Today, March 8, marks what the world knows as International Women's Day (IWD), a "global celebration of the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women." For well over a century, IWD has gathered support from millions of people all over the world, growing and supporting a range of campaigns and organizations.

As a startup in today's ever-evolving tech industry, we're privy to the ongoing conversation of diversity and women's equality. Whether encouraging individual employees to support within their own communities or spearheaded by our internal Diversity & Inclusion team, we work together to support these groups in ways we feel we can be impactful. This includes hosting meetups with the Women Who Code NYC chapter, putting on our annual PRIDE event, and most recently hosting our 2018 People of Color in Tech event, and more.

In the spirit of International Women's Day, we wanted to take a moment to recognize a handful of the more than 20 amazing women building Button. Spanning nearly every team within the company— People, Revenue, Engineering, Data, Product, Partner Success, among others— we tapped a few of our #WomenofButton to get some insights into their day-to-day, how they got started, and what makes them tick outside the office walls.

And, in case you're interested, we have a range of opportunities open— many of which are working directly with all those featured here! Check them out and join one of Inc. and Fortune's Best Places to Work.


Tell us more about your role at Button.

Throughout my career, I have combined aspects of both Data Science and Software Engineering. When I joined Button in May 2017, the team worked with me to craft a hybrid role that fit not only my skills and interests but also Button's needs. Today, I'm a Software Engineer on our Partnerships team specializing in data and platform engineering. The Button Engineering team is relatively small, which makes crafting efficient and scalable solutions all the more important. We try hard to follow the "don't repeat yourself" (DRY) principle, so I work with the Data and Platform teams to find common technical solutions to problems that come up in both disciplines.

I work closely with our Product Managers, Partner Success Managers, and my fellow engineers on a daily basis to build products that both support our existing partner integrations and enable new partnerships on the Button platform. I also spend a lot of time collaborating on a whiteboard with other engineers on technical architecture design questions. We often find ourselves debating things like "should this web service have access to this data?" and "how do we move our data through our system really really fast?" These questions lead us to building technology that the whole team can be proud of.

How did you get your start in engineering?

I started my career as a Data Scientist working on machine learning algorithms that will help users realize their personal finance goals. My team and I learned pretty early on that you want to automate as much as possible so that you, the data scientist, can spend more time doing interesting research or building cool new features for your product. It's never really fun to get an angry complaint from a customer because your algorithm went rogue and you don't have a easy way of fixing it. I spent way too much time putting out fires and manually processing data instead of working on new innovations, so I learned to become better at Dev Ops and Data Engineering and adopted the common philosophy that if you need to do something more than once, you should probably automate it. By automating the more tedious portions of my job, I have more time to collaborate with my colleagues and to work on interesting problems, such as my work in applications for fuzzy search algorithms, which I presented on at PyCon 2017. As my focus has shifted toward software engineering, I haven't forgotten my roots. I'm always on the lookout for opportunities combine the behavioral and social aspects of data science with reliable and scalable engineering practices.

If you could choose three words that describe what it's like working at Button, what would those be? oodles of fun!

Is there a memory at Button that stands out to you?

This past January, I woke up to a flurry of Slack activity from our engineering team because news of Meltdown/Spectre vulnerabilities just broke, and we had to scramble to patch all of our servers. It was a really hectic and high-pressure situation but also really exciting to see how we, as a startup, respond to industry wide incidents.

As part of my role, I'm responsible for our data infrastructure, such as our data cluster. Our data cluster is a distributed system and when one machine goes down, the system holds a leader election to elect a new leader and there's no down time experienced by the cluster as a whole. Sounds great, right? Well, the machines can only reach consensus if there is quorum, as in enough machines have participated in leader election. While trying to patch our servers, we lost quorum for our data cluster. Because it couldn't reach consensus on who was the leader, the cluster kept holding leader elections over and over again. But what made this experience so memorable was not creating software that resembles a highly dysfunctional government, but rather bringing together engineers from different teams to learn together, deep dive into our tech stack and share gifs of flipping tables on Slack.

What piece of advice would you give to someone looking to get started in engineering?

"Find a team that will empower you to grow. Find a manager who will invest you and listen to your ideas."

Find a mentor in your field or outside of your field. It doesn't matter which! Find a mentor who will show you the way so you can in turn mentor someone else later down the line.

If you learn something, share it! Even if you don't feel like you have anything to say, you should speak up— not everything has to be cutting edge or groundbreaking for it to be important, and your voice matters.

What's one app you couldn't stand to live without?

I'm actually a total minimalist when it comes to my phone— I even switched my phone to black and white recently to minimize distractions. So, I'd say the apps that I cannot live without are the Messages/Facetime apps (yes, the ones that come by default on iOS) because I use them to talk to my sister, who is my best friend and currently lives quite far from me.

