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Celebrating International Women's Day At The Hive

By Team Aerohive in · HiveMind Blog · March 8, 2017

One of our favorite days of the year has arrived - Happy International Women’s Day! 

For those not familiar, International Women's Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.

At Aerohive, we are committed to the advancement and development of all our employees. Women at the Hive account for 25% of our overall workforce, and we value diversity and pledge to root out workplace bias.  

Meet some of our women employees who contribute every day to our success

Nandana Das, Director of Quality Assurance, Milpitas, CA, USA

Joined the Hive in: September 2016

How do you balance family and your responsibilities at the Hive

It’s always challenging being a mom of two kids and having the aspiration to be a great IT professional. There are a few things that I always try to follow:

1. Don't feel guilty not being a full time mom; instead I think about how I work to give them a better quality of life.

2. Divide the time between my job and family to be able to completely focus on each.

3. Don't hesitate to go the extra mile as this is my priority.

4. Take vacations whenever possible - that is the only time when we can get uninterrupted family-bonding time.

5. Set expectations at work and with family in advance.

Who is your top woman role mentor and why?

My mom is always my role model and inspiration. I learned how to be patient, loving, flexible, demonstrate a can-do attitude, put myself in others' shoes, and always be positive in whatever situation I am.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?

We are God’s best creation and it is our responsibility to add value. Almost always the majority of us are focused on ourselves, but how can we feel for others too? Inclusive growth is much needed to include common people into the orbit of development. Rabindranath, the Nobel laureate’s famous quote is so relevant: “Jare tumi niche felo, se tomare bandhibe je niche.” -- The one you fling down will bind you down there.

Favorite thing about the Hive? 

Aerohive always encourages work life balance and allows flexible hours to accommodate that.


Wenjie Zhang, Administration Manager, Hangzhou, China

Joined the Hive in: December 2006

How do you balance family and your responsibilities at the Hive?

Usually, I arrange my working time and life time in advance. Working and family have equal status in my mind. I try my best to avoid having conflict between them.

If you feel good about both, you have probably gotten the balance point already.

Who is your top woman role mentor and why?

My first Chinese teacher in primary school. She taught us to be a person of integrity and to have the right views of the world, value, and life. She taught us a lot of life truths which influenced me very deeply for a long time until now. What’s more, she treated every student so kindly and without any prejudice.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be? 

I wish there was no environmental pollution in the world. I wish there was blue sky, clean air, and clean water everywhere and no greenhouse effect, no acid rain, or no rich-water oxidation in the world. I wish the earth was not so sick and human beings and all kinds of living creatures can grow healthily.

Favorite thing about the Hive?

Our China annual outing tradition. I think it’s a very good opportunity to provide employees enough time to communicate thoroughly and to share with each other. It’s very important. It is good to cultivate people’s sense of belonging and loyalty. This is what makes everyone feel like to be a member of the big family-Hive.


Carmen Villegas, Opportunity Development Representative, Milpitas, CA, USA

Joined the Hive in: February 2016

How do you balance family and your responsibilities at the Hive?

I feel lucky to work at a place that is flexible and allows me to maintain a good balance between my personal life and work responsibilities by allowing me to take the time off and to travel, which is what I do best. Working at the Hive has given me the opportunity to attend family functions and events I had to miss out in the past, like watching my nieces and nephews graduate or welcoming new family members into this beautiful world.

Who is your top woman role mentor and why?

Chelsea Handler. She is the queen of comedy, an actress, writer, television host, and producer. She not only brings laughter to many homes, but she also has an enormous impact on Human Rights and is a Female Activist. She exudes confidence and encourages people to have a voice while not being afraid to say what she’s thinking.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?

I can’t begin to say how much I love food, that being said I would like to end the silent pandemic of world hunger, promoting sustainable agriculture would help end hunger.

Favorite thing about the Hive?

I like to go on great vacations and share my memories with people I love and make me laugh. Having flex PTO allows me to do so.


Asha Ghuge, Manager ERP Applications, Milpitas, CA, USA 

Joined the Hive in: April 2014

How do you balance family and your responsibilities at the Hive?

