Celebrating the Women of Canary on International Women’s Day

Cassie Li
March 8, 2022

For more than 100 years, March 8th has been set aside across the globe as a day to acknowledge the critical role of female leadership in the workplace, politics and society at large. At Canary, we would like to mark this International Women’s Day by highlighting the amazing women on our team who provide incredible leadership and support within our organization every day of the year. 

So without further ado, here are a few fascinating facts about the awesome women at Canary.

How did you get into/when did you realize you wanted to work in hospitality tech?

As an avid traveler and innovative technology enthusiastic, I've always been excited about how technology can improve the lives of businesses and their end users.

- Ani Ghazarossian, Customer Success Manager

What did you do before working at Canary?

I was furloughed from my last position due to Covid, but my previous few jobs were also in Human Resources. Before that, I worked part-time while being in shows!

- Kristen Morale, Senior Recruiting Coordinator

What qualities make a great leader?

Patience- for challenging customers and handling process changes|

- for your team and cross functional partners

- with your customers and team in showing where you're limited and what can and can't be built into your product at the time

- startup environments are challenging, starting the day with gratitude and positivity helps to navigate the challenges/fires that crop up through out the day

Flexibility- expect the unexpected and that agendas/ roadmaps/ schedules rarely go to planPerspective- the work that we're doing is important and meaningful to people's business and our own, but we're not curing cancer, no one is dying on our watch. Sacrificing your health, mental or physical, is not worth it for any job and understanding that, and ensuring that your team understands that is key to preventing burnout and protecting your team in the long run.

- Nina Wilkinson, VP of Customer Success

What inspires you and why?

I'm inspired by people who know what they want out of life - that solid sense of identity is something I always struggled with. I'm inspired by guts, and people who take risks without thinking about "how" or "why". I love confidence, minus the ego.

- Kristen Morale, Senior Recruiting Coordinator

I find people's stories of overcoming adversity inspiring to help put things into perspective. More recently, I was inspired by Captain Tom Moore who weeks before his 100th birthday raised over £30 million to raise money for the NHS. The idea that the biggest adventure can happen when you are almost 100 pushes me to always think bigger.

- Ani Ghazarossian, Customer Success Manager

Who do you look up to and why?

SDR team - they have the hardest job in the company and it takes dedication and persistence (and a hard skin!) to do that role

-Sharon Hales, Technical Project Manager

I've always looked up to my dad since I was very young. He came to the United States with one suitcase and $200, and has been able to continue to re-invent his life and career when faced with obstacles.

-Ani Ghazarossian, Customer Success Manager

I look up to my Mom with the utmost love and respect. She is a huge inspiration of hope, dedication and the American Dream! 

My Mom grew up in the Philippines, came to the US in her young 20s to fulfill her residency, which was a big sacrifice to leave her family and homeland to pursue a better life for her future family.  She married my Dad, had 8 children in 9 years while she was working full time. Together with my Dad, my parents gave us a wonderful, memorable, happy childhood, educated us in top schools and instilled solid values, which we try to instill in our kids. 

- Lillibeth Carson, Account Executive

What do you think is the biggest challenge in the industry for women?

Keeping a well-balanced life. 

Also, in the sales industry, one of the biggest challenges I have faced is with prospects who did not take women sales professionals seriously, was condescending or inappropriate, so you must know when to walk away, or to look beyond that to help the business with the best solution.

- Lillibeth Carson, Account Executive

What is your biggest challenge personally?

Losing weight - it is hard being married to a chef!!

-Sharon Hales, Technical Project Manager

The imposter syndrome. Doubting my work skills, my language ability, my ways of presenting myself. This list can go on and on.

- Zi Long, SDR

What is your greatest achievement?

My greatest professional achievement is how much I've grown as a graphic designer, since college to the present, and learning to stand in my expertise and confidence. I've gained 95% of my business from word-of-mouth and referrals from great relationships I've created, and continue to grow in my career.

-Cassie Li, Graphic Designer

Being financially independent since I turned 18 while making a living in a new country.

-Zi Long, SDR

What advice would you give to women starting their careers? Or if you could go back in time to give yourself advice when you were first starting out, what would you say?

I would say be confident and perceptive. Don't let people make fun of you or put you down. Women are powerful in more ways than one, so there's no reason to feel inferior!

- Kristen Morale, Senior Recruiting Coordinator

Stick with it! Ignore the put-downs, rude remarks and put your head up and get on with it / those around you who want you to fail are just trying to make themselves look better but finally hard work and determination will allow you to achieve your life goals

-Sharon Hales, Technical Project Manager

Be kind to yourself. It's sometimes easy to say you're not where you want to be, or you haven't made as much progress as your peers. One thing I've had to remind myself is that each time you hit a milestone or achievement the goal post moves and if you actually take stock of what you've accomplished and what's different about how you work or where you are today from 5 years ago to last year to 6 months ago, the progress you've made is actually significant.

The practical advice I would give is to ask for help. Especially early on in your career, most people take joy in helping others and giving advice but they're not asked. When you do reach out to someone for advice or help, be specific in the ask and why you want their unique help or opinion. Don't just blast people on LinkedIn, be intentional and thoughtful about what you're looking for and why from that person.

-Nina Wilkinson, VP of Customer Success

I would say to women starting their careers, to always be looking for opportunities and not to be afraid to ask for help, referrals, etc. Find a mentor or someone you look up to and learn by doing, and by observation.

-Cassie Li, Graphic Designer

You are capable of doing so much more than you think you can, so follow your passions, and take risks!  Also, be grateful for God’s blessings, as they are bountiful! 

-Lillibeth Carson, Account Executive

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