March 8 was International Women’s Day, a day which recognizes the achievements of women past and present around the globe. It’s also a moment for women from all different backgrounds to celebrate each other and promote women’s rights.
At SōRSE Technology, we are proud that women represent nearly half of our workforce. We are scientists, engineers, project managers, product developers, strategists, flavorists, lab technicians, marketing experts, editors, technical business developers, chefs, and writers. We love what we do and aren’t afraid to fail because failure inevitably leads to learning, growth and success.
To honor this day and the many ways women have contributed to our world, we asked our team members to share stories of women who have had a positive influence on them and helped them become the people they are today.
Mel Burris, Lab Technician
“The most influential woman is my life is definitely my mom. She immigrated to America from Japan in ’81 to pursue “The American Dream.” After getting married and having two girls, my father came out of the closet and they separated. She persevered and worked five jobs to make ends meet, all while going to college and getting her teaching degree. Years later she remarried and is still thriving. She’s taught me about work ethic, emotional strength, Japanese culture, cooking, music…the list goes on and on. I could not praise her enough for what she’s done for me, even if I didn’t see it so clearly as a youth.”
Lee-Ann Loser, Director of Category Development and Client Relations
“I’d like to celebrate my past manager and now mentor, Hunter Oetinger. Early in my career, I joined a team of eager, extraverted people, and sometimes I couldn’t get a word in during team meetings. Hunter encouraged me to voice my thoughts to the group, reminded me that my words matter, asked me to remain open when I’m inevitably incorrect, and intentionally made space for me to contribute. This changed the way I speak up during meetings.
Just a couple of years later, I was regularly leading meetings of 20+ people and presenting in rooms of 200+ people. Hunter used her trail-blazing experience in a male-dominated industry to instill confidence in me and expedite my career. Women supporting women and leaders encouraging young women in business to speak up is key to building successful teams and businesses.”
Loni Mowbray, QA Manager
“My grandma Winnie was an unrepentant feminist badass, whether she ascribed the title to herself or not. She always took care of herself, to the point where she had cut off half a finger chopping wood to heat her house at one point in her life! She worked at Boeing during WWII, she painted, she made quilts, she traveled the world, and she did her own thing, always. She drove a 70’s Mustang GT for as long as I could remember and always took me out clothes shopping before every school year and let me get whatever I wanted – regardless of how questionable some of those choices may have been. She was always giving of her time and whatever resources she had, to help her community and family. Just by being who she was, she modeled self-reliance and self-assurance that you wouldn’t have expected from a woman of such small stature. I think unconsciously I took a little part of that and never questioned the idea that I could do whatever I wanted with my life and that I could make things happen.”
Dana Perkins, Communications Specialist
“From the time I was young, my mom encouraged me to think and write creatively and express myself clearly. Whenever I needed help with school, whether it was building a diorama of a ghost town, researching an ancient civilization for a report, or writing a poem, she was always there to lend a hand, read over my work, and make suggestions while not completely taking over. After college, when I told her I was offered a job writing and editing for a skateboarding magazine, she may have rolled her eyes — but still said I should take it because she knew how much I loved the written word. A few years later, when I told her I wanted to pursue a Masters in Writing, my mom didn’t ask, ‘What are you going to do with that?’ Instead, she said, ‘If it’s going to make you happy, you should do it. Wherever it takes you is where you are meant to go.’”
Stacy Primack, Director of Culinary
“Evelyn Katz was a force to be reckoned with. She was at the top of the food chain as a successful real estate agent in her city, as well as president of her synagogue. She told me that if I want something, I have to go after it. Always say yes; take every opportunity as a reason to grow. My grandmother’s spirit, her laugh, her noogies and hugs meant everything. She was there for almost every event in my life, always pushing me to do better and reach for things outside of my comfort zone. I will always be grateful to the woman who taught me to grab the bull by the horns! Rest in Love, Bubbie Katz.”
Michelle Sundquist, Director of Product Management and Development
“I would like to celebrate my mother-in-law, Nancy. She’s considerate, kind, and active in her community. She still skis even though she’s over 70 and she was the president of her condo board up until this year. She is independent, conservative, liberal, and a believer in women’s rights. Nancy worked as a bookkeeper while she was married and stood up for her right to be paid fairly. She remodeled her own kitchen on her own a few years ago. She loves to travel, spend time in the outdoors, and keeping in touch with her children and grandchildren. She also made my husband, and he turned out pretty well!
What I appreciate most about Nancy is that we are very different and similar at the same time. She helps me appreciate how people are different. I love asking her questions and hearing about her history and all the things that have happened during her life.”