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Celebrating the women of Hotjar

March 6, 2020 by Fio Dossetto

It's almost International Women's Day, and here at Hotjar's Content HQ it felt like a good time to celebrate the women who propel Hotjar forward all year round—the ones who write the code that makes our product work, the ones with their noses deep into financial spreadsheets and legal papers, the ones who answer your questions whenever you might need support, the ones who built the website you're on, and the ones who help our 100% distributed team grow.

Because we're big on surveys and feedback, I ran an internal survey using Hotjar 😉and asked our 30+ female Hotjarians (also known as 'Hotjarettes') 3 questions:

  • What's the most empowering moment you've had in your career?
  • Who's a woman you find inspiring, and why?
  • How has working remotely at Hotjar changed your life?
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A wordcloud generated from answers to the second survey question

Featured below are the answers from the Hotjarettes who completed the survey. Read and celebrate them with us—and check out our careers page, while you're at it: perhaps next year your name will be on this page, too 😉


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Coleen Bachi - Customer Experience Lead

What's the most empowering moment of your career?

Five years ago, I was working as a high school counselor. I loved my students but the day to day demands (paperwork!) and challenges (red tape!) left me longing for a different kind of personal challenge. Thanks to a chance encounter at my gym, I learned of an opening for a Customer Success job at a local startup and interviewed the next day. Most people thought I was crazy: Why would you leave a stable job (pension, summers off, great healthcare) for this tech job? How are you going to raise a family? How will you fare in such a competitive environment?

The truth was all of that exhilarated me, but everyone's questions made me question it. I decided to take the leap and do it anyway. This was by far the boldest I have been in my entire life (I've always played it safe!) and I look back on that moment as a the most defining point of my adult life.


A woman who inspires you is...

Megan Rapinoe. She's undeniably herself. She speaks her mind. She goes against the grain for what many expect women in a leadership position to act like. She is unapologetic.


How has working remotely at Hotjar impacted your life?

You don't realize it until you look back, but the time you save working from home isn't just for your own productivity. I've gotten hours and hours back with my family - hours that I previously didn't even know I was missing. On top of that, I have more time to take care of myself (walking the dog at lunch, for example) so when I do get to be with my family I am more present.

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Melissa Mauk - Finance Manager

What's the most empowering moment of your career?

When I was an undergraduate student I volunteered a few hours a week at the Women's Center on campus. After the first year I was made one of the volunteer leads and part of my work was helping their bookkeeper with financial tasks. When the bookkeeper quit part way through my third year of school, the Women's Center offered me the chance to become the bookkeeper. It was an amazing opportunity to have a real and impactful job while still in school. And more amazingly, they included me in staff meetings and decisions being made, they trusted me and treated me as if I was an equal to everyone else on staff.


A woman who inspires you is...

Ellen Plummer. Ellen is an amazing person who showed me how to be a leader and how to deal with difficult political issues. She was the Director at the Women's Center where I was a student volunteer and she managed the conservative university culture while also teaching all of us how to manage tricky situations with grace. She even managed to convince a conservative university system to allow and support us in putting on the Vagina Monologues (which raised $15k for the local women's shelter).


How has working remotely at Hotjar impacted your life?

Hotjar has allowed me to work through some of the toughest times of my life by giving me flexibility and support. They have also given me a chance to try new areas of work outside of my work history that have allowed me to grow in my work and as a person.

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ALEX HADJIDAKI - Front-end developer

What's the most empowering moment of your career?

While I was studying Computer Science, I was always working in one of the University’s departments. I started as an assistant in the Computer Center and soon worked my way up to the Distance Learning Unit, where I worked with both professors and students to get the new platform set up and running, then supporting the program for about 3 years. I never really had the “student life”, but I got so much out of it and it was the stepping stone that got me to where I am today.

I soon became interested in Web Development and after taking a few courses online, I started freelancing building websites with two friends that were studying Web Design. That’s when a lawyer from the US, Patricia Martin, reached out to me about starting a new program in Cyprus, OWAAT, to help abused women self-represent in court for the right of no-contact.

It was my first experience working with individuals all over the world, towards a common goal, that had such an impact on the local community. It gave me the opportunity so early in my career to see what a difference I can make through Web Development, that’s when I realized this was the path for me.


A woman who inspires you is...

Blanca Casielles, my mom. She’s always been a dreamer, but more importantly, a doer leading by example.

She has taught me to face challenges head-on and follow my dreams no matter how crazy they seem to everyone else. How to be independent and see the positive in everything that life throws at you. How to be open to all opportunities and experiences that come my way.

