womenAs of 2010 the International Labour Organization reported that 53% of women were employed in the public service realm. This predominantly included positions in education and healthcare, as well as some in trade, transportation, and local government. However according to the same study, women accounted for only 43% of the workforce in technical and scientific services, and less than 10% of the workforce in the construction sector.

In an industry where women are so largely under represented, Inspired LED is proud to have an equal number of men and women on our staff. From sales and marketing, to shipping and technical support, the ladies in our office play an integral role in the day to day operations that keeps our business running.

So today, in honor of International Women’s Day, we take a moment to recognize the outstanding contributions of our female employees, as well as to acknowledge the important work of women everywhere…

 

cherylAs part owner and general manager of Inspired LED, Cheryl Jang handles big picture decision making- from inbound purchasing, and inventory, to sales analysis and new employee recruitment. She has dedicated the past few years to building our company from the ground up, taking Inspired LED from a one room start-up to the successful business we are today.

Question: Who is your favorite female role model?
Answer: Michelle Obama. She can wear a dress twice, and make it the cool thing to do– there are many other reasons I like and admire her, but she’s saved me a lot of money in the last 8 years!

Question: What is one challenge you have overcome as a woman in the workplace?
Answer: I used to work for a small start-up company (then, 100 people), and they didn’t have any leave-policies for maternity, or stated benefits for medical coverage during a leave. So the CEO allowed me and a few other women (all pregnant at the time) to create a policy. That company is now a multi-billion worldwide corporation with several thousand employees, and they continue to have great benefits!

 

AudiAudi Gasparini is our queen of customer service. With a master’s degree in behavioral science, Audi applies her skills each to oversee order processing, return merchandise, and technical support. Chances are if you ever call or email us with a question about LED products or system layouts, you’ll get your answer straight from her, or from one of her well-trained team members.

Question: Who is your favorite female role model?
Answer: My aunt Heather. She is the founding dean of the School of Nursing at UC Davis and one of the most driven and intelligent people I know. Aside from her educational accomplishments and relentless ambition, she is the best person to be around. Her humor is infectious and her sense of adventure is unparalleled. It is amazing to now look back as an adult and realize that all along I was growing up right next to my hero. Hands down the most amazing woman I’ve met!

Question: What is one challenge you have overcome as a woman in the workplace?
Answer: When I first started at Inspired LED it was technically challenging and a new subject I was determined to master. I had excellent training from my co-workers who simplified concepts and provided demonstrations that made me feel confident in my abilities to sell, support, and work with our products and others in the field. However, there were countless instances where customers would question my suggestions, my technical assistance, and ultimately my knowledge. Some insinuated, while others directly attributed, that due to my gender I didn’t know what I was talking about. It took time to overcome this burden and be confident in my abilities as an employee, as someone in a technical industry, and as a female to acknowledge that my experience and training has allowed me to be a competent individual in this field.

 

SuzieThe Inspired LED warehouse and shipping departments are kept organized and efficient by our Fulfillment Manager, Suzie Corrales. Each day she collaborates with our manufacturing team to ensure our Amazon stores are well-stocked with the latest and greatest products- and on particularly busy days it is not uncommon to find her in the trenches with soldering-iron in hand.

Question: Who is your favorite female role model?
Answer: My female role model is Maya Angelou. Throughout her lifetime she used her beautiful artistic abilities to shine a light on equal rights for women and people of color, and her strong personality proved that anyone can help to inspire change.

Question: What is one challenge you have overcome as a woman in the workplace?
Answer: One of the biggest challenges I have overcome is being a working mom. It can be difficult to balance accomplish all my tasks here at the office and still have enough energy to care for my daughter when I get home, but I take a lot of pride in both aspects of my life. It’s also kind of cool to be the only woman that works with our manufacturing technicians. Even though I’m a proud female, it’s nice to know that I can still hang with the boys!

 

LilingAs our head accountant, Liling Dutton has a crucial role in our company. It is thanks to her diligent oversight and careful calculations that we are able to operate within budgetary constraints, and meet annual sales goals.

Question: Who is your favorite female role model?
Answer: I admire women who have made their mark in the world of science and technology, like Marie Curie and Chien- Shiung Wu.

Question: What is one challenge you have overcome as a woman in the workplace?
Answer: As a working mom, I often have to find creative ways to balance work and home life. Between school and social functions for the kids, there can be a lot of back and forth- especially during summer break! Fortunately I have been able to keep my work schedule fairly flexible, even working from home from time to time in order to ensure I am there to support my family as much as possible.

 

ericaErica Roselli is the head of our Sales Department, responsible for reaching out to new business partners and supporting existing distributors with a range of trainings and resources. She is also our chief website administrator, and manages our social-media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Houzz.

Question: Who is your favorite female role model?
Answer: My Mother! She can juggle anything the world throws at her with grace, determination, and without shedding a tear. She is real in every sense of the term, and isn’t afraid to tell it like it is! I’m pretty sure every single day I do at least one thing and in my head I say, “ERICA YOUR ACTING LIKE YOUR MOTHER”, and I’m okay with that!

