Celebrating Women’s History Month at Shogun

March 8, 2023

Celebrating and Honoring Black History Month at Shogun women's history month

Happy Women’s History Month! In the US, March is dedicated to remembering, honoring, and celebrating the incredible accomplishments, actions, and voices of women—both past and present.

In this Shogie Q&A, hear a few of our female executives and our Women of Shogun Shogie Resource Group leaders on how they celebrate Women’s History Month, what they wish to see more of in the workplace, and more.

What does being a woman mean to you?

Mattie Isaac, VP of People: Being a woman means I have emotional wisdom, confidence in my abilities, and a supportive nature to build others up.

Eden Mesfun, Software Engineer II: It means being me: Owning my identity as a software engineer, sister, friend, daughter, gardener, and more. It means using my voice and being unapologetic about being my authentic self.

Leah Boyle, Support Specialist: When I was a kid, I used to think being a woman was all about dressing up, putting on makeup, and so on. When I got older and figured things out more, I realized that while that may be the case for some people, this question has a different answer for everyone. For me, being a woman means being confident in yourself and loving yourself no matter what you look like. You don’t have to fit in a certain stereotype to be a woman. ❤️

What would you like to see more of for women professionals in the future? 

Rachael Harnish, VP of Operations: When I started my career, leaders all looked, talked, and acted in a very specific way that would align with a traditional masculine archetype. It has been so refreshing as the years have passed to see the definitions of “good leadership” include characteristics like vulnerability, empathy, compassion, and creativity.

This way, the definition of a strong leader expands beyond the specific, outdated mold. More women and others can step into leadership roles and show up as their authentic selves.

Beyond that: universal paid parental leave, please. I’m super grateful for the generous paid parental leave Shogun offers.

Mattie: I would like to see more women in leadership, the gender pay gap eradicated, and more inclusive policies for women when it comes to women’s health. More specifically, I’d love to see universal paid parental leave and a focus on onboarding post-maternity leave.

Additionally, I would like to see policies that are aimed toward productivity and flexibility. As a mother, I often need to weave work in and out of my personal life, and I very much appreciate Shogun’s async-by-default working culture.

Eden: I would like to see more cross-pollination of women professionals sharing what it means to lead and define their voices in the workplace. It could be especially helpful for early and mid-career professionals. It never hurts to get exposed to different approaches from professionals outside of one’s industry.

Leah: I’d love to see women in tech be respected and appreciated more. There are so many companies out there that have little to no women on their technical teams, and when they do, they are usually not treated very well.

For Shogie mothers, how has being a working mother enhanced how you show up at work?

Mattie: Motherhood has deeply impacted how I show up at work. It has given me a new perspective on priorities and time. I have gotten more protective of my work/life division so that when I am at work, I’m 100% at work (unless the kids have a snow day!), and when I am with my kids, the computer is closed and work is done for the day.

Additionally, I have two young daughters, and I want to serve as a good role model for them. That means doing well at what I do, being proud of my work, and prioritizing my family. Shogun has always respected my family time, which just makes me that much more thankful to work here. 

Rachael: As a mom, I try to subscribe to the idea of gentle parenting—or thinking about what’s driving my kids’ behaviors and the underlying causes of their actions. I feel like I apply the same techniques at work with my team during stressful situations in that I try to understand the source of why they’re showing up the way they are at work. Listening to my team, I try to be patient and ask clarifying questions to understand better. Everyone comes to work as a human being first. We all have that innate desire to be seen and heard.

So often in workplace culture, specifically in autocratic work environments, women have to alter how they show up to succeed—otherwise, they risk coming across as weak, sensitive, or too emotional. But at Shogun, our culture is centered on outcomes rather than if I’m online from 9-5. This enables me to show up exactly as I am and do things that fill me up, like spending time with my family.

What does it mean to show up authentically in the workplace as a woman?

Mattie: Showing up authentically means that I feel confident and comfortable showing up as I am. Shogun has created a workplace where I feel a sense of belonging. This allows me to be honest if I’m having a rough day with one of my kids or dealing with a stressful work situation. I feel heard and seen in ways that I have not previously. I also feel comfortable speaking up and sharing my unique point of view with my team without fear of judgment.

Eden: Showing up authentically at Shogun means honoring my inner voice.

Leah: To me, this means being able to dress how I like or having whatever piercings and tattoos make me happy. I can show people the real woman I am without worrying about backlash.

What’s your favorite woman-owned ecommerce business?

Mattie: One of my favs is Minted. I love that they support artists, and they do an amazing job with holiday card design and production. I know this from a lot of personal use!

Minted women's history month
Source: Minted

Eden: Kallie & Co. I love how their products are fair trade and use quality, recycled materials.

Kallie and Co women's history month
Source: Kallie & Co.

Leah: I don’t actually know of many, but this question certainly made me look into things to see if maybe some of my favorite brands are women-owned!

Highlight a female author or artist that inspires you.

Mattie: Tori Amos. My forever love.

Tori Amos women's history month
Source: Tori Amos

Eden: Joy Harjo is an incredible poet and author. Her autobiography, Crazy Brave, explores trans-generational trauma, its lasting impact, and more. It’s apparent she uses writing as a medium for healing. She is insightful, and her writings exude wisdom.

Joy Harjo women's history month
Source: Joy Harjo

Leah: Honestly, though this may be a bit biased, an artist that inspires me right now is my partner Rhosyn. She puts so much love and effort into everything she creates, and I constantly look to her for inspiration and maybe tips for my own art sometimes too! 😊 I hope one day I’ll able to paint as well as she does!

Rhosyn Celyn women's history month
Source: Rhosyn Celyn

Rachael: Kate Baer’s poems capture so much of the complex dynamic of being a mother and woman in today’s society. I preorder all of her books before they come out. There’s a theme here in my choices, which takes me to my next author: Brandi Carlile. Again, a mother who captures the complexities of being a woman and mother in today’s world in her songs Jamie Beck: Her photography is absolutely captivating.

Kate Baer women's history month
Source: Kate Baer

Who is a woman you are inspired by, and why?

Rachael: I’m inspired by the women I work with daily. I’ve had the incredible fortune of working with strong women for the entirety of my career, both at the peer level and at the leadership level, and can pinpoint how each of them has helped me on my career journey.

Mattie: Jacinda Ardern. She led her country through tragedy, she showed up on the international stage, she directly addressed misogynistic and sexist questions, and she mothered publicly.

Eden: My aunt inspires me every day. She is incredibly hard-working, has put two kids through college as a widowed mom, and always has a smile on her face. She inspires me to keep moving forward, even in the face of adversity.

Leah: Marsha P. Johnson for all her work for LGBTQ+ youth, those affected by H.I.V. and AIDS, and gay and transgender rights.

Empowering and supporting women is a primary focus at Shogun

We are so grateful to Mattie, Eden, Leah, and Rachael for their openness to share their experiences and insights. Thank you all!

At Shogun, we believe People are People, and Shogies are the foundation of our organization.

To support our culture, we’ve worked to make our people programs equitable across our diverse population, including gender. Some of the programs include bonding, parental, caregiving, and compassionate leave, among other programs like adoption assistance and victim support. We also offer Shogie Resource Groups, including a Women of Shogun group.

In addition, we have a Total Compensation philosophy and strategy to ensure equity across all roles.

Interested in joining us? Check out our careers page to see the latest openings.


Jenna is a Senior HR Business Partner at Shogun.

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