She showed me how to be a strong woman in all her glory: genuine, caring, supportive, self-confident, and vulnerable. How to be my true, unique, self and still respect life, people, nature, and all the diversity that comes with it.

I wouldn’t be who I am today if it wasn’t for her love and support.


How has working remotely at Hotjar impacted your life?

It has been a turning point in both my career and my life. Before joining Hotjar, my first remote job, I was stuck in a routine and professional path where I couldn’t find the time to take care of myself or advance my career in a way that fulfilled me.

I soon realized I had fallen into depression and didn’t see a way out of it. That’s when a dear work friend of mine let me know about an open position at Hotjar and I thought to myself there was nothing to lose by trying. Little did I know that I would be offered the position and it would change my life in so many ways.

Over the past two years, it has made good times even better and bad times easier to go through, the support you are given in every aspect is simply unique.

I am surrounded by the most amazing individuals I’ve ever met, in a company culture that shares my own core values so deeply. I’ve been able to be truly independent, travel more, experience more, take care of myself better and have real control over how I spend my time and live my life. I can’t wait to see where else it will take me!

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Meaghan Jones - Customer Experience Ops

What's the most empowering moment of your career?

When I finished my degree in Latin American Politics I didn't have much of an idea what a career looked like for someone who had studied that, so I moved to Latin America to try to see if I could find a job in an Embassy or an NGO in the region. I wasn't able to find jobs that fit into my requirements so I ended up writing about environmental risks, editing master and Ph.D. theses, and teaching English to business professionals.

While I liked the work, it was a lot of gigs and didn't feel like I had a career path that I was excited about. I quit working for six months, went to code school, and learned how to program. When I finished I started looking for jobs and got hired at Hotjar as a Support Engineer. It didn't take long before it clicked that I was on the right career path for me; I was energized by the challenges I faced, I was learning new things daily, and I could see a clear career progression. I had found my place in the SaaS world! I still feel that way after three years at Hotjar.


A woman who inspires you is...

Sonja Jones. Sonja is my sister. She was working in the tech field before me. When she saw I wasn't finding my current work fulfilling she suggested that get into tech too. Her idea was that I learn how to code as a starting point. I found a code school, graduated, and started at Hotjar after only one month looking for jobs. If it wasn't for her inspiring me to find my niche in tech, I might still be looking for it.


How has working remotely at Hotjar impacted your life?

I have always wanted to live in Brazil and continue to learn the language and travel around the country. When I got the job at Hotjar, it let me pursue the career I wanted while living in the place I wanted. I've also always had a hard time imagining staying in one place for a long time. With Hotjar it doesn't matter too much where I am, I can still work!

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Sara Bent - People Ops Specialist

What's the most empowering moment of your career?

I think the most empowering moment so far has been in figuring out what I want my career to be! So nothing earth shattering, but it's taken me a while to be clear on that. Both the environment within Hotjar, and talking things through with several people who I've met through working here, have helped with this.

That and, on a sillier note, having to suddenly act out an improvised scene as Sherlock Holmes at one of our company meetups. It was a surprisingly fun and so quite empowering moment for somebody who is deeply uncomfortable with public speaking!


A woman who inspires you is...

Diana de Jesus. Every time I speak to Diana I walk away wanting to do more and be better, in any and every area of my life. The word 'badass' isn't one I use often but it sums Diana up perfectly. It's not only that she's smart and motivated, she's so driven that it rubs off on you without her even trying . And when she is aiming to motivate, the advice she gives really hits home. On top of all this inspiration, she's also incredibly caring and wonderful fun to be around (her and her adorable family!). I'm delighted to have her in my life - which wouldn't be the case if it weren't for Hotjar.


How has working remotely at Hotjar impacted your life?

Working remotely at Hotjar has impacted my life in two main ways.

With work, Hotjar has given me the type of environment I'd always wanted to work in. One in which it's built into the values of the company to care about the people in it. This has given me a platform for, and helped me to hone in on, the type of work I want to be doing (within the People Ops realm).

Outside of work, having a remote job has given me the freedom to keep travelling, whilst still growing in my career. In my younger days my work was more of a means to an end - save up money, quit job, travel, repeat. When I found this job at Hotjar I was looking specifically for remote work. I wanted to continue to travel but without having to be restricted by how often I could, and without having to change jobs each time I changed country.

So working here at Hotjar has impacted my life a lot so far, and I'm looking forward to seeing how it continues to do so!

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Estefania Rabadan Martinez - Data Engineer

What's the most empowering moment of your career?