Question: What is one challenge you have overcome as a woman in the workplace?
Answer: While I’m not quite sure I’ve overcome it, I am definitely working every day to battle the stigma of being a woman in a “man’s” field. It can be difficult at times to deal with contractors, electricians, builders, or other business owners who don’t take what I’m saying seriously because of my gender. This is when I need to remind myself that I know what I’m talking about, and stand my ground.

 

KristaOur marketing department is headed by Krista Robertson, who applies her language and creativity skills each day, not just in creating sales graphics and social media campaigns, but also to designing all of our spec sheets, writing our instructional materials, and overseeing new product development.

Question: Who is your favorite female role model?
Answer: I have always looked up to those women who dedicate their lives to human rights and civil liberties, especially those who take great risks by bucking “traditional” female roles in the process. It’s impossible to pick a favorite, but Septima Clark’s work as a leader and an educator has always inspired me.

Question: What is one challenge you have overcome as a woman in the workplace?
Answer: Right out of college, I began my career as an elementary school teacher, working 12 hour days with low income students here in the Valley. Although I loved my work, after several years of struggling to pay my bills, I had little choice but to move into the private sector. I went through months of interviews where my skills in graphic design, instructional planning, and data collection were minimized as simple “child care” experience. It was extremely discouraging to be seen as little more than a babysitter. But I refused to give up, and eventually I was given the opportunity at Inspired LED to demonstrate my abilities in a new field.

 

Hazel2Hazel Ochoa is officially the youngest female member of our team at Inspired LED, but never the less, her aspirations and intellect have quickly made her a key player here. Whether she’s answering customer questions, designing systems layouts, or assisting with order processing, her contributions ensure your orders are fulfilled quickly and correctly.

Question: Who is your favorite female role model?
Answer: This is so cliché, but my number one role model is definitely my mom. She came to the U.S. with nothing but us, her little family of four. Now she’s back in school pursuing a second degree, working hard, and still managing to be an amazing mom/friend. Nothing stops or slows her down.

Question: What is one challenge you have overcome as a woman in the workplace?
Answer: Accepting people’s expectations. We work closely with some electricians who have their own companies and years of experience in their field. They come in frequently and assume that I wouldn’t know about transformers, installing wall switches, trouble shooting, etc. I’m sure my age and the way I look doesn’t help. Anytime they brush me aside or ask to speak with someone else it just motives me to continue to expand my knowledge in the field as well as challenges me break through that stereotype.

 

RebeccaRebecca Yazzio is one of our dedicated order management specialists, who spends her day providing crucial assistance and support to our customers. From answering installation questions and writing up invoices, to spot-checking packages for shipment, she helps to make sure our products arrive at your door in tip-top shape!

Question: Who is your favorite female role model?
Answer:  My mom is my number one female role model. She is a very strong, independent woman who has the kindest heart. She motivates me to continue pushing myself in all aspects.

Question: What is one challenge you have overcome as a woman in the workplace?
Answer: The most difficult thing I think I deal with on a daily basis is people’s expectations about my ability to answer technical questions. Customer service is an all-female team, and we work hard to ensure we are well-trained and knowledgeable about our products, but it’s surprising how often customers seem to assume we “girls” don’t know what we’re talking about. It is always nice to hear the awe in peoples’ voices as they thank us for answering their questions quickly and appropriately. Hopefully it makes them reconsider their expectations about women in tech!

 

Jessica2As our receptionist and office administrator, Jessica Whaley is more often than not the first person you will interact with when reaching out to Inspired LED. She serves as the gateway to our company, while managing internal affairs, and simultaneously lending a hand to just about every other department as needed.

Question: Who is your favorite female role model?
Answer: My role model would have to be my mom. She is the most kind-hearted woman I know, almost to a fault. She opens her arms and doors to anyone in need while staying strong and independent.

Question: What is one challenge you have overcome as a woman in the workplace?
Answer: While working at a gas station I quickly rose from cashier to assistant manager. I really wanted to be the manager of that location, so I taught myself how to do everything the store required to run efficiently. Unfortunately by boss didn’t think I could handle it; likely because I was a 19 year old female. Eventually I switched jobs and became the General Manager of my own establishment. Very rewarding!

 

Our business simply could not operate without the hard-working females who dedicate themselves each and every day to the success of our business, and our customers. Today, as always, we celebrate their accomplishments, and pledge to working toward a brighter future for all!


Inspired LED is an equal-opportunity employer dedicated to ensuring all of our valued customers and employees are treated with respect, regardless of gender, race, religion, origin, or affiliation. For more information on our team, visit our website, or email us directly at orders@inspiredled.com.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilo.org/washington/areas/gender-equality-in-the-workplace/WCMS_159496/lang–en/index.htm