Diversity & Inclusion
MongoDB is Changing the Way We Hire Veterans: Learn How
One of our core company values at MongoDB is “Embrace the Power of Differences” which means that we commit to creating a culture of inclusivity with employees from different backgrounds and experiences. We value a diverse workforce as a way to broaden our perspectives, foster innovation, and enable competitive advantages. Our employee resource groups (ERGs) support our larger commitment to a diverse and inclusive community and empower our employees to create an internal network that they are passionate about. The co-leads for MongoDB’s Veterans ERG harnessed that passion, forming a collaborative partnership with our Talent Acquisition team to launch a new initiative. This initiative enables our recruiters to engage in more meaningful conversations with military veterans by providing insight into how different military ranks and disciplines build skills and experience that can translate into corporate roles. In addition, recruiters participate in a live discussion around resumes and how military experience can often lead to non-traditional career paths. The goal of this training is to empower recruiters to become advocates for veterans by better understanding how their military experience generates skills in areas that aren’t often highlighted through words on a resume. “Military veterans are an integral part of our employee population,” says Em Blankenberger, diversity recruiter at MongoDB. “Veterans offer a variety of skills, from technical to interpersonal, and are uniquely adaptable to many different environments. One goal of this initiative is to empower recruiters to have initial calls and offer advice to our veteran applicants regarding their resumes, interview skills, and verbiage used to help set them up for success throughout their career, whether that be with MongoDB or elsewhere.” A Veteran's Perspective Nathan Leniz, Senior Software Engineer & Veteran ERG Co-Lead I joined MongoDB in 2017 as an Education Engineer after 15 years in the United States Army. I was an Explosive Ordnance Disposal technician and gained the skills for deep technical research, structured experimentation, fast learning, leadership, project management, extensive planning, and handling adversity. Very little of my military career translates directly to the typical job descriptions I see at most tech companies. However, my experiences have taught me this: how to learn from failure, that the worth of a person can't be derived from arbitrary labels and categorizations, success as a team and organization is more profound than success as an individual, and that the ideas of even someone new to the field are worth listening to. These aren’t skills you’ll normally see listed on a job description or even written on a resume, but they are skills that recruiters can identify during conversations with candidates. In my post-military career, I've struggled with PTSD, imposter syndrome, and the normal vicissitudes of life. At MongoDB, I've found an organization with people who are beyond supportive, and I'm passionate about ensuring everyone has that chance. This is why I continue to advocate for other veterans, and it’s this passion that sparked the idea for a MongoDB recruiter training that would better enable our team to recruit veterans. I want to ensure veterans are better equipped to enter technical fields. MongoDB's Military Appreciation Program, along with our upcoming mentorship initiative and collaboration with Operation Code, aims to raise awareness among veterans and those transitioning to civilian life about the resources and opportunities available to them. Are you a veteran? Our Military Appreciation Program offers four dedicated learning paths to assist those who have served with education in data and tech. Enroll today! Ashley Heaps, Senior Manager, Global Billing & Veteran ERG Co-Lead After four years of active duty in the Army, I transitioned into corporate America and joined MongoDB as a Billing Supervisor in 2019. My role in the Army was 74D (also known as a Chemical, Nuclear, and Biological Specialist), which did not correlate to my corporate career. It wasn’t easy after being discharged from the Army. Many companies thought I didn’t have the experience for the roles I applied to, which made it difficult for me to be hired in a corporate setting. What I learned from my job search was that I did have experience, I just didn’t know how to translate it on my resume and align it to the roles I was applying for. Once someone finally took a chance on me, I knew I wanted to find a way to give back to other veterans. When this project presented itself I jumped at the opportunity. There’s still a long way to go, but this initiative is the start of improving the post-military job search for veterans everywhere. Conclusion At MongoDB, our core values are deep-rooted to our success. They are central to who we are as an organization, and we strive to ensure our employees connect with them on a personal level. Embodying the values “Build Together” and “Embrace the Power of Differences,” our Talent Acquisition team and Veterans ERG are achieving amazing things by connecting and leveraging their diversity of perspectives, skills, experiences, and backgrounds. Transform your career at MongoDB. View open roles on our careers site.
