Women at Instabase
In her next role, Bri was looking for a company where she was challenged to do good work, move the needle, and make a difference, and found that in Instabase. She believes that Instabase has the ability to bridge the gap between a great product and smart people, and has grown from a professional and personal standpoint during her tenure here. She hopes to inspire other women to step out of their comfort zone, and not be afraid to be the first one to do something.
Why did you join Instabase?
Before Instabase, I held various contracting positions with consulting firms and the federal government and never felt challenged to produce my best work. Oftentimes with government contracting you get paid simply to show up and the salary is the same regardless of impact. In my next role, I looked for a place where I was challenged to do good work, move the needle, and make a difference. I think the startup culture facilitates that drive, especially in the early stages because it is typically sink or swim. I wanted to have an impact, and I decided to join Instabase because I felt like I had the opportunity to make a change. I was the third employee hired for the federal practice, and because the team was small and scrappy, I knew it would be a great opportunity to help put Instabase on the map.
What sets Instabase apart from other startups you have worked at?
The culture at Instabase is a night and day difference from the culture I had experienced at the other startup I had worked with. Oftentimes startup culture is lacking, because the company is so focused on funding and survival. Employee experience and quality of life suffer as a result and the employees helping to build that company as well as the strength of collaboration are negatively affected. Instabase has the ability to bridge the gap between a great product and very smart people. I think here we have the benefit of people who care about work-life balance, fostering a collaborative environment, and most importantly our teammates don’t tear each other down. While being vulnerable is never easy, I feel comfortable asking questions and putting myself out there. Instabase feels like an environment that fosters growth both from a company and personal standpoint.
How does Instabase support you showing up as your true and authentic self?
I am passionate about working in a space that allows me to be my authentic self. My team and others at Instabase have put forth efforts to make sure I feel seen and accepted as a member of the Instabase family. The company has been transparent about our lack of diversity and our continued efforts in DEI. I think it is paramount that we hold our goals around diversity and inclusion in the same regard as we do our goals around product, sales and revenue. I feel optimistic about our honesty and our intent to move the company forward in the right direction.
How do you combat biases in the tech industry?
The most impactful thing you can do to combat bias is to recognize it, and admit it exists. Oftentimes, when we recognize bias, we don’t want to be attached to it, so we separate ourselves from it. When we avoid biases, both unconscious and conscious, it further exacerbates the suffering as well as the gap in equality and understanding. Biases and the way we treat people who are different is all of our problems. Being a Black, LGBT female in the tech industry is my personal badge of honor, but I am negatively affected by biases every day. All of that being said, just because I have been mistreated for the way I identify, does not give me the right to ignore the rest of the marginalized that are also mistreated. If I work to better understand people that are different from me, that will in turn allow people to better understand my life and the struggles I go through every day.
What is one piece of advice you would give to women starting in their careers?
I think the biggest piece of advice is don’t be afraid to be the first one to do something. Don’t be afraid to do the work just because historically it has only been done by men or someone who doesn’t look like you or is a different size than you. Sit in the front row, take the class, try the sport, wear the color, etc. Do the thing that feels right and feels natural to you once you remove all the fear. You will be surprised how great you are when you’re your genuine, brilliant, beautiful self. Once you do that there is truly no turning back.