This Womens History Month, we're recognizing the amazing women we work with at Wisq.
Read a Q&A with Wisq's Anita Carey, Staff Infrastructure Engineer; Tanya Littlefield, Head of Marketing; and Karina Guillot, Director of Engineering. Learn more about their accomplishments, sources of inspiration and experiences with mentorship.
Name a woman you admire & why you think highly of them.
Anita Carey: Eileen Collins—she was the first woman to pilot the Space Shuttle (1995, 1997) as well as the first woman to command the Space Shuttle in 1999. Prior to that, she had an illustrious career as an Air Force pilot and she has received too many awards to list.
Karina Guillot: My grandmother. She went through a lot in her life and always made the most of it. She taught me about love, responsibility, self worth, and values.
Tanya Littlefield: Ruth Bader Ginsburg - she was relentless in her pursuit for women's rights, and a powerful voice on the Supreme Court. More than anything, she lived her life with purpose and joy. I find inspiration from one of her quotes, "Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you."
From my grandmother, I learned to always treat everyone with the same level of respect; no matter where they come from, how much money they have, or what they do. -Karina Guillot, Director of Engineering, Wisq
What is your go-to self-care activity for when you need to unwind and recharge?
Tanya: I love to walk near the ocean. I live in San Francisco and am lucky enough to be close to Ocean Beach and often end my work day with a walk around sunset to unwind and take in the view.
Anita: I listen to music to recharge. Some of the music I like include musical theatre cast recordings (which is a default, since I work as a vocal director in musical theatre), Taylor Swift, Def Leppard, and haunted house soundtracks.
Karina: Riding my horse or getting lost in the woods with my dogs.
Is there a mantra or quote that inspires you?
Karina: “The line between good and evil runs not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either—but right through every human heart.” -Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Anita: "We have art so that we shall not be destroyed by the truth." -Friedrich Nietzsche
Tanya: "Be yourself; everyone else is already taken." -Oscar Wilde
If you could give your younger self a piece of advice when you were starting out in your field, what would it be?
Karina: Don’t sell yourself short, and believe in yourself. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t, and it’s not your fault.
Tanya: Find female mentors early and often to help guide you through your professional career.
Anita: I will quote one of my best friends who told me this: "Don't let anyone steal your shine." Women often put themselves down so that they don't outshine others. Don't do that. Let yourself shine.
How has mentorship helped you as a professional?
Anita: I have had many, but one stands out. He pointed out behaviors I should stop (e.g., apologizing for no reason), behaviors I should continue and extend (e.g., don't be afraid of difficult projects) and generally provided a lot of information about doing well in one's career. I try to help other women in the same way.
Tanya: Absolutely. I've found mentors can be both empowering and oftentimes a great sounding board.
Karina: Yes. It’s always good to hear from someone else’s perspective and have them help out when you are not sure about something.
I have had many [mentors] but one stands out. He pointed out behaviors I should stop, behaviors I should continue and extend, and generally provided a lot of information about doing well in one's career. I try to help other women in the same way. -Anita Carey, Staff Infrastructure Engineer
Share a book, movie, song, performance or other piece of art that inspires you. What do you like about it?
Karina: Stay with me on this one… Hocus Pocus 2 is super cute and it mentions a witch is nothing without her coven. We can be awesome at something but we are always stronger when we have the support of others, and we can do so much more when we stop being selfish and tackle things as a team.
Anita: My favorite musical theatre show is "Come From Away." It is about the people of Gander and other small cities in Newfoundland who took in about 7000 passengers and crew from 38 commercial and 4 military flights on 9/11 when the American airspace was closed. It shows hope and friendship and the best of humanity during a terrible time.
Tanya: Everything Everywhere All At Once was a fantastic movie and has so much wisdom. Anyone can be their own superhero and change the trajectory of their life. And most important, it's a story of love and family.
What's your favorite aspect of your job?
Karina: I get to build cool things, and I get to have fun with like minded people that enjoy the same.
Anita: My team! I have complete trust and faith in my team and that makes work enjoyable.
Tanya: Working alongside an extraordinary group of people on a great product.
What's an accomplishment of yours, at work or outside of work, that you're proud of?
Anita: In my community musical theatre work, I have brought several Sensory Friendly Performances to different theatre groups. This means the house lights are on a little bit, and the audience can walk around during the show. This allows children with special needs to attend the theatre so that the entire family can enjoy a performance that otherwise would never happen.
Families with special needs kids are stuck leaving their kids with caregivers because audiences must be quiet. Sensory-friendly performances lets audiences whoop, use lighted assistive devices, and walk around as needed. One of my goals is to make this profitable as well as helpful so that more theatre companies will run these performances.
Tanya: Professional: growing, managing, and scaling our go-to-market and marketing programs at Wisq! Personal: getting out of my comfort zone and trying a new hike every week.
Karina: Outside of work, it would be overcoming fear after a couple bad horse riding accidents and getting back on the horse. At work, it would be being able to manage and lead an awesome team, watching them thrive and also building great products while still having fun.
Always bet on yourself. -Tanya Littlefield, Head of Marketing, Wisq
Give a shout-out to a woman you work with currently, or someone you worked with in the past!
Anita: I had a manager from many jobs ago named Jackie Rose. She was intelligent, caring, and competent. I am grateful to have worked with her.
Karina: Angela Shoemaker. She is super organized, responsible, and a great partner to work with.
Tanya: Shout out to Lauren Smith, VP of Acquisition & Customer Marketing at Litmus. Lauren was a fantastic partner and collaborator while I was at Litmus and continues to be a great friend.
What do you do outside of work that brings you joy?
Anita: I am a vocal director in the Bay Area musical theatre community. Working on musical theatre fills my soul!
Tanya: My family. Nothing brings me more joy than a great family dinner with the whole crew—aunts, uncles, cousins, sisters, nephews—the whole gang!
Karina: Ride horses, hang out with friends.
What's an important lesson you learned from a woman in your life?
Tanya: Always bet on yourself.
Anita: I learned from my mother that all honest work is honorable. In her native country, my mom was a respected teacher at one of the most exclusive private schools. In this country, she washed toilets at a coffee shop. That is how I got food and clothes and piano lessons and college.
Karina: From my grandmother, I learned to always treat everyone with the same level of respect; no matter where they come from, how much money they have, or what they do.