International Women’s Day: A Q&A with Ashley Sava
How long have you been a honey badger? Just over a month now.
Which location do you work for? Austin, Texas
What is your role in the company? I’m Pipefy’s Editor and Copywriter. I write copy for ads, craft content for the web and the blog, edit marketing materials and manage our social media channels.
How did you hear about Pipefy? I had a friend who seen the job opening at Pipefy on LinkedIn and thought the job description was very fitting of me. Attributes like “word nerd,” “content freak” and “grammar guru” must have stuck out to her. She referred me to the posting. After exploring more about Pipefy’s honey badger culture and figuring out that I could become an integral part of the startup experience, I was sold.
What kind of changes do you hope to see for women in your lifetime? I want all women to experience a change in men’s attitudes toward them due to a culture where boys are being brought up by parents and educators who speak on respect, gender equality and the perils of discrimination. I want to live in a country that doesn’t excuse rape by blaming the victims for being out too late, dressing a certain way or having too much to drink. I want my daughter never to know a time where she feels unsafe traveling the world on her own or God forbid getting into her car in a dark parking lot. I want to see more women in positions of power so that girls around the world see real examples of what they’re capable of. I want to stop hearing that specific duties and talents are for boys and others for girls. I want all dads to get paternity leave because they are parents, too, and they deserve to experience the early days of their child’s lives, but also because mothers deserve help from the father of their child. I want women to be able to have promising careers, and a family balance and the only way to do that is to perpetuate a culture where it isn’t assumed that only mothers take care of sick children, or only mothers attend their children’s kindergarten Valentine’s Day party or that only mothers bring their children to the dentist. I want it to be the cultural norm for all parents to share these tasks so that they can raise children who grow up seeing these things and continue a better cycle.
Who is your biggest inspiration as a woman? I was blessed with an abundance of hardworking and vociferous role models in my family. My own mother is one of the most selfless people I have ever met. Growing up she was first and foremost thinking of my sister and I, and to this day, she hasn’t changed. In fact, she has been taking care of my daughter, Delia, since Delia was six weeks old so that I wouldn’t have to give up my career. It has been one of the greatest blessings to my family as we have never had to worry about if Delia’s getting enough attention, if her needs are being met, if she’s safe, if she’s learning, if she’s happy…we know for a fact that my mother is going above and beyond caring for her, just as if she were her own daughter. I hope I can be half of the mother she is to me.
My maternal grandmother has been working hard her entire life. She still is. She had my mom at 16 years old, so she had it rough from the get-go. She is inspirational because she provided for my mom and aunt on her own and taught them to be independent and demonstrated that a woman doesn’t need a man to be a great parent, provider or protector. She raised two very amazing and hardworking daughters who are generous, candid and intelligent. Her daughters are great reflections of her.
What kind of values do you think women specifically contribute to the workforce? There is certainly something to be said about women bringing more organizational dedication to companies. Additionally, women tend to exhibit stronger communication skills along with a more ‘in touch’ intuition. In order to maintain a well-rounded workforce, a certain level of emotional intelligence should be established. Females sometimes appear to have a better knack for decoding verbal cues and body language, making them effective problem solvers.
Do you have any plans to celebrate International Women’s Day? I plan on having real discussions with individuals who truly don’t understand why we have International Women’s Day. I often overhear people (men and older women) arguing that there is no reason we should be celebrating such a day when women can already do everything men can do. They don’t realize that women still have plenty to fight for. Some men feel threatened that if women make any more progress that we will be threatening their egos and their livelihoods. Older generations see more working moms climbing the ranks and closing the wage gaps and think we’re silly to complain about anything these days—after all, years ago things were so much worse. However, it’s crucial for all parties to know the day we stop fighting is the day history begins to repeat itself.
Although my daughter is only two, I will take these International Women’s Days as extra teaching moments of empowerment. She will be raised in a home where she will be encouraged to pursue her passions and both of her parents will instill in her a spirit of liberation, equality and acceptance. It’s equally important, if not more so, for her to see her father modeling these empowering behaviors and teachings. My hope is that she will stand up against all prejudice, fight for fairness and never get disheartened by corrupt systems.
What advice would you give to a young woman starting her career? Walk into every interview, every meeting and every situation like you are supposed to be there. Insecurity, intimidation and timidness has a stench. The less confident you are, the more likely you will be used as a doormat. The meeker you are, the more likely it is that you will fade into oblivion. There is nothing wrong with being outspoken, courageous and fearless. As Laurel Thatcher Ulrich said, well-behaved women seldom make history.