Women at Espial (Part 1) – The Women Behind our Innovation
Published on 05/03/2019
Category: Our Culture
With international women’s day around the corner, we wanted to take some time to feature some of the incredible women at Espial and their stories. It’s a fact that women in the high-tech industry are underrepresented. However, at Espial, we have some of the most incredible women who chose to break barriers and pursue a career in innovation. These women took a few minutes out of their day to answer a couple of questions and share their experience with the marketing team: we cannot thank them enough for this.
I am honored to feature these women in the first part of our blog series called: Women at Espial. Thank you to those who volunteered to share their stories and were willing to contribute to a bigger discussion around the importance of women in technology. Without further ado, here are the stories of 7 incredible women behind our innovation.
Yvonne Holland, VP Global Engineering and Operations (3.5 years at Espial)
Tell us a little bit more about you and your journey towards choosing a career in innovation.
I always want to know how things are done and why something works the way it does. And behind all that, I also want to know how a company functions – what are the pieces that are needed for a company to thrive and grow. I want to be part of providing input, and part of making the decisions to make this happen and to build great teams that get it done. Being in Product Development, and especially a part of the management team, is the perfect place to know, early on, what is going on with the company – you are part of the decision making around where to invest in new products next, what they will do, and when they will get done.
What was the best advice you received from another woman at the beginning of your career?
I’ve never received career advice from a woman – only men. This in itself is something we have to change as a group of women – we need to support each other a whole lot more than we do now.
Who are the women you look up to the most?
My Grandmother was a pharmacist, in a big city, in Poland, in the 1930s – she had a technical university degree in an era when that wasn’t so common for women. Her career was torn apart by the war. Her husband (my Grandfather) was a judge in the Polish army. He escaped capture and they spent the entire war apart. She eventually escaped to England as a refugee with my father who was just a young boy at the time. She met up with my grandfather after the war and as a small family, they came to Canada. In Canada they could not work in their previous professions, so to make a living they became farmers. Two highly educated professionals from urban big city Poland had to adjust to small-town Ontario and make an entirely new life farming. This was a huge adjustment, one that she adapted to, raising my father and somehow finding the money to send him to an engineering degree at the University of Windsor. To the end of her days, she disliked rural settings – I don’t know how she did what she did, but her resilience inspires me to this day.
If a young woman was seeking your advice now, what would you tell her?
Be persistent and believe in yourself. Have grit, passion, and tenacity in everything you do. Men will always go after a promotion or a position whether they have the right experience and background or not. Women naturally do a fit check first – do they know how to do this job, have they done it before, can they be successful? Believe that you will figure it out, you can do it, and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.
Why did you choose to work for Espial and what makes this company a champion for women in innovation?
This is really 2 questions. Why did I choose to work for Espial? I believe that there is a lot of opportunity in the video consumption space and that we have is a chance to change how video is consumed, and to make it easy to do it. What makes Espial a champion for women in innovation: Espial believes in diversity – be it gender, religion or background. This deeply seated value – that diversity is absolutely necessary to maximize the potential for innovation – is key to being successful.
Stay tuned for more inspiring stories from women behind innovation in Espial.