Well it all comes down to time management and setting the priorities right. Having said that, it does get challenging many times with demanding kids and work. Then I just count numbers backwards and shop a lot. I love cooking (vegetarian only) and that helps me satisfy my family. I reach their heart through their stomachs. Sometimes my daughter’s school projects are more demanding than work, but that is a good distraction and helping little kids build their imaginations feels great. I enjoy travelling and observing everything during my travel. Aerohive so far is like a family and I feel passionate every day to come to work. The best part is taking things to the finish line and making a positive impact to business teams. I would like to take this opportunity to thank my team and their support to make things happen at work. 

Who is your top woman role mentor and why?

My mother is my first role model. Due to a tough childhood she could not study much. However, she always supported me and encouraged me to do things which strengthen me and made me successful. Never give up your ‘Self Respect’ is what she taught me, and that always drives me to accept challenges and get through those courageously. I miss her as she stays in India. However, she is always with me.

I also follow Malala Yousafzai closely. It is so inspiring to see a young, fearless girl like her

making a huge impact in this world. I would like to encourage everyone to know more about Malala. 

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?

I would like women to have equal rights and feel safe in this world. Women should be respected by every individual. Unfortunately, we still have so many parts in this world where a girl is deprived of all good things which is her right. I would love to see men stand by, support and allow all women to follow their dreams.

Favorite thing about the Hive?

Friendly groups, great projects to work on and my team. There is always a lot to do and this keeps me busy and motivated.


Nichole Schimanski, Principal Engineer and Data Scientist, Portland, OR, USA

Joined the Hive in: October 2016

How do you balance family and your responsibilities at the Hive?

I have a great support network of extended family in the Portland area that helps tremendously; this is precisely the reason I moved here after my son was born. I also get a lot out of our family chart that outlines daily chores and household expectations for my son. 

Who is your top woman role mentor and why?

My mother is my most influential mentor. She shows me that conventional boundaries on career and education paths are imaginary, and if I want to cross them, I just need to choose to do so.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?

I would instill a bit more kindness in everyone. I think a lot of conflicts can be avoided if we all approach interactions (with each other and our environment) from a place of kindness.

Favorite thing about the Hive.

My favorite thing about Aerohive is the enthusiasm and investment of the people I've met and work with. I also love working with my team!


Cuiping Liang, Software QA Engineer, Hangzhou, China

Joined the Hive in: May 2010 

How do you balance family and your responsibilities at the Hive?

I try my best to do my job when it is really busy, but at the same time, I always reserve time for my family.

Who is your top woman role mentor and why?

My mother, who is diligent, optimistic, and responsible. Her personality infects me!

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?

I wish that everyone could be in good health. I believe health is the most precious fortune in life. Without health you have nothing.

Favorite thing about the Hive?

Great pleasure to work with such nice and talented colleagues.


Fanny Carlson, Sr. Inside Sales Representative, Farnham, UK

Joined the Hive in: September 2012

How do you balance family and your responsibilities at the Hive?

It is important for me to do activities away from the screen. I have my phone on me almost all the time, and I am working on being more mindful about taking time away from both computer screens and the phone, so that my brain has time to rest. At the moment, I am going to a dressmaking course, which is a way to explore my more creative side, and relax at the same time. My boyfriend and I also enjoy hiking when the English weather allows, which enables us to have good conversations and experience new areas that we have not been to.

Who is your top woman role mentor and why?

From an early age, especially from my mum, I got to learn about how to enjoy the nature around me and go on adventures. Whether that was being thrown off horses on rides in the forest or if it was navigating in heavy fog kayaking on the ocean. I love to challenge myself to do things out of my comfort zone, and my top woman mentor, is therefore Cecile Skog. Cecile is a mountaineer and was the first woman to conquer the Seven Summits and both poles. She strongly believes in team work, and has proved that if you set your mind to something, you can do it. Being able to add adventure in life, whatever that is for you, brings out people’s spirit. Cecile embodies that, and I admire it.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?

I am saddened that we seem to move towards a world with more and more sensationalism. A tactic to wake people’s fears and play on our emotions, seem to be more accepted in the public and political spheres. If I had one wish, it would be for us all to rely more on facts and in turn be more inclusive and open to the people around us, no matter what gender, religion, or race.

Favorite thing about the Hive?

I love the fact, that not only have I gotten the opportunity to an exciting career within IT, but I have also found great camaraderie and amazing friends. We have fun at work and that is what the Hive spirit is all about, whether that is our International food day picnic or going Go Carting.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?