The first time I was referred to as the person of reference for Data Engineering projects. I was working in a previous company and we were having a meeting involving a lot of areas and a problem related to event flow appeared in the conversation, and the room just looked at me in silence listening to my proposed solution.

Data Engineering and Big Data are pretty new areas and it's very empowering being recognized as an 'expert' after so many years working on it.


A woman who inspires you is...

Victoria Rabadan Martinez (my sister). She has shown me how to fight adversity, how to laugh in misery and how to love unconditionally. She also has shown me the power of sisterhood and how supporting each other through every moment in life is way more important than the small difference we may have. I've also learnt from her the importance of knowing yourself, know what you want in life and fight for it.


How has working remotely at Hotjar impacted your life?

It helped me balance way better my personal wellbeing with work. Being able to go and see my family whenever I feel it and be able to work from there. Also traveling anywhere in the world without having to worry about the number of holidays (for example, now I'm in Costa Rica). Be able to move around without having to worry about changing jobs... just be able to do what I love anywhere I want makes me so happy.

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Kristina Maleeva - Inside Sales Specialist

What's the most empowering moment of your career?

Graduating at the top of my Columbia University's MBA class, despite having to work full-time and traveling every other week (for work) throughout the entire 2 years.


A woman who inspires you is...

Mom. She always sees the bright side of everything, even in the darkest of times. She is loving, caring, determined, positive, sensitive, courageous, supportive....She captures the hearts of everyone she meets. Every day I aspire to be more like her, even though the shoes are way too big to fill.


How has working remotely at Hotjar impacted your life?

It's allowed me to be a mom AND have a career at the same time, and feel fulfilled in both!

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Siobhan Hyser - Support Specialist

What's the most empowering moment of your career?

There have been a lot of great moments since, but getting the offer from Hotjar changed my life. I remember where I was when I got the email and thinking "this changes everything." I hadn't really had a career per se at that point, just jobs. Hotjar has allowed me to learn and grow, making a career for myself instead of having just another job.


A woman who inspires you is...

Jane Digby. A British noblewoman, she never let anyone tell her how to live her life. She hasn't been treated well by (mostly male) historians because her choices went against every convention of her time. Mary Lovell's A Scandalous Life is a wonderful biography that shows how vibrant, adventurous, and caring Jane was.

One thing that always sticks in my mind is how she went into the desert with her Bedouin Sheik husband every year - she expected no special treatment, dressed as a Bedouin, and helped with all the duties of camp life on the way. She was also friends with other famous explorers like Sir Richard Burton. I may not have half the adventures she did, but I hope I am having just as much fun!


How has working remotely at Hotjar impacted your life?

I've met people and gone places I would never have otherwise. The desire to hire the best and brightest regardless of location means we have an amazing group of colleagues from everywhere, many of whom I now consider friends. It's wonderful to feel so connected to so many people in so many countries.

Remote work also gives me more control over my work environment which has reduced my everyday anxiety and improved my quality of work. I don't have to worry if I'm conforming to a dress code, I can cook more at home for meals and snacks, and I don't have the stress of a commute. The past few years haven't always been easy but I'm now in a place mentally, physically, and professionally I never expected to be.

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Bee Strydom - Paid Marketing Lead

What's the most empowering moment of your career?

Becoming a Hotjarette of course! Hotjar has a very intensive but super effective hiring process and at the time of interviewing, I had just had my baby at 30 weeks premature. I interviewed/completed my task for Hotjar from the NICU unit for 3 weeks. When I got the job at Hotjar, it was one of the most empowering moments in my career because I knew that even under the most stressful and draining of circumstance, I was capable and strong.

Two other moments that come to mind; giving digital training to disadvantaged people here in South Africa as part of a fast-paced 3-month digital skills course initiative by Google. We placed 100% students in real, paying jobs which was very rewarding. Facilitating all GoogleServe initiatives across the African continent, which included an initiative in 2015 whereby our small team ensured that 28 children were fed for 2 years.


A woman who inspires you is...

Allison Esposito, who founded “Tech Ladies” - a highly engaged community and business that supports women in tech. Tech Ladies is arguably one of the best online and remote communities I have been a part of, and was one of the big reasons I discovered and grew a big love for SaaS marketing. Allison is passionate about women empowering women, remote work, supporting working mothers with families, diversity, inclusion and bootstrapped tech companies. Helping one woman helps all women - and Allison has and is empowering so many.

Secondly, my little sister, Megan van Leeuwen. I am proud to say that she has followed my footsteps into online marketing/remote life! Meg is currently making a tough move across the world with her little family. She is brave, she is strong, she is capable and she is a great mother


How has working remotely at Hotjar impacted your life?