Life outside the office walls— what can we find you doing?

You can find me in the yoga studio trying to touch my toes and balance on one leg! I'm also a Director for the NYC Network of Women Who Code, so you can often find me at one of our events.


Tell us about your role at Button.

I am on the business development team with a focus on growing the publisher side of the Button marketplace. My day-to-day is always changing (why I love my job so much!) and can include everything from pitching to potential new partners; working with our Partner Success, Partner Engineering, and Product teams on integrations and launches to ensure we're all aligned; attending industry events around the world; and also working closely with our leadership team on strategic initiatives.

How did you get your start in business development?

I always held sales positions early in my career. The company I was at right after college graduation was growing and needed to fill publisher development positions and thought I would be a great fit— right place at the right time you could say. Business Development is still sales, and to me, the publisher development side of things has a nice consultative and strategic approach; it's pretty satisfying helping companies with their monetization strategies.

If you could choose three words that describe what it's like working at Button, what would those be? Fun, Challenging, and Special

Is there a memory at Button that stands out to you?

This would probably have to be the day I signed my contract with Button. I signed it in the Button office and then took a picture in front of the Button sign with our CEO. He said something to the effect that it was "important to document life changing events"— it made me so happy and so excited to be part of something that could actually change my life!

What piece of advice would you give to someone looking to get started in business dev?

This sounds funny, but learn how you learn best. That way you can learn the product, business, whatever it is quickly and understand it from your own perspective— this will not only help during the interview process but also once you get the job. Be yourself, have grit, and respond quickly.

What's one app you couldn't stand to live without?

Uber. I just get so lazy sometimes and they make it so convenient… but in all honesty, I travel a lot and Uber makes it easy to get where I need to go without any additional stress of getting lost or not having cash.

Life outside the office walls— what can we find you doing?

Hanging with my Hubby and friends, whether out to dinner, at a bar, playing cards or watching sports (go Buckeyes!)— just having fun. I also love trying new workout classes. And for the most part, Sunday's are saved for cuddling on the couch with my puppy.


Tell us about your role at Button.

I joined Button in August of 2016 as a frontend engineer on the Platform team. I had a lot of fun in that role, and I got to work on some neat projects, such as building a charting library in React. But after a few months, I started to feel that the obvious career paths in engineering might not be the best fit for my skills and interests. With the encouragement of my manager, I approached Patrick, our Head of Design, and told him I was interested in learning more about the discipline. To my delight, he offered to teach me the ropes. Soon after, I started a rotation on Button's Design Team.

Acting on that impulse was the best decision of my career. Thanks to the mentorship of my fellow designers, Nelle and Patrick, I learned an incredible amount about design. A few months later, I formally transitioned to the role of Senior UX Engineer. As the Design Lead for the Insights & Controls team, I design and build tools that allow our Partner Success and Partner Engineering teams to integrate new partners more quickly and easily. There's never a dull day–at any given time, I might be sketching out wireframes, interviewing users, reviewing code, or building UI components in React. If you're curious, you can read more about my journey to becoming a UX Engineer in this blog post.

How did you get your start in engineering?

I've always been a self-identified nerd, but if I were to pick a moment that steered me onto my current path, I'd go with a 10th-grade hallway conversation in which a friend recommended I choose Computer Science for my elective. Despite a curriculum that couldn't be described as particularly robust, I found the problem-solving nature of programming addictive. I went on to become the President of my high school's Robotics team, study Computer Science at Stanford, and land my first job as a frontend engineer at Coursera.

If you could choose three words that describe what it's like working at Button, what would those be? Focused, but fun

Is there a memory at Button that stands out to you?

Joining Button's Diversity & Inclusion Committee has been a life-changing experience for me. This past January, I co-organized a People of Color in Tech event with Brian Kustera, our Office Experience & Facilities Manager and all-around inspiring human. The event brought together people across the tech space for small-group discussions on how each of us can help people of color in tech achieve their career goals. Watching our CEO close the event with heartfelt words about what he learned and what he'll do differently going forward was a very moving experience.

What piece of advice would you give to someone looking to get started in engineering?

Map out why you want to become an engineer. Are you fascinated by technical abstractions? Do you love solving people's problems? Do you like to polish your work to perfection, or do you want to quickly prototype an idea and move on to the next thing? Answers to these questions can help you guide you to the right track within engineering. If you're not sure, just pick something and give it a try— you'll find out pretty quickly what you like and don't like about it.

What's one app you couldn't stand to live without?

I spend a slightly embarrassing amount of time playing Fire Emblem Heroes on my iPhone. For those unfamiliar with the game, you can think of it like chess, but with many different boards and ways to upgrade each piece. I've loved the Fire Emblem series since I was a kid, and I've been pleasantly surprised at how well it adapted to mobile.

