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Etsy Data Engineering Director Shares Her Experience of Inclusion in Tech With Jenn Clevenger (S6E18)

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Tech companies aren’t always famous for their inclusive cultures. That’s a change Jenn Clevenger wants to see.

Jenn ClevengerJenn started out working in financial services software, but struggled to get noticed by companies outside of the FinTech space when she was ready for a change. She applied at Etsy but didn’t get the job, and decided to stay in FinTech after all.

But a year later, Etsy called back with a job offer. The timing wasn’t ideal—Jenn was seven months pregnant—but she jumped on the chance. Now, she’s worked at Etsy for four years and is currently their data engineering director. As a director, she’s in the position to take leadership in culture-building, which is why she’s all about the inclusivity conversation.

teamwork

In this episode, Jenn lets us in on the day in the life of a data engineering director, shares advice for building your career during pregnancy/parenthood, and talks about the importance of equality, inclusivity, and diversity in tech workplaces.

Key takeaways:

  • If you’re job-hunting while pregnant or about to start a family, find companies who are willing to look at the long-term opportunities and benefits of hiring you, rather than the short-term inconvenience.
  • Get clear on how inclusive a company is at the interview stage by asking questions about their parental leave policy, remote working options, attitudes to work/life balance, etc.
  • Learning and growth don’t stop when you’ve got the job—you can learn entirely new fields if you’re in a company that has a culture of supporting ongoing learning.
  • In a director role, most time is spent thinking strategically and forming a healthy culture rather than working with hands-on technologies day to day.
  • It’s important to make diversity and inclusion a normal day-to-day conversation, so there’s a culture of transparency and thoughtfulness in making sure diverse voices are heard throughout the company.

Links and mentions from the episode:

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