By JoJo Salazar
This past spring, I blogged about women in the past who have made contributions to the field of technology. The ambitious, bravery and determination of these women set the stage for women today. I also started a series of interviews will brilliant women who I personally know, who no matter what technology-related field they're in, are thriving in their eco-system and making a difference.
Hilary Hastings is an event extraordinaire, truly a woman of all trades. I met Hilary in 2018 at Fusion in Orlando, Florida. We had good fun and couldn't have had successful show without her ability to have everything ready to go. Her personality is very contagious. The Isos Team is always excited when Hilary is part of our show experience. Hilary is helping clients from around the world succeed. It's really fascinating to hear her point of view in my interview with her. Thanks Hilary for your insight!
Jojo: Can you share a little bit about what it is that you do and what a typical day for you is like?
Hilary: I consider myself a marketing generalist, which means I don’t specialize in one type of marketing (like SEO, event marketing, email, etc.). Just from a personality standpoint, I can’t do the same thing day after day, I get bored too easily. What is great about my job is I actually work with several tech companies everyday. Some projects I work on are short term- such as helping a client prepare for a conference. Others are long term, such as ongoing project management of a website. This means no day is the same, and I am always meeting with different clients and working on a variety of projects. I also work from home which I really love. I travel a lot for work, so working from home the rest of the time helps me maintain a sense of work/life balance, even if that means my dog is my only co-worker.
Jojo: You specialize in helping Tech Companies succeed, what is the most rewarding part of this job? What is the hardest part?
Hilary: The most rewarding part of my job is having the ability to work with so many different people from various countries, backgrounds, and companies. Traveling and meeting new people is my favorite pastime, so I’m lucky that my job aligns so well with that. The hardest part of my job is staying organized and on top of tasks. With each of my clients using different systems and programs to manage their work, I am constantly jumping between email accounts, chat programs, and meetings.
Jojo: How do the Atlasssian tools help you day to day? Does the Crawford group use any of the tools?
Hilary: I am not afraid to admit that I am a type “A” personality. If I am not organized, I can not work to my full potential of productivity. I mostly use Jira and Trello on a day to day basis. In particular, I am a Trello addict and use it to keep track of personal tasks and work tasks. Whenever anyone from my company asks for suggestions on project management tools, I always point them to Trello.
Jojo: Did you always know that working with/in technology was what you wanted to do? How did you decide to go down this path?
Hilary: Absolutely not. I like to say I completely stumbled into working in both technology and marketing. My educational background is in Sociology, and after college I was planning on going into social work. By happenstance, I ended up where I am today, but I wouldn't change my path. I always have been, and always will be, a people first person, and that can apply my passion for relationship building in any industry. One thing I really appreciate about working in technology is I am always surrounding myself with really smart people, which is the best way to learn!
Jojo:I don’t think it’s any secret that many women in the tech industry have felt their gender has affected the way that they are perceived or treated. Have you ever been in a situation like that? If so. how did you handle it?
Hillary: Absolutely. I have been verbally harassed at conferences based solely on my gender. I’ll spare you the details, but it’s not uncommon to get inappropriate comments. Sometimes it’s hard not to feel self conscious in a room where men outnumber women 10:1. I have a pretty thick skin, and I work hard to not let these things get to me or become subject to imposter syndrome. Hopefully one day when I have a daughter of my own, women will be represented more in leadership positions and FINALLY have equal pay compared to their male counterparts, it’s time!
Jojo: What do you think is the best part of being a woman in the tech industry/ a women using tech?
Hilary: I think I am lucky to be surrounded professionally by a lot of wonderful women in tech. Especially working with Atlassian, I never feel like being a woman is out of the “norm.” Although I am not a software engineer or developer, it’s also so great seeing more women choosing those careers, and I am thankful to team with them.
Jojo:What advice would you give to a woman considering a career in your field? Is there something you wish you would had known?
Hilary: I would definitely suggest for women to go for it! I’m also a big advocate for keeping an open mind, and not being afraid to try a career path that you are unsure about, but have an interest in. You never know where you are going to end up! If I could tell my younger self one piece of career advice, it would be to always follow your gut. If a person or situation doesn't seem like a good fit for you, it’s probably not.