Life outside the office walls— what can we find you doing?

Cooking is my passion. I love to eat, but it's about more than just the food–it's a way for me to connect with my heritage, explore other cultures, and bring people together. Over the past year, I've been experimenting with food photography (I'm @just_grapes on Instagram–come say hi!) and just started a food blog called Grey and Grapes with my partner Phil, a fellow software engineer and talented cook.


Tell us about your role at Button.

I manage our Customer Experience for the Button Marketplace. At a high level, I want customers to have the best experience with all of our Partners and continue coming back! We are a small but mighty team who manages the health of the marketplace and work with a wide range of teams at Button. We're at the front lines of helping our Partners support customers— and this includes some of the world's largest companies. As we support our Partners we contribute to Partner Engineering and Engineering who build our integrations, Partner Success who manages our Partners, and Product, who builds the experience.

How did you get your start in customer experience? What challenges have you faced?

I'm a nerd, I love understanding how things work. Both my parents have backgrounds in scientific research and teaching— this rubbed off on me. I also love helping people. Customer Experience and supporting roles were a perfect fit. I got my initial start as Customer Support representative at Square. I learned a lot from Square, but I think the biggest takeaway was never be afraid to break the rules.

A huge challenge that has popped up in my career is feedback around being emotional or "you take things personally." This feedback has always severely bothered me. I feel this feedback only minimizes my passion and love for the work I do. Before you give this feedback, ask the question— "would you ever say this to a man?" If the answer is no, then you have your answer.

If you could choose three words that describe what it's like working at Button, what would those be? Thoughtful, Exciting, Challenging

Is there a memory at Button that stands out to you?

My first "Demos" at the company. For context, "Demos" happen at then end of the week, and it's a time to show the rest of the company what you've been working on. While I didn't demo anything, I was floored by how the rest of the company was genuinely interested in each person's presentation, and the huge applause that happened unwaveringly for each person. Then, to top it off, a good 20 minutes was people giving appreciation and thanks for individuals who went above and beyond that week.

"I had never seen so much love in a (company) room. Every week is a new favorite memory."

What piece of advice would you give to someone looking to get into a role managing the customer experience?

People are first. Remembering this will naturally transfer to how you approach partners. Empathy and the platinum rule— "Treat others as they want to be treated." You should not have a one-size-fits-all approach to people. You need to adapt and never fall into complacency. Take the time to learn and understand the people around you. You will be rewarded greatly by simply taking the time.

What's one app you couldn't stand to live without?

Apple Music and my playlists. If I didn't have music easily accessible, I don't know what I do. I'd probably still be walking around with my CD player and 300 page binder of burned CDs.

Life outside the office walls— what can we find you doing?

You can probably find me at a concert, or at a nice cocktail bar grabbing a pre-drink before a concert. I love all sorts of music, and I love seeing artists performing his or her work. An artist's stage performance gives me a deeper connection to the music.


Tell us about your role at Button.

I'm on the Marketing team at Button focusing on content efforts, which includes everything from email strategy to blog posts. The best part about my role is how collaborative it is— I work with most Buttonians, from the Product Team to Partner Success and the CEO. As a small, scrappy marketing team my day-to-day varies, but it can be anything from making a pitch deck, launching ads on LinkedIn and Facebook, or planning our annual TAP Conference.

How did you get your start in marketing?

"For me it came down to enjoying persuasion and building arguments through facts and logic tailored for a specified audience. I quickly realized there's many fields you can use these skills in."

I started college as a Political Science Major intent on law school. Somewhere between the thousands of pages of (to me) quite dry reading, I re-evaluated why I wanted to be a lawyer. After interning at The Massachusetts State House and a tech startup, Handy, I immediately knew marketing was the industry for me.

If you could choose three words that describe what it's like working at Button, what would those be? Fun, Unpredictable, and Rewarding.

Is there a memory at Button that stands out to you?

So hard to choose one, but probably zip lining in the Catskills during one of our retreats. Let's just say, it's not my finest skill. But, I had such an amazing time bonding with the team and the thrill of zipping down was certainly worth it.

What piece of advice would you give to someone looking to get started in marketing?

Internships, internships, internships. I can't stress this enough. Through my experience interning I was able to vet if marketing really was right for me and discover focus areas that I enjoyed and excelled in. Not to mention, the experience I gained interning allowed me to land at a company as great as Button straight out of school in a role with responsibilities that weren't necessarily entry level.

What's one app you couldn't stand to live without?

Google Maps? I mean how else could you navigate around New York City? That or Seamless— love Mac and Cheese and White Pizza delivered straight to my apartment!

Life outside the office walls— what can we find you doing?

Listening to (and writing) rap songs— typically J. Cole with a nice glass of Pinot Noir. Probably eating some type of cheese, too.