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Empowering Women in Business at Nextiva

Historically, women have faced an uphill battle while establishing their position in the business world. And while women are making positive strides each day, there’s still a long way to go. 

There’s a major gender gap when it comes to women in the tech business. Instead of talking about the negative statistics surrounding women in tech, though, it’s important to be proactive and discuss all the opportunities women in tech have open to them. 

By encouraging and supporting women in the business world, we can shift the narrative and see more and more empowered women in the workplace.

We’re featuring some of the incredible women on our team to learn about their position, their hopes for the advancement of women in business, and the advice they would give to their younger self. 

Let’s dive into empowering women in business:

Cheri B. Channel Manager NextivaCheri B.

Tell us about your role at Nextiva.

I am a Channel Manager for Nextiva. I recruit, train, and develop partners to sell our products and services in addition to their core business.

What advancement would you like to see for women in business?

I would love to see more women in executive roles. Women are breaking glass ceilings every day. Encouragement, recognition, and diversity in the workforce are the keys to success.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

The advice I would give to my younger self…work hard now! Good work ethic goes a long way in school and in the work place. Push yourself, never give up, perseverance makes you stronger. Stand up for yourself and let your voice be heard. Stay away from negative people; they will only try to bring you down.

Jennifer J.Jennifer J. Technical Support Specialist

Tell us about your role at Nextiva.

My role at Nextiva is a Technical Support Specialist where I assist customers with troubleshooting their network, account setup, and phones. 

What advancement would you like to see for women in business?

The advancement I’ll like to see for women is taking on more technological-based roles in business. Technology is what runs the world today and knowing anything technical can feel empowering; and women want to feel empowered, be treated equally, and held to the same standards as their male counterparts. Women shouldn’t be intimidated by these technical roles, but instead educate themselves on how things function instead of thinking “that’s a man’s job.”

What advice would you give to your younger self?

The advice I would give my younger self is to know just because you took longer than others, doesn’t mean you’ve failed.

Allie K. Corporate Counsel NextivaAllie K.

Tell us about your role at Nextiva.

I’m a corporate counsel for Nextiva.

What advancement would you like to see for women in business?

I would love to see more women in high-level leadership positions and see a greater focus on developing mentor and training programs geared towards embracing our gender.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

That it is OK to be different/weird. The quirky characteristics make you unique and set you apart from the crowd.

Divya K. Software Developer NextivaDivya K.

Tell us about your role at Nextiva.

I am a Software Developer. My responsibilities include developing services (back-end coding) for some of the products that Nextiva offers. I also work simultaneously on priority projects and other service dependencies.

What advancement would you like to see for women in business?

The advancement for women starts with believing in ourselves. Irrespective of the field women are involved, opportunities and innovations can be achieved when women are believed, encouraged, and supported.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

The hard work we put in sometimes may result in failures, but that’s the way to learn. I want to give my best in everything and not to worry about the end result.

Kim L. Executive Administration/Office of the CEO NextivaKim L.

Tell us about your role at Nextiva.

I’ve worked as the “right hand” for our CEO, Tomas Gorny for almost 6 years. My official title is Executive Administration/Office of the CEO and I have a varied and interesting role. I think of my job as clearing things out of the way for Tomas to do what he does best and grow our company. I love being behind the scenes and making things happen.

What advancement would you like to see for women in business?

I have always felt that I have whatever opportunity I want to have and that it was up to me to get there. I love seeing all people, and yes of course, women, succeed and support each other to do great things. I sometimes feel we are our own worst enemy and not as good to each other as we should be. What I’d like to see is for us to be supportive of all people to do well no matter who they are.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

I’d tell my younger self not to be so hard on myself and have more fun. I am very critical and it certainly makes me successful in what I do, but there is also room to let go and enjoy the process.

Staci M. Customer Success Marketing Manager NextivaStaci M.

Tell us about your role at Nextiva.

I am the Customer Success Marketing Manager at Nextiva, which basically means that I manage our customer and product marketing. From emails, to customers, to case studies, to helping with launching new products, I’m involved in a bit of everything!

What advancement would you like to see for women in business?

I’d like to see more women saying what they believe and asking for what they want. So many women, including myself, feel like they’re being “pushy” or “bossy” way too often, so I’d like to see those words eliminated from our vocabulary.  Women can and should be “assertive” and “self-assured”!

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Don’t worry so much and enjoy what you have!  I’ve always felt the need to help everyone else before myself, never saying no even if I was overwhelmed.  But I’ve recently learned that taking time to yourself is one of the healthiest things you can do.

Cara P. Learning & Development NextivaCara P.

Tell us about your role at Nextiva.

My role at Nextiva varies day to day. I’m a part of the Learning & Development team, and we focus deeply on the employee experience at Nextiva. We strive to provide resources and training in an easily digestible manner. I have always enjoyed teaching and training, so it’s a pretty flawless fit for me.

What advancement would you like to see for women in business?

