Our female captains at Scratch continuously influence, motivate, and empower us to be the best we can be. So, it’s only fitting to celebrate them throughout Women’s History Month!
Next up in our Q&A series, we sat down for a conversation with one of Scratch’s newest captains. Though she only joined the team last fall as our SVP, Marketing, Melinda’s impact in that short time has been tremendous. Her experience, positive energy, creativity, and work ethic are invigorating and inspire those working around her day in and day out. Read on to hear Melinda’s story – from how she got her start in the technology industry, what challenges women face in being heard in the workplace, and which women have inspired her.
Q: What sparked your interest to work in this industry?
A: I was really lucky early in my career to work with leaders who both challenged me to take on different opportunities and empowered me to do it my way. So I have experimented with a few very different things! From quality assurance and government contract roles for thin film and semiconductor tech, to sales, business development and marketing for risk and compliance solutions in financial services. I have certainly learned a lot along the way. Not only about the cycles that products and businesses go through, but about myself and the value I bring to the table. In fact, one of the best pieces of business advice I have ever been given, is that if you want to know if you belong at the table you have to know the value you bring to it.
For me, that has always been about solving challenges and bringing new ideas. I get so much satisfaction when people tell me that I have helped them think about something differently and it leads to positive outcomes for the team.
Q: Do you think women’s voices are received differently than men’s? How can women make sure their voices are heard loud and clear?
A: I think the language we use, particularly in the workplace is more important than most of us realize. It used to be really common to hear women in the workplace referred to as girls. The reality is, that type of gender-biased language is not only inaccurate, it is patronizing and undermines how women are seen and treated. Many women have also developed tendencies to be overly apologetic or demure in their language for fear of being seen as too aggressive. Language shapes thought, and thought changes behavior. Someone once told me to be direct, honest and own your space, but lead with warmth. It has really helped me to not only be heard, but to listen and make personal connections. After all, it’s better to first understand, then be understood. It’s really encouraging today to see the number of executives embracing the creation environments where understanding and respect are part of the cultural language.
Q: What women in history have inspired you?
A: I have been inspired by so many women, a few that I am sure top most people’s lists. From Rosa Parks standing up for civil rights, to Ruth Bader Ginsburg fighting for equality, to everyday women building businesses, raising families, and changing their communities in ways small and large – what these women all have in common is an unwavering belief in a dream that change can happen, as well as the unbending courage to show up and make it happen. My generation was told that to get ahead, we needed to think and act like a man. But that could not have been further from the truth! I want young women today to have the courage to show up as themselves, always know the value they bring, and make their dreams come true, whatever they might be. You will earn the respect of the people you work with for sure, but more importantly you will earn your own self-respect.Back to blog