Config at MongoDB Shares Why Neurodiversity Matters
After a guest speaker from AsIAm visited our Dublin office in 2022, a few MongoDB employees realized there was a need for a global employee resource group (ERG) focused on disability and neurodiversity at MongoDB. This group of employees brainstormed and gathered information for a few months, contributing to a defined strategy for our new ERG, Config (a play on the word “configuration” and a nod to the database industry). Config officially launched in April 2023 with an AsIAm speaking event held in our Dublin office – the same organization that inspired the group’s formation the previous year. Neurodiversity in the workplace Recognizing neurodiversity within the scope of diversity and inclusion initiatives is a crucial aspect of modern workplace diversity efforts. It promotes a more inclusive environment where individuals with diverse neurological profiles, such as autism, ADHD, or dyslexia, feel valued and included in the workplace. Neurodiversity can manifest in various ways and may show up as communication differences, sensory sensitivities, attention to detail, and unique approaches to problem-solving. Some neurodivergent individuals may have challenges with verbal communication or understanding non-verbal cues while others might excel in written communication or have a unique communication style. Sensory sensitivities can bring discomfort in environments with bright lights, loud noises, or strong odors. Also, many neurodivergent individuals thrive on routine and predictability, seeking consistent work schedules and clear expectations. How to create an inclusive environment In regard to recruitment and hiring, actively seeking neurodiverse talent through partnerships with neurodiversity-focused organizations, job boards, and outreach programs contributes to building a diverse workforce. On top of that, it’s important to educate recruiters and interviewers about neurodiversity to ensure they understand and appreciate different cognitive profiles and can create an inclusive interview process. Alternative interview formats can provide a more accurate assessment of a candidate’s abilities, and structured interview questions and clear instructions help to reduce ambiguity during interviews. Allow candidates to choose interview settings that are comfortable for them, such as in-person, video, or written formats. With workplace support, consider establishing mentoring programs to help neurodivergent employees navigate the workplace and build social connections. Work to create a sensory-friendly environment, clear communication, flexibility, and supportive supervision. In helping employees to become more supportive of their neurodivergent peers, create Neurodiversity Training to raise awareness about neurodiversity and promote a more inclusive culture. Peer Support Networks are also helpful for neurodivergent employees to share experiences and advice. Some reasonable accommodations to consider are individual accommodation plans, quiet spaces for those who need a break from sensory stimuli, task modifications, and communication aids. By implementing these accommodations and support structures, employers can create a more inclusive and supportive environment for neurodivergent employees, enabling them to thrive and contribute to their unique talents. Config members share their stories Supporting my neurodiverse family Yair Bar (He/Him), Escalation Manager Four out of my five children are neurodiverse: two have ADHD and two are on the autism spectrum. I've gained a deep understanding of their employment challenges once they become adults, and these barriers often stem from our neurotypical society's lack of understanding, empathy, and flexibility. Workplaces must proactively create inclusive environments for neurodivergent individuals not only to participate but also thrive. My children have taught me valuable life lessons, like resilience and embracing diversity. My experience as a parent and my awareness of neurodiversity have helped me hone my skills including empathy, encouragement, active listening, and helping individuals redefine their vision and goals. I've applied this perspective in my career and value neurodiverse talent on my team. I firmly believe that organizations should prioritize supporting neurodiversity as it aligns with important values like commitment, social mobility, equality, and personal growth. As neurodiverse populations grow, organizations must address their specific needs. My goal is to support those facing neurodiversity challenges, making a real difference in their lives. I aim to raise awareness about neurodiversity within and beyond MongoDB, and I aspire to contribute to a more inclusive and understanding environment where everyone's unique abilities are celebrated. My personal experience with neurodiversity Rachelle Green (She/They), Workplace Coordinator Prior to 2022, I was not familiar with the concept of neurodiversity. It was through social media that I came across the term, sparking a process of self-reflection. I began to analyze my relationships, cognitive processes, organizational strategies, and sense of belonging in different communities and spaces. In 2023, I made a conscious decision to prioritize my mental health and investigate any concerns or suspicions I had. My goal now is to focus on understanding myself better, maintaining my well-being, and fully embracing my neurodiversity. In my journey, I’ve come to appreciate the importance of organizations embracing neurodiversity in their diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. By doing so, they not only foster a more inclusive environment but also tap into a wider talent pool that includes individuals with unique perspectives and exceptional abilities. Config at MongoDB creates a space where neurodivergent thinkers like myself can feel valued and supported. I am eager to contribute my skills and experiences to this cause and make a meaningful impact in promoting neurodiversity acceptance and support within the workplace. An ally for the neurodiverse community Boris Subotic (He/Him), Employee Experience Manager In my HR career, I've witnessed the valuable contributions of neurodiverse individuals, including problem-solving skills, attention to detail, and innovative thinking. I'm committed to advocating for neurodiversity at MongoDB, ensuring all employees, regardless of their neurological differences, feel supported and valued. This fosters a culture of acceptance and enhances productivity and innovation. Recognizing neurodiversity aligns with MongoDB's value “Embrace the Power of Differences”. As an HR professional, I aim to be an ally and influencer in shaping company policies and initiatives. I prioritize empathy and understanding, offering mentorship and professional development opportunities. Creating a supportive environment is key to ensuring everyone thrives. I'm enthusiastic about the role of Config in promoting diversity and inclusion. Collaborating with peers and implementing change initiatives can make a significant impact. I'm excited to continue advocating for inclusivity, challenging stereotypes, and unlocking the potential of all employees through Config. We’re committed to creating an inclusive and equitable environment for everyone. Learn more about diversity and inclusion initiatives at MongoDB.
