Women in tech all have a unique story to tell, but they tend to have these powerful personality traits in common: resilience, determination, and a strong work ethic.
In honor of International Women’s Day, we’re highlighting one of the many women at BlackLine who exemplify these characteristics to a T.
Introducing Dalini Khemlani
Dalini is an Information Security Project Manager at BlackLine. It’s a continually evolving industry so her days are always different, but they include project management, security awareness, and working with many other internal teams.
Early on in her career, she learned the importance of proving herself and setting her own expectations. Her degree is in Political Science and Business, so she didn’t have a technical background going in and had to overcome the challenge of being the underdog.
Dalini had to deal with executives who walked away while she was mid-sentence because they assumed she wasn’t knowledgeable, and this quickly taught her how to gain their buy-in. When she gave notice to the company at which this was happening, an executive who once walked away from her offered her a position on his team to try to convince her to stay.
Resilience Leads to Success
What Dalini lists as her greatest success is no surprise: “It’s finding a way to add value without a deeply technical background, by being a facilitator between the clouds and the dirt.”
She continues, saying, “Self-awareness is important, and I love being in environments where I’m not the smartest person in the room because that’s how I learn. But I’ve had to earn my spot in that room, and I do that by being able to see things from the perspective of both the engineer and the executive. The fun part is finding solutions that will satisfy both engineers and executives, and then develop an argument to convince them that the path I’ve identified will not only meet their needs but also be beneficial to them.”
Her resilience comes from her immigrant parents. She says, “Some people see challenges like a brick wall in front of them. My parents see challenges like rocks and they’ve adapted like water.”
They are role models for different reasons. As she grew up, she recognized that her Dad had the luxury of focusing on the business he was building. Her Mom worked alongside her Dad, but half of her office was turned into a playroom for Dalini.
Respect, Questions & Culture
Having a good boss is at the top of her list when it comes to the workplace, and she appreciates BlackLine’s company culture, which encourages its employees to question anyone―including management.
“I’m very fortunate to have Max [Solonski, Chief Security Officer] as a boss. If I don’t understand how he came to a decision or I have a difference of opinion, I’m comfortable enough to go to him. He’s willing to teach me and help me grow by exposing me to different perspectives.”
As always, culture is created from the top down, and Dalini speaks highly of Founder and CEO Therese Tucker. “Every time I see her speak I gain more respect for her. It’s very rare to find a C-level who openly acknowledges the company’s shortcomings, and then immediately addresses how we’re going to remediate them.
“Therese is more human than most C-levels, and that’s her strength. She’s incredibly passionate, but I’ve never seen that come at the expense of logic or reason. I admire how she’s been able to strike that balance, and have that run through the veins of our company.”
A Diversified Perspective
Therese is also passionate and intentional about diversity at BlackLine, and Dalini sees one of the primary benefits of a diverse culture as the differences of perspective. Each person on her team takes a different approach to each situation, and this encourages her own unique strengths and ideas to shine.
“Everyone grows up in a unique environment with certain baseline assumptions that are different all over the world. Understanding the way others see the world and incorporating that into how you do business allows you to gain competitive advantages.”
Interested in learning more about the woman who built BlackLine? Read Therese Tucker’s inspiring story.
The post Women In Tech: Resilience, Determination & Strength appeared first on BlackLine Magazine.