Celebrating International Women’s Day At The Hive

International Women’s Day is a global day designated to celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. At Aerohive (affectionally referred to as “the Hive”) we are committed to the advancement and development of all our employees, including women.

We value diversity and pledge to root out workplace bias. As with years past, we like to spotlight some of our employees on this annual day of celebration.

Meet some of the women helping Aerohive grow:

Bonni Buenrostro Hoogwater, Finance Manager, Netherlands

Joined the Hive in: June 2014

Biggest challenge working in our Dutch office: “Without physical presence of supporting departments like IT or Facilities, we have to rely on our own creativity and flexibility. Never a dull moment!”

What are you most proud of working at the Hive? “I have two kids (15 & 17) and they are proud that I work at the Hive because it’s our Wi-Fi solution that is installed in their school.”

Top female role mentor:Angela Merkel, German Chancellor. She has been a powerhouse woman in European politics for the past 10 years. I don’t think anyone sees her differently just because she is a woman; she is as much one of the top politicians in Europe as the others. She is decisive, strict, but compassionate at the same time. For instance when Germany was the first European country to provide shelter on a large scale for the refugees from across the Mediterranean.”

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?  “I wish everyone could live in a safe environment and be able to provide for their family. The current situation in large parts of the world is appalling: Entire families are fleeing their countries and undertaking dangerous journeys to escape a future of oppression and uncertainty, and thus are set back in decades in social and economical development.”

Abby Hassel Strong, Director Product Marketing, Sunnyvale, Calif.

Joined the Hive in: March 2008

How do you balance family and your responsibilities at the Hive? “I think “balance” is a tough word for most working mothers, but in my opinion the secret is in knowing that the balance isn’t often apparent in a single day – more like an average over time. The balance comes in having a great partner I can rely on and a team that pulls together to get the big stuff done. I also feel very lucky that I work at such a family-friendly company. All in all though – I’m just winging it from day to day. Life, work, motherhood, my eye liner… Everything :-)”

Top female role mentor: “My mom. She fought to become a doctor in an era when that was unusual, and then proceeded to continue leading her field by acquiring additional specialties – even as she raised us as a single mom. I watched her balance work, children, personal life, and family and hope every day I can emulate that for my kids.”

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be? “I would really like to see paid maternity leave for the first 8-12 months of a baby’s life. Having been through this recently, the struggle to maintain a balance when the baby(ies) aren’t yet sleeping is a huge challenge personally, and then knowing my professional life was completely stalled and unpaid further tipped the scales against staying home –and I’m one of the lucky ones who qualified for disability at 50% pay! More than 70% of new moms do not, and the stress on both the employee and the family is ever more apparent.”

Xiaoming Wang, Sr. Front-End Engineer, NMS team, Engineering, China

Joined the Hive in: August 2013

Personal quality that helps you succeed at the Hive: “Never Ending Improvement and sharing with others.”

Top female role mentor:Audrey Hepburn. Even if you are not as good looking as she was, if you are graceful, self-confident, have good intentions, and dare to love, then you’ll be most attractive. This is what she and her experience have taught me.”

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be? “I’ll make all resources sharable and accessible within the whole world. A lot of tragedy and war would be avoided.”

Laetitia Kinja Chiragarhula, Sr. Inside Sales Representative, UK

Joined the Hive in: February 2012

What’s it like being a woman in Sales in Europe? “So far so good. My four years in sales have been full of personal growth, opportunities, and rewards. It seems to me though, that it can be more challenging for women to go up the ladder. When I look around, I cannot see any woman in a senior sales position, whether internally or at companies that I interact with on a daily basis such as resellers or distributors. The lack of gender diversity at the top does make me wonder whether sales is a viable long-term career for women who aspire to senior positions.”

Top female role mentor: “My top inspiration so far has been Sheryl Sandberg, current COO of Facebook, activist, and mother of two. I discovered her through her Ted Talk “Why we have too few women leaders” and then read her book “Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead.” Her insights have helped me to realize the ways women are sometimes held back in the workplace—and the way we tend to hold ourselves back. It helped me to understand that some traits, usually natural to women, could limit the creation of our own opportunities. I have personally found her tips and advice very useful in practice.”

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be? “Everyone who knows me, knows that I am passionate about food, particularly hot and spicy food. I am also the slowest eater everyone has ever met. Eating gives me a lot of happiness, I am grateful that I can, every day, multiple times a day, eat food that I enjoy. So if I could change one thing in the world, it would be to find a way to eradicate hunger. Give everyone access to this simple but extraordinary pleasure.”

Juan Li, Engineer, HOS team, Engineering, China

Joined the Hive in: September 2014

Personal quality that helps you succeed at the Hive: “Simple and optimistic. Life is a mirror, no matter what happens, please smile, smile, and smile.”

Top female role mentor: “Ling Jia, a female comedian, who always bring people a lot of laughter with her performances. I think it’s a great thing to bring happiness to others and it can also make you happy.”

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be? “I want to eliminate all the pollution. I wish for fresh air and safe food on the earth forever.”

Lisa Hatheway, Sr. Director, Global Marketing, Sunnyvale, CA

Joined the Hive in: July 2015

Personal quality that helps you succeed at the Hive: “Tenacity. Wind me up and I don’t stop until it’s done and I can measure it. Think ‘Energizer Bunny’.”

Top female role mentor: “There was a Chief Marketing Officer who taught me everything I should “not do” when managing a team. She is the reason why I have become the manager I am today. Trust your team, mistakes happen – learn from them and grow, peer support within a team is priceless, and build careers by helping your team reach new heights. I also admire all the work Princess Diana did to help the less fortunate.”

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be? “My top five list is: (1) Put a stop to animal cruelty, (2) eradicate bullying, (3) bring poverty to an end, (4) eliminate global warming, and (5) provide quality, free education for every child.”

Shushuang Li, Engineer, DevOps team, Engineering, China
Joined the Hive in: July 2015

Personal quality that helps you succeed at the Hive: “I’m optimistic. “The Hive is a big family and all the workmates are willing to offer help at any time. I can also quickly adapt to any new environment.”

Top female role mentor: “Junning Zhang (Janine Chang). She is an actress. She is independent, vivacious, warm-hearted and charming. What’s more, her integrity attracted me the most.“

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be? “I’d like to eliminate racial and gender discrimination. It’s astounding that women in Saudi Arabia have no right to drive, Afghanistan girls are not allowed to go to school. Still, there are some brave fighters (male or female) who risked their lives to encourage women in the Middle East to drive, to build school for women, and fight for the rights that they deserve.”

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At Aerohive, we help IT radically simplify wireless and wired access with Cloud Networking. Our technology is sophisticated yet straightforward, offers unrivaled choice and flexibility, and continually solves real world problems with continuous innovations.

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