March 8th is International Women’s Day. The mission of IWD for Women in Tech is to celebrate digital advancement and champion women forging innovation through technology. CleanSlate is celebrating by recognizing the women on our team all week long. Follow along each day to learn more about them, their roles, and why they believe celebrating IWD is important.
WOMEN OF CLEANSLATE
Name: Karlee Mason
City: Dayton, Ohio
Occupation: Marketing Coordinator
Tell us about yourself:
I graduated in 2017 with my B.S. in Organizational Leadership and spent the following 3.5 years working a leadership role in the retail industry. I recognized this was not the path I saw for myself long-term and started my marketing career in the tech world in 2020. That following year, I completed my Digital Media & Marketing Certificate online through Duke University. Come last year, I began my role as Marketing Coordinator here at CleanSlate. At the end of 2021, I was announced one of the Top 25 Women of Impact by WiBN for 2022 and I serve as the networking co-chair for Generation Dayton, a young professional’s organization. I am very active in the Dayton community and love supporting local businesses. I am a dog mom to a 4-year-old French bulldog named Yogi and in my free time I coach CrossFit at my local gym.
Who is your biggest influence?
My mother. She taught me how to independent, have purpose and grow up to be a strong woman. Through every decision I have made in life, she has been supportive and encouraged me to follow my heart.
How would you define women’s empowerment?
Women’s empowerment is about making women independent in their decisions – financial, social, economic, educational, etc. As a woman, being able to make decisions like this on your own provides the feeling of self-worth. All in all – women’s empowerment is about equality and fair treatment.
What did you want to be growing up?
I wouldn’t be able to count the number of career paths I wanted to take growing up on my two hands, I had always been so indecisive. I know when I hit my late-teens I wanted to be a psychologist.
If you could give advice to your younger self, what would it be?
Life is way too short to worry about what other people think of you or what they might be saying behind your back. Most of the time, people are just projecting onto you anyways. The only opinion that truly matters if what you think of yourself – hold onto that and be the best you can be for YOU.
What do you enjoy most about your role and working at CleanSlate?
Our company culture, our values, and the people on our team. Within my role, I love that my ideas are always heard and that no one day is the same. I get to try new things and get creative with how I execute my tasks. This team is truly unmatched! I couldn’t be more grateful to work for such a great company.
Is it important to celebrate IWD?
Yes. It is important to recognize the achievements of women. International Women’s Day provides an outlet to strengthen the support for women’s rights and equality. It opens space for individuals and organizations alike to have those conversations they might not otherwise have. While we’ve come a long way in celebrating achievement and having equal rights, we still have a way to go.
Why do you think it is important for young girls to consider roles in STEM?
Growing up, I was not exposed to or very aware of roles in STEM. The past few years working in the technology industry, I’ve learned so much about young girls being exposed to STEM, loving it and following their heart to explore a career/education in that path. We are really working toward shifting the status quo and correcting the negative perceptions to open the door for young girls to explore opportunities in math & science. It is not the path for everyone, but we should continue encouraging girls at a young age to pursue what makes them feel the most at home.
What are the main challenges facing women in IT presently? How do we overcome them?
I think the two biggest challenges are women not being taken seriously and the lack of female leadership roles. Unfortunately, there is a misconception somewhere that women are not as capable or as smart as men. We are again, working to change the status quo here. We are seeing more women taking these leadership roles and standing up for themselves when they aren’t feeling heard. When we take the stride to stand up for ourselves, what we believe in and what we want…we begin to set a new standard. We have a long way to go but together, we can continue breaking the bias.