Joining Hotjar has been life-changing. When I switch on my Mac in the morning, I literally open a portal to the rest of the world (my 101 colleagues are located in over 25 different locations). Working at Hotjar has allowed me to engage daily with the most interesting, caring and forward-thinking people on the planet, to really feel truly valued and to do deep, meaningful and fun work.
Not only that, but it has allowed my very young family to move to a gorgeous coastal town in South Africa, giving my little babies a better, fruitful and much safer life, but without having to compromise on my strong, growing and satisfying career.

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Tawni Sattler - Content Writer

What's the most empowering moment of your career?

Realizing that I get to choose my own path.

Where you start vs where you end up are 100% in your control. Make the decision to grow in the direction *you* want to grow in, and then… just start growing.


A woman who inspires you is...

Kim Scott. I just finished reading Radical Candor, so Kim's stories and advice are fresh in my mind. She's not only a bad-ass boss, but she is *serious* about caring for her people and encouraging them to bring their whole selves to work. Kim is proof that women in charge don't have to sacrifice their humanity (or their lives/desires outside of work) to have success—whatever their version of success might be.


How has working remotely at Hotjar impacted your life?

I'm still relatively new, but already Hotjar has impacted my life a great deal! Working from home is amazing, especially as a mom of two. I can fit my schedule around special school days or appointments, and can even work after the kids' bedtime if it makes sense. My calendar is *mine*. I also still have time to develop professionally, beyond onboarding or just "learning the ropes."

I fell in love with Hotjar's work culture right away. The team's support and encouragement are *real*; everyone I've met has been genuinely kind. I freelanced before working at Hotjar, and it feels so good to be able to work my way, but to be a part of a team again, at the same time—to be a part of something bigger than my assignments.

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Mafalda Melo - Support Team Lead

What's the most empowering moment of your career?

When I quit my job and spoke up about the abusive and toxic environment in my department. While I did it out of principle, as it turns out, it was the final proof needed to remove the source of the issues. Never be afraid to challenge the status quo - you never know how many people are silent out of fear.


A woman who inspires you is...

Lurdes. Saying "my mum" is a cliché, but I haven't seen a challenge she can't overcome. Everyone in my life knows that if you have a problem, Lurdes will fix it. I can only hope to be as accomplished, resourceful and kind as she is.


How has working remotely at Hotjar impacted your life?

It has massively improved my quality of life. I no longer have to commute for 2 hours a day (though I miss having an excuse to go through my podcast backlog!) and I have more time and resources to dedicate to my mental and physical health. I've also made a ton of incredible memories -- riding all the coasters at Universal and Disney in Orlando comes immediately to mind!

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Kayleigh Dibble - Paid Marketing Specialist

What's the most empowering moment of your career?

Sharing my very personal story about health and imposter syndrome with practically the whole company at our meetup in Portugal. Not only did this help me to overcome my fear of speaking in front of an audience, but also I found it incredibly uplifting, especially when I learnt that I wasn’t alone with my feelings.


A woman who inspires you is...

Giovanna Fletcher. Gi is a busy Mum to 3 boys, but also an incredibly successful woman. She is an incredibly selfless and friendly woman and I love how she sees life for what it is, without trying to paint a perfect fairytale of every event. I love how she openly shows herself in her raw form with messy hair, tired eyes, crying because she feels like it, carrying baby weight and feeling no pressure to conform to society's views on what a Mum should look like 2 years after having a baby.


How has working remotely at Hotjar impacted your life?

Working remotely has enabled me to improve my health massively. Before joining Hotjar, I was overweight, with a really bad spinal injury that was at risk of needing major surgery. I am able to go to the gym 3 times a week and work in an environment that enables me to be healthy and happy. Thanks to Hotjar, I've now been discharged from the neurosurgeon!

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Sharon Biggar - Director of Demand Generation

What's the most empowering moment of your career?

This is a tough one. Not sure it has happened yet....but it's early days at Hotjar so perhaps it's coming soon.


A woman who inspires you is...

Kate Sheppard. New Zealand was the first country in the world to give women the vote and this is largely due to Kate Sheppard's efforts travelling around the country inspiring women to ask for the vote and getting 32,000 of them to sign a petition to allow women to vote.


How has working remotely at Hotjar impacted your life?

Bye bye two hour commute! Now I get to walk my kids to school some mornings and go to a local dance class twice a week. It's really helped me to feel more integrated in my local community.

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Fio Dossetto

Fio manages editorial production at Hotjar, generally over-uses em dashes, and makes sure we publish specific, actionable pieces—with a sprinkle of our signature style on top.