I am saddened that we seem to move towards a world with more and more sensationalism. A tactic to wake people’s fears and play on our emotions, seem to be more accepted in the public and political spheres. If I had one wish, it would be for us all to rely more on facts and in turn be more inclusive and open to the people around us, no matter what gender, religion or race. 

Favorite thing about the Hive?

I love the fact, that not only have I gotten the opportunity to an exciting career within IT, but I have also found great comradery and amazing friends. We have fun at work and that is what the Hive spirit is all about, whether that is our International food day picnic or going Go Carting


Lijuan Xiao, Software Engineer Hive OS, Hangzhou, China 

Joined the Hive in: April 2016 

How do you balance family and your responsibilities at the Hive?

As a member of Hive, I try my best to improve my work efficiency and put my heart and soul into the job during the day. I try not to work overtime so that I can have time to stay with my family and have a lunch with them.

Who is your top woman role mentor and why?

Marie Curie is the woman that comes readily to mind, because of her bravery, the love for her career, her focus, and her spirit of selflessness. She is inspiring.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be? 

If I could change one thing, it would be to create an air purifier on the surface of the earth. This way, people would be able to breathe fresh air freely every day. No PM 2.5 or any other pollutants that can destroy our daily life would be in our atmosphere, and we could all say “hi~” to the blue sky every day and “bye~” to the dusk marks. I hope that the plot of “Air” (an American movie) would never occur in our future.

Favorite thing about the Hive?

In this big family, I can feel free to ask for “training” to constantly expand my skill and knowledge. All the experts are unfailingly courteous and helpful.


Sally Dickson, Marketing Campaign Specialist, Farnham, UK

Joined the Hive in: October 2016

How do you balance family and your responsibilities at the Hive?

Aerohive is a stimulating place to work, and the offices are vibrant and light. So it’s a fun place to be. The company provides a huge variety of technical options for remote working when required, and is very good when it comes to personal time for school and medical meetings. I cannot understate, how impressed I am that Aerohive chose to take offices on the high street of a small English town with good schools, a vibrant community, and a busy local cultural scene. The location enhances the quality of life of all the INTL team, many of whom choose to live within walking distance.

Who is your top woman role mentor and why?

I admire JK Rowling, who was living in poverty when she wrote the first Harry Potter book, yet despite everything she clung to her dream, and went on to become an amazing success. I love the way her imagination was the seed from which has come so many memorable films, a theme park, some fabulous Lego builds and much else that speaks of the creativity and energy of the British people.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?

I would like to eliminate mosquito borne diseases, including malaria in Africa and the ZIKA virus in South America. I was encouraged to read that a vaccine against mosquito bites is being developed.

Favorite thing about the Hive?

I love the fact that Aerohive has the buzz of a Tech Star of Silicon Valley start-up at the heart of an English medieval town. I also love the Aerohive yellow, brightens up one’s day!


Helen Boddy, Sales Operations Analyst, Farnham, UK

Joined the Hive in: September 2015

How do you balance family and your responsibilities at the Hive?

This balance sometimes involves cooking dinner whilst on a call and helping with homework – multitasking at its best! I am ever grateful for everyone at the Hive’s unified compassion and ‘Family first’ attitude. The support I have received towards my home-life responsibilities has only made me more dedicated, striving to support others wherever possible in my work-life.

Who is your top woman role mentor and why?

Ada Lovelace – she was an extremely intelligent woman – mathematician, writer and mother of 3, who achieved so much in her short life. Known as the first female ‘programmer’, she wrote the first algorithm and along with Charles Babbage created the first ‘computer’. In an industry still to this day dominated by men, Ada, and many other unsung women in the STEM field, are a true inspiration to a geek like me!

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be? 

For the media to provide a more balanced perspective. Children these days are bombarded 24 x 7 with fake lives and images which are impossible to live up to, providing self-destructive messages - ultimately causing a rise in depression in these too young and easily influenced minds. It could begin with something as simple as banning air brushed images, and instead instilling self-worth and respect for themselves and others.

Favorite thing about the Hive?

The people. No matter how busy it is, everyone always has time for each other. We may be spread across the world, but it always feels like One-Hive! 

Team Aerohive (@aerohive)

Team Aerohive is a collection of contributions by various authors from within Aerohive. These contributors generally write about fun & community events held by Aerohive, as well as other Aerohive-related happenings.

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