I’m incredibly fortunate to have grown up in an environment where every day felt like International Women’s Day – a day where women were recognized for their contributions and strength. My mother was a high-powered marketing professional, and that meant I was immersed in the idea that women’s decisions, ideas and talent mattered. I recognize the value of that upbringing and I don’t take it for granted. 

Now, I, too, am a senior marketing executive – proof, to me, that witnessing women doing great things inspires others to aim higher. I want to use my platform to encourage other women to expand their idea of what’s possible. I’m certainly committed to instilling this in my own three daughters. Whatever path they choose, the point is that they will be empowered to choose it – and I’ll cheer them on every step of the way.

While I work in a traditionally male-dominated field, I’m thrilled to say that I’m surrounded by people who empower and elevate women every day. My colleagues, regardless of gender, share a belief that when women succeed, we all succeed.

I’m lucky to be in such a supportive space. I know that this isn’t the case everywhere and there are still inequities between women and men in professional spaces – especially in STEM-related fields. I truly believe that visibility matters. Seeing women succeed matters. Celebrating women matters.

This International Women’s Day, I’m here to celebrate. I want to celebrate the women who work with me in the executive leadership team who encourage and inspire me constantly. I want to celebrate every woman at Ivanti who pour their time, talent and energy into this amazing company. I want to applaud our CEO Jeff Abbott and the other men of Ivanti, who truly celebrate and value the contributions of their women colleagues.

I opened this blog post by talking about my mother, who has had an indelible impact on me. I’m not the only one who is where I am today because of a woman who went before her and laid a path of inspiration and encouragement.

In celebration of International Women’s Day, and as part of Ivanti’s commitment to embracing equity, several of my colleagues on the executive leadership team – both men and women – told us a little about a woman who had an impact on them. I’m honored to share those stories here.

Kristen Kamp, SVP, Global HR

An influential woman who had an impact on my life from the moment that I met her was my grandmother-in-law Muriel Weingrow. She was as confident, intelligent and worldly as she was graceful, thoughtful and caring. Born in the 1920s, she was a bold and strong woman, ahead of her time. From her I learned that the best way to be is unapologetically who you are. 

Al Arun, Chief Customer Officer

One of my earliest role models was my grandmother – Valliammai – who was the CEO of my family. My grandpa was a very successful businessman in India, but my grandmother was the person who everything revolved around. She was one of the first women in India to drive a car by herself and was referred to as the Car Driving Valliammai.

She taught me to understand how to bring people together, be decisive when needed and to be collaborative in order to win people’s support.

She truly cared for the people around her. She commanded a lot of respect from some of the most powerful people in India just based on her ability to plan, coordinate and execute on any activity / event. I attribute every trait that I have built up over the years using her as a role model.

Michelle Hodges, SVP, Global Channels & Alliances

While in graduate school, I interned for two summers in France for a woman, Marie-Josephe D'Argent. At that point in her career, she was a Business & Strategy consultant for large CPG, Manufacturing, Utilities and PubSec companies in France. Earlier in life, she had an amazing career from the late 70s-90s in Marketing & Sales within the Oil & Gas Industry; and had traveled all over the world including the Middle East and Africa.

I learned from her the hard lessons of self-reliance, authenticity, open-mindedness, investing in your job with passion and balancing work and motherhood. I now consider her family and she has been a role model, mentor and huge supporter for my entire career. 

Helen Masters, EVP International Sales

There are so many women who made an impact on my life and career. Family members, former colleagues and women in technology who blazed the path before me. My current peers at Ivanti and in the industry inspire me every day. 

I am inspired to see my daughter, Alex Masters, grow into a strong leader in her own right and is now also mentoring other young women joining the IT industry. I am proud to see that our values and ethics continue on through generations and will help drive diversity for many years to come.

In order to create and ignite more innovative ideas, we need to continue to foster inclusivity in the tech industry – whether that’s encouraging STEM education for girls or other non-traditional groups. All members of the technology community hold a collective responsibility for making this a reality. 

Brooke Johnson, SVP, Chief Legal Officer

One woman who has made a tremendous impact on my life is my best friend, Beth Ranschau. Beth and I met in law school and quickly bonded over academics and our love of shoes. After we graduated and started at law firms, Beth became my career counselor, personal advocate and sometimes therapist.

Beth is an exceptional attorney and advocate for her clients while making time for her family and friends. She is smart, driven, self-aware, a fashion icon and able to effectively prioritize what is most important in her day, every day.

She has taught me that it’s okay to occasionally not say that I can have it all, but do my best at what I decide to take on. 

Jeff Abbott, CEO

For me, my mom – Irene – is one of my heroes. She raised the four of us, my three sisters and me, to be strong, independent, hardworking and honest. In our early years my dad, who worked for General Motors, often worked 2nd or 3rd shift so we didn’t see him very much. Mom was a warrior. She herself was one of nine kids – and my Irish grandmother taught my mom and all of her children the power of family. That’s my mom’s superpower: “In all that you do, don’t forget the importance of family.” I haven’t and will never forget that, Mom!

Happy International Women’s Day to all of you. Let’s celebrate each other!