Celebrating International Women’s Day at Veem
March 8, 2020
International Women’s Day was created to recognize and honor the historical contributions of women, and empower the next generation towards gender parity.
Despite the lack of diversity in today’s technical fields, the pioneers of many modern technologies were in fact women. In honour of International Women’s Day, let’s take a moment to remember the trailblazers who invented and perfected many of the technologies we rely on daily.
Female innovators throughout history
Born a privileged aristocrat in 1815, Ada Lovelace used her education in mathematics to advance the field of computing. She was the first to theorize that an analytical machine (a precursor to modern computers) could be used for other tasks besides performing calculations, such as composing music. Her expansion of Charles Babbage’s analytical machine took computing beyond simple calculations, and opened the doors to the invention of modern computers as we know them today.
Grace Hopper was an American computer scientist and United States Navy rear admiral. After receiving a PhD in mathematics from Yale in 1934, she went on to work with the Mark I computer lab at Harvard. There, she was instrumental in developing programming languages such as COBOL, the Common Business-Oriented Language. Hopper also coined the term “debugging” after finding a literal moth within her compiler (an early version of a computer).
Lamarr was self-taught inventor and Hollywood actress. At the beginning of World War II, she co-invented a radio guidance system for Allied torpedos that used spread spectrum and frequency hopping technology to defeat the threat of jamming by enemy Axis powers. The principles of her work were crucial to the development of modern Bluetooth and Wi-Fi technology. In 2014, she was posthumously inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.
Mary Jackson was an American aerospace engineer and mathematician. After becoming the first black female engineer at NASA, Jackson achieved the most senior title within the engineering department. Her 34 years at NASA were not only spent developing novel understandings of air flow, thrust, and drag, but also encouraging and and advising women and other minorities on how to advance their careers in science, engineering, and mathematics.
Grete Hermann was a German mathematician, philosopher, physicist, and educator. She is best remembered for her contributions to quantum mechanics and algebra. In 1926, Hermann outlined the foundations of computer algebra. Hermann was the first to establish the existence of algorithms, including complexity bounds, for many of abstract algebra’s foundational problems. Her algorithm for primary decomposition is still in use today. Hermann was not only a talented academic, but an activist and key member of the German Anti-Nazi resistance during World War II.
Diversity in fintech today
Women have made incredible strides in the fields of finance, computing, and technology. However, there’s more work to be done.
Just 12% of fintech founders are women. 17% of senior management roles at fintech firms are held by women. In the last decade, the share of invested dollars going to female-founded companies remained flat at just 3%.
Clearly, something needs to change.
Veem VP of Operations, Sheila James, said it best: “culture building isn’t a passive process. Building a company culture is an active process we all participate in daily”.
Veem is proud to celebrate the talented and driven women who have worked to create a company culture of innovation, diversity, and equality. In celebration of International Women’s Day, we asked our employees to anonymously recognize a woman who has had an outstanding impact on their career, work, or life in general.
What she does: Payment Operation Manager
What her teammates love about her: Tabitha can take complicated processes, make them happen, and find solutions to scale. She is responsible for a large part of Veem’s payment processing logic and methodologies all through her own research and experience in the industry.
What she does: Customer Success Specialist
What her teammates love about her: Afnan goes out of her way to make sure she has the knowledge and tools necessary to support our Accounting team, including gaining her Quickbooks certificate. She’s always willing to go the extra mile to help a teammate out!
What she does: Risk Analyst
What her teammates love about her: Hiam, with her great attention to detail, is perfectly suited for her role in risk management. She always puts the customer experience first while keeping Veem safe.
What she does: Assistant Controller
What her teammates love about her: Not only is Donna amazing at what she does, she is also a great friend. She works tirelessly behind the scenes to keep Veem humming. A true unsung hero!
What she does: VP Operations
What her teammates love about her: Whether it’s her fantastic motivational talks in all-staffs or one-on-one with Veem team members, Sheila always goes above and beyond to help her colleagues here grow and develop, both personally and professionally. It’s refreshing to have such strong representation from the LGBT community in leadership. Sheila has my utmost respect.
What she does: Senior Frontend Software Engineer
What her teammates love about her: As the tech lead and scrum master of a core engineering team, Hanna is responsible for a very difficult aspect of Veem’s product, but she handles it with grace and professionalism. Hanna is an excellent technical leader and an amazing person.
What she does: Sales Operations Analyst
What her teammates love about her: Niyanthri is a rock in the sales team. Without her calm demeanor, quiet humor, and incredibly strong initiative, Veem would not be the organization it is today. Niyanthri is hard-working, kind, and extremely intelligent, yet she always remains humble and compassionate to those around her.
What she does: Account Manager
What her teammates love about her: Trinity is a great salesperson who can de-escalate almost any situation, and can get any customer excited about Veem. She is essential to the continued growth of Veem, and we are lucky to have her. A slow day on the sales floor is almost always pumped up by a “Let’s go!” coming from Trin’s desk.
What she does: Senior Manager of People
What her teammates love about her: Esraa is a strong leader who is faced with the unique challenge of balancing the interests of every last person within the company. She empowers her colleagues and team, and always makes sure concerns are heard and acted on.
What she does: Product Marketing Manager
What her teammates love about her: Helen works hard to help the Product team tell the story of new services, features, and enhancements. She embraces challenges with positivity, flexibility, and a can-do attitude.
What she does: Marketing Communications Specialist
What her teammates love about her: Shannon is someone who never settles for second best. She holds herself, and those around her, to the highest standards and as a result, the people she works with are challenged to create their best work.
What she does: Lifecycle Marketing Manager
What her teammates love about her: A long standing rock, Emma is an incredibly talented writer and marketer. She always delivers important metrics, innovative new ideas, and on-point spontaneous character voices.
What she does: Graphic and UI Designer
What her teammates love about her: Maggie is an integral member of the Veem Team, owning our visual identity and website. She’s always willing to collaborate with other departments, give design advice to anyone who needs it, and does amazing work with a wicked turnaround time. Maggie is one of the hardest working people I’ve ever met.
Veem is proud to say that over one third of our workforce is female, including the first two employees ever hired. We’re continuing to work towards a more equitable future this International Women’s Day and every day.
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