Honoring Black History Month: How These MongoDB Employees Defied the Odds
February is Black History Month. It’s a time to reflect on and celebrate the struggles and triumphs of the black community and remember the importance of elevating black voices. Each year at MongoDB, we ask members of our employee resource group BEAM (Black Employees At MongoDB) if they’d like to share a personal story about their experiences and what this month means to them. This year, hear from Administrative Assistant Rita Henderson and Regional Director Daniel Hawthorne to learn more about their journeys into tech. Rita Henderson: Breaking Down Barriers and Owning Technology for Social Justice As we celebrate Black History Month, I am grateful for those who have paved the way for us to have a voice and fight for our rights. I am reminded of the struggles and achievements of black leaders throughout history. The fight for equal rights and justice is ongoing, and technology plays a crucial role in this fight. It is important to empower and uplift underrepresented communities in the tech industry to create a more inclusive and equitable future. I am a proud member of the Afro-Latinx community from North Philadelphia. Growing up in a neighborhood called Badlands, I witnessed first-hand the impact and struggles of poverty, high crime rates, and drugs. I am the youngest of six children, with parents who worked two jobs to make ends meet. Despite my parents' hard work and dedication to provide for their children, life was still a struggle for my family. At the age of 17, after completing my junior year of High School, I became a teen mom. Unfortunately, society tries to shame young mothers, especially teen moms of color. Many people reminded me that teen pregnancy is closely linked to single parenthood and that growing up in single-parent families remains the largest factor in increased poverty among children. Me (middle) and my sibling with our dad. Yes, I photoshopped myself in. As a teen mom, I was determined to break through the barriers society placed on me. With $200 in my pocket, I moved my daughter and I to western Pennsylvania and enrolled in Indiana University of Pennsylvania. There, I earned my bachelor's degree in Criminology and studied the school-to-prison pipeline in black communities. After the murder of the young unarmed black teenager, Mike Brown, and the Ferguson uprising, my sister and I collaborated with organizers in the Ferguson community to launch a free technology program to empower community organizers, educators, and youth with skill sets to create technology tools for social and economic justice. Graduating from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Pictured with my firstborn London Rae and my mom. I am influenced by the work of the Black Panther Party; specifically, the 10th Point of the party’s 10-Point Platform, “Community Control of Modern Technology”. For 45 years, the Black Panther Party included the right to learn, access, and control technology as a right. Huey said, "Knowing how to struggle is the essence of winning. Recognizing ills is fundamental; recognizing how to overcome ills is mandatory." That is why I believe it is critical for black and latinx people to understand the role technology plays in our society and the economy if we want to understand social justice and create tools for liberation. When I hear people talk about technology in black, latinx, and working-class communities, they often use it as a scare tactic. The fear of data and control and the feeling that technology is too advanced and that we lack the knowledge and tools to participate can be overwhelming. However, it is crucial for our community to claim our place in the tech world. We need to change our thinking and know there is a place for us, just like there is for anyone else. I am grateful for MongoDB's value "embrace the power of differences" and creating a platform where underrepresented communities can share their stories, bring their ideas to the forefront, and be heard in the tech industry. As we celebrate Black History Month, I am grateful for those who have paved the way for us to have a voice and fight for our rights. I am also thankful for the opportunities I have been given to make a difference in my community and empower others to do the same. With education and technology, we can continue breaking down barriers and striving for equality, justice, and liberation. In 2022, my partner and I welcomed our baby girl Lara Sky. Daniel Hawthorne: Building a Career as a Black Man in Tech Sales I was brought into the world with the odds against me, a black boy born in South Central Los Angeles in the 80s. However, I never felt that I was on my own. Throughout my entire life, God has choreographed my every step. At a very young age, my parents decided to move us to Austin, Texas where my grandparents were moving their church ministry. I was raised in Austin along with my two older brothers (Dante and Derrell), my younger sister (Amber), and my younger brother (Joseph). My siblings called me the “golden child” because I was a mama’s boy