Here at Sling TV, we appreciate our hardworking women every day, but since today is International Women’s Day, we wanted to share what some of the trailblazing women in our workplace love about Sling TV, their best advice is for other women, and who inspires them.
What does it mean to you to be a woman working at Sling TV?
Sruta Vootukuru - Vice President of Business Operations: It is a great pleasure to be part of Sling TV and represent women in tech. I hope to not just survive but thrive, not just settle but aspire, back it up with results, build great teams, extend trust, grow every day and lead with confidence. I am inspired by all those who think they can and want to motivate all those who think they can’t!
Meg Feist - Corporate Counsel: Over the past two years at Sling TV, I have come to know Sling TV as a melting pot. We don’t have any single “cookie cutter” employee; folks at Sling TV are receptive to a multitude of different characters, styles and viewpoints. This is an environment where a diverse array of people, including women, can thrive. Personally, I have found Sling TV to be a very comfortable place to just be myself, whether I’ve got my game face on while I’m powering through a deal or whether I’m cracking jokes with colleagues at happy hour. As my tenure at Sling TV lengthens, I take increasing pride in my role as a woman [here]. I think it is extremely important for more junior women to have more senior women to whom they can point and say to themselves, ‘That’s what I want my professional path to look like.’ Sruta Vootukuru (VP of Business Operations) and Izabela Slowikowska (VP of International Programming) serve that role for me, and to serve that role for someone else at Sling TV would be a great honor.
Alex Peng - Marketing, Planning & Analytics Specialist: At Sling TV, I work hard and get recognized for my contribution, just like everyone else - gender doesn’t make a difference here.
Michelle Calkins - Program Manager, Business Development: To be a woman working in business development at an OTT startup has been equally elating and terrifying. I made a total career path switch almost a year ago to come over to the tech side of the business and I couldn’t be happier. I have also been fortunate to work for a female VP (Sruta Vootukuru) who is running operations AND business development which is extremely impressive and inspiring. The DISH Women’s Network (plus Sling TV too!) has been the most empowering part of my journey with the company. We’ve had overwhelming support from our peers, executives and industry partners who all want to help us bring women into tech. Being a co-founder has changed my career and I have been so fortunate to work in a place that allows this network to flourish.
Ryann Starks - Retention Marketing Specialist: I think it is a great opportunity to get exposure with executive level employees, especially with the female leaders in the company. It’s refreshing to look around and see the gender balance throughout teams. I’m coming to understand this won’t always be the case throughout my career and have developed a level of appreciation to work for a company that endorses gender parity.
Nicole Aelion - Creative Director: I feel incredibly lucky and honored to work with the talented team here at Sling TV. We are trailblazing a new industry, and additionally, it happens to be an extremely exciting brand.
Do you have any advice for working women today?
Sruta: Have a heart but don’t be fragile, support each-other, fearlessly seek feedback, focus on solves, prepare, perform, and continuously introspect - don’t let others define you. Just remember that you won’t get it all right but you won’t regret not trying and growing from it.
Meg: In every single meeting you attend, regardless of whether it is with peers, managers or executives, say something and say it with confidence. Let your voice be heard and your presence felt! Too often, I sense that more junior professional women are waiting for the perfect thing to say before they speak in front of others. My advice is not to let “The Perfect” be the enemy of “The Good.” Even if you don’t have something to say, you probably have a question – ask it with confidence. If you follow this practice, you will become increasingly confident in articulating your valuable thoughts and ideas in front of others. That, in turn, benefits the organization.
Alex: As a recent college graduate, my advice for women in similar career stages is to think long-term. While it’s tempting to just feel comfortable with how far you’ve come, focus on how far you can go. Keep pushing yourself and be the best you can be.
Michelle: Be fearless! Get outside of your comfort zone. Never settle and never forget how much you bring to the table. Every single person is unique and has something to offer. But, most importantly, find a team and a boss that inspire you, make you want to learn and work hard, and most of all, work for someone who believes in you.
Ryann: Always be conscious of your workplace environment and the potential opportunities awaiting. You are your best advocate and never be afraid to ask the tough questions. Surround yourself with people that not only empower you as a woman but also encourages you to be yourself.
Nicole: Do what you love! Work hard on your passion and success will follow. I’d also like to borrow a great quote from a great woman: “Forget about the fast lane. If you really want to fly, just harness your power to your passion.” - Oprah.
Who is one woman who inspires you and why?
Sruta: I get inspired everyday by many people, especially many women – anyone who makes extraordinary look ordinary. I truly suffer from a chronic state of being inspired! If I have to pick only one, my mom is the stealth-confidence and “wow” factor for me.
Meg: My former law school professor Ingrid Hillinger is an accomplished writer, teacher, grandmother and friend. She is renowned both for her expertise in financing and restructuring and for the deep care she demonstrates for her students and colleagues. Ingrid can deliver the most complex concepts with a down-hominess that makes them seem easy to understand (this was especially helpful to me as a first-year law student). She has a sincere respect for every person she encounters, from the student to the janitor to the CEO, and she never lets respect warp into patronization, intimidation or intellectual dishonesty. Ingrid has been an unfailing source of inspiration for me and countless others.
Alex: My great-grandmother was the most inspiring woman in my life. Born in the early 1900s, she fought her way through the overwhelming stereotypes and restrictions society placed upon her and became a successful businesswoman. One of the most important lessons I learned from her is life is a series of trade-offs and you must make sacrifices for what you truly desire.
Michelle: This year, I have had so many women inspire me, but this week it is the women who inspired the Hidden Figures movie. I have found a lot of comfort, hope and inspiration in women who, in the face of adversity, let their work and talent shine and refused to back down. Can I go back to school now and become a mathematician?
Ryann: My beautiful mother. I saw her raise two kids and work a full time job, all while earning her PhD on top of multiple Bachelor’s degrees and an MBA. She’s strong, elegant and brilliant through and through.
Nicole: Recently, I have been inspired by the Women’s March Movement – witnessing millions of women around the world peacefully making their voices heard. I read so many stories every day about the incredibly strong women throughout our world who do landmark work for their careers, their families, and their fellow human beings. These stories give me hope for the young girls of today who I know will become tomorrow’s leaders.
We hope these women inspire you as much as they do us. Tweet us your story or who inspires you @Sling!
The Sling TV Staff