Advancement isn’t actually what we should be aiming for as a gender. If we aim for advancement, not equality, we’ll still be in a war with the other half of the world. We also shouldn’t draw a line down the middle and advocate separatism. Women-only business-minded organizations are increasingly popular, and I think some of them have a sound foundation, but they are missing the point. It’s not about oppressing others until we’re equal. I would absolutely love to see more female leaders, business owners, comedians, scientists, and CEOs, and it shouldn’t be about anything more than worth and competency. I whole-heartedly believe there is room at the top for all of us. 

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Your mom was right, life isn’t fair. So, get out of the rat race quickly if you can – save your money, pay off a mortgage early, and focus on the good times. There are people dying of heart failure in their 30s. You have to live now.

Jillian R. Senior Account Executive NextivaJillian R.

Tell us about your role at Nextiva.

I’m a Senior Account Executive. I do business to business communications solution solving, building and tailoring the Nextiva Solution to each client and developing long-term partnerships along the way.

What advancement would you like to see for women in business?

Equal pay is a given. Additionally, women deserve and should have the same advancement opportunities as men in the work place. More female entrepreneurs, paid maternity leave, and support from males!

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Work hard. Every day. Don’t sweat the small stuff and don’t ever lose sight of where you come from. Maintain a positive attitude, and you will guarantee yourself positive results.

Shea S. Senior Manager NextivaShea S.

Tell us about your role at Nextiva.

I’m a Senior Manager in our Account Management department. I oversee several teams of Account Managers who take care of our largest customers at Nextiva. I work with my managers and their teams to increase our revenue and retention rate of our customers. I love working with my managers and my team; the people I work with are the highlight of my job by far. My team inspires me on a daily basis.

What advancement would you like to see for women in business?

I want to see more women in leadership and in management positions. It would be great to see more independent women within the organization collaborating together to make positive initiatives for change.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

I would say, “slow down, Shea, have faith.” I find myself rushing around all the time, scrambling and juggling several items to make things better for our customers and my team, and I always get it done. I need to know that I can do it at the end of the day and have a little faith in myself and my abilities. I like to remind myself that this is why I am where I am today.

Laura S. Senior Enterprise Implementation Manager NextivaLaura S.

Tell us about your role at Nextiva.

I am a Senior Enterprise Implementation Manager, meaning I oversee the setup of onboarding large accounts. I make sure everything is correct and on time from the beginning of the project all the way until the completion of set-up (and sometimes beyond). It is my job to ensure that new Nextiva customers have a reliable point of contact and champion for their business needs.

What advancement would you like to see for women in business?

I would like to see women play a bigger role in technology-geared businesses, such as VoIP. In more recent years women have become more present in the technology field and I would love to see this happen even more, and in turn be common practice all over the world.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

I would tell a younger me to live for today but always consider your future. Tomorrow is never promised, but you should always aim to make it bright!

Kathi W. Chief Human Resources Officer NextivaKathi W.

Tell us about your role at Nextiva.

While I would not want my colleagues or our company founder, Tomas Gorny, to become envious, I do have the privilege of sitting in the BEST role in the organization. Every day I have the pleasure of working directly with our many teams across the organization, both in the U.S. and in Europe. I also have the chance to recruit great candidates to our company, observe our learning and development team constantly in action, partner with our engagement team as they begin to roll out new experiences for employees, see leadership development efforts unfold, support the growth and career opportunities for 850+ amazing team members, and much, much more.  Pretty tough to beat this role, right?

What advancement would you like to see for women in business?

For women and others who hope to advance into greater levels of ownership and accountability in a business, I believe a critical step is to take a role (or two) whereby you are responsible for running an operating center or P&L. Having the breadth / depth of responsibility for revenue and operations provides invaluable insight into business leadership. This is something that is highly valued when companies look for future business leaders as well as leaders in finance, marketing, IT, HR, operations, etc.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Hmmm, should I start with advice to avoid the bad haircut from age 22… or the ridiculous shoulder pads in my favorite interviewing jacket from 2001? Kidding aside, I would certainly advise my younger self to take more risks and be willing to fail more often. I always wanted things to be just perfect (whatever that means) – it took a few years for me to realize that it is progress, not perfection that makes the journey a lot more rewarding. It also took me a while to realize just how bad the jacket with the shoulder pads really was… clearly, I was a bit behind here, too!

We’re proud of the accomplishments – past, present, and future – that the women at Nextiva contribute to our business. Today we’re celebrating the power of women everywhere, and continue to recognize and support women in our community. We’re incredibly thankful for all of the amazing women who have become a part of our team, today and every day!

About the author

Nicole is the Marketing Communications Manager for Nextiva is passionate about our incredible growth, company culture, and promise of Amazing Service. Outside of marketing, Nicole enjoys cooking easy and healthy recipes, taking care of the office plants, and hanging out with her cat. To get in touch, follow her on LinkedIn and Twitter.