sure. Especially in the tech industry where most rooms of engineers are only men and most clients are men. I have had to prove myself by being consistent and persistent and not falling victim to imposter syndrome.

What do you think is the single biggest issue currently facing women/ feminism?: Still getting equal opportunities in the workplace and being included in decision making.

What is the most important piece of advice you have been given?: Believe you deserve to be here.

Is there anyone that inspires you in your career?: Probably a former program manager I had. She really mentored me and runs a large project management department and worked her way up in a male only company to being someone consulted on company direction and processes. I was the second woman at that company when she hired me.

If you could have dinner with three inspirational women, dead or alive, who would they be?: My mom, Elizabeth Churchill, RBG

Meet Kayla Rodrigues!

Role: Audience & Revenue Strategist

Why do you think it is important to celebrate International Women’s Day?: I think it’s important to acknowledge the boundaries women have had to overcome through the years. This day also gives us a reason to recognize the outstanding achievements of women despite the many obstacles they might have faced.

Have you faced any barriers in your career due to being a woman? If so, how did you overcome them?: I have always been lucky enough to work on teams with many empowered and outspoken women who encouraged me to follow in their footsteps.

What do you think is the single biggest issue currently facing women/ feminism?: I believe the current biggest issue facing women/feminism is the pay gap between men and women.

What is the most important piece of advice you have been given?: The most important piece of advice I’ve been given is that the kind of person you are and how you treat others will always be more important than your accomplishments or successes in life. Be a kind-hearted person who treats other people the way you want to be treated.

Is there anyone that inspires you in your career?: My older sister inspires me to forge my own path and work to my full potential each day. She’s shown me that there’s no obstacles I can’t overcome if I put my mind to what I’m doing.

If you could have dinner with three inspirational women, dead or alive, who would they be?: Joanna Gaines — She represents the kind of working woman and mom I aspire to be. Not only did she start her own business and become incredibly talented at interior design (which I’m very passionate about), but she also values family above all else.

Blake Lively — I love her sense of humor and the way she lives her life. She puts her family above her fame and career and inspires women to be outspoken and courageous.

My sister — My sister brings out the best in me and I believe I bring out the best in her. She works so hard every day to stand on her own and support herself and she inspires me to do the same.

Meet Hannah Notess!

Role: Product Owner

Why do you think it is important to celebrate International Women’s Day?: Serious answer: An opportunity to learn more about the issues facing women around the world. Not-so-serious answer: An opportunity to blast the Beyoncé playlist!

Have you faced any barriers in your career due to being a woman? If so, how did you overcome them?: As a white, college-educated US citizen, I know that the barriers I’ve faced in my career have been a lot smaller than what many other women face! The limited paid family leave in the U.S. is a significant barrier, though. I was lucky enough to have supportive employers who allowed me some flexibility when I had infants at home.

What do you think is the single biggest issue currently facing women/ feminism?: Intersectional feminism has helped me understand that different forms of oppression are interconnected. I have a lot to learn in this area, but I know that supporting people who are working for justice in all spheres helps make the world a better place!

Is there anyone that inspires you in your career?: In the tech field, Cathy O’Neill, author of “Weapons of Math Destruction,” is an inspiration for her work at the intersection of big data and social justice. More generally, I’m always inspired by people who are successful in their careers but don’t make it their whole lives — they make time for family, hobbies, and creative pursuits.

Meet Ayme Perez!

Role: QA Engineer

Why do you think it is important to celebrate International Women’s Day?: I think it is an opportunity to remember all the women who have fought for our rights and to continue the fight in all the places where women’s rights are violated on a daily basis.

Have you faced any barriers in your career due to being a woman? If so, how did you overcome them?: Yes, I have lived in countries where women’s rights are not respected (Cuba and Ecuador). I have felt discriminated against in job interviews where they have asked me if I am a mother or if I plan to be a mother in a short time.

What do you think is the single biggest issue currently facing women/ feminism?: I think that domestic violence is one of the biggest problems facing us currently.

What is the most important piece of advice you have been given?: My father has always told me to respect everyone. We all have a mission in this world. Your mission is not more or less important than the mission of others.

Is there anyone that inspires you in your career?: Jane Austen and Frida Kahlo are two women who inspire me in my life.

If you could have dinner with three inspirational women, dead or alive, who would they be?: I would have dinner with my grandmother, my mother, and my sister. I love hearing their anecdotes and life advice.

Meet Lucidity Lancaster!

Role: Junior Audience & Revenue Strategist

Why do you think it is important to celebrate International Women’s Day?: I think celebrating International Women’s Day allows us to remember important historical female figures and their accomplishments. It also allows us to recognize the current accomplishments of women, be inspired by our capabilities, and remember we still have a long way to go.

Have you faced any barriers in your career due to being a woman? If so, how did you overcome them?: Yes, I have held a position in a male-dominated field. I was relegated to secretarial work that wasn’t what I was hired to do. To overcome this issue, I left the position. Sometimes, the best thing to do in a situation like that is to remove yourself from it.

What do you think is the single biggest issue currently facing women/ feminism?: I think the biggest issue currently facing women is that we often fall victim to male-generated ideas about women. For centuries, men in society have created stereotypes and ideas about women to shame them, keep them down, and make themselves feel better. These ideas are still pervasive and from years of hearing them, women often believe them. They’ll use these ideas to shame other women and limit themselves. I think it’s important to acknowledge that ideas about what is right and wrong for women are often created by men and antiquated. I think we need to recognize that the time to subscribe to those ideas is up. We need to respect other women instead of putting them down for not subscribing to those ideals or thinking outside of the box.

What is the most important piece of advice you have been given?: The most important piece of advice I have ever received is that taking breaks is just as important as working hard. As a woman, you often have to work twice as hard as a man to be considered the standard, let alone recognized. That often causes us to feel the need to push ourselves. Hard work and pushing oneself is important, but not taking time to recover can lead to burnout and less successful results in the long run. You have done a lot. You deserve time to heal yourself.

Is there anyone that inspires you in your career?: I think the most inspirational figures to me are women like the late, great Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who reached heights that were previously believed to be unattainable for women. Working for a goal or dream despite the odds is incredibly inspirational to me.

If you could have dinner with three inspirational women, dead or alive, who would they be?: I’m a big history buff, so I would choose three historical women. I would choose pirate queen Ching Shih, Cleopatra, and Princess Diana. I think pirate queen Ching Shih would be really interesting to speak with and hear about her empire. I would invite Cleopatra because I want to know the secret location of her tomb or burial site. And I would finally invite Princess Diana because I think she seems like a really kind person who would balance out the other two strong personalities very well.

Camber Creative is a digital product design and development company, headquartered in Orlando, Florida. We’re an all-expert, fully-distributed team specializing in digital products for mobile, web, and the internet of things. We work with clients ranging from multibillion dollar enterprises to bootstrapping entrepreneurs. Come say hi on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, or Facebook, or tell us about your new project.

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