and kept to myself. The elementary and middle schools that I attended in Austin were fairly diverse, and I seldomly experienced racism. In the 7th grade, my family moved to a suburb of North Austin that wasn’t as diverse, and racist experiences became much more frequent. It was then that I began to acknowledge that being black brought different treatment. There were moments I embraced my blackness, but others where I was more focused on adapting myself into someone I thought those in my non-diverse environment wanted me to be. In middle school, the place to hang out was the Rec Center. I would run into kids from other schools, and we’d have the basketball gym to ourselves for a bit. Eventually, the older guys would take over the court, but I was good enough that I typically got to play with them. I remember observing them as they entered the gym. They’d be dressed in nice work clothes with Dell badges hanging from their shirts - the Rec Center was only five minutes from the Dell HQ - and that became an early image of what success looked like for me. In high school and college, I started my career in sales with a few small gigs. I enjoyed it because I was typically one of the top sellers no matter what I sold. I even sold women’s shoes at one point! After graduating with my M.B.A, I had no idea what my next move would be. But then, that image of success popped into my head. I focused my attention on getting a sales job at Dell. Despite not having any experience in tech, I knew I could excel. Who knew that 10 years after my days on the Rec Center courts, I would land my first job in tech. I joined the inside sales development team at Dell, and it was one of the most pivotal moments of my career. The job was intense. After a week of training, it was clear that I was the least technical in every room. But, I was determined to not let anyone outwork me. We were required to make over 100 outbound calls per day, but I quickly figured out how to achieve the true objective (10 scheduled virtual demonstrations in a week) in fewer calls. Through my efficiency, I helped form new standards and began to make a name for myself. Being in sales development wasn’t my end goal. I knew I wanted to get into outside sales, so I began building relationships with some of the Dell outside sellers I worked with. During a coaching session with one of my mentors, who was also a minority, he shared some guidance that I wasn’t ready for. He told me that if I truly wanted to be in outside sales, I needed to lose my earrings because professional men didn’t wear them. Even though he and I understood that earrings didn’t define me, his guidance was that being a person of color meant I was already playing from behind, and that I should exhaust all things within my control to create as level a playing field as I possibly could. This theme would continue throughout my career. Similar to when I was a kid in the non-diverse suburbs of Austin, as a black man in tech, I’ve felt heavy pressure to be a certain way to appease others. When I was first getting started, I hardly encountered sales folks that looked like me. I’d attend internal trainings and events where there might be one or two other black sellers out of 200+ people. In many ways, I felt that I was on an island and had to live through trial and error. I had a fear that being ‘too black’ would put me at an even greater disadvantage. I walked the line and was careful about what I said or did. I hardly engaged in extracurricular activities with co-workers, and when I did, I kept my guard up. So much of my energy and effort was exhausted into protecting my brand and trying to avoid negative stereotyping because of the color of my skin. I often think about how much more successful I could’ve been had I not felt obligated to focus on the things that never should’ve mattered. My wife and our two daughters at the apple orchards outside of St. Louis, Missouri. As I stated before, God has led my path in life. Numerous times when I was unsure of the next turn to make, He introduced someone to provide direction. I’m truly grateful for the people who may not have looked like me, but provided me with valuable coaching that helped guide my career in tech. I joined MongoDB to help customers with their data transformations, but I didn’t expect that I would go through a transformation myself. I’ve never felt more empowered to just be myself, and through that, I’ve reached new levels of individual and team accomplishments. I was a direct seller for my first two years with the company, and after receiving coaching from peers and leaders around me, I stepped into management a year ago. This wasn’t necessarily a milestone or goal that I had set out for myself, but I came to the realization that there was tremendous value in helping other sellers (and their families) achieve new levels of success. What better company to step into leadership than at MongoDB. Every company has employee resource groups nowadays, but the intentionality behind those groups at MongoDB is different. Our leadership team has leaned into those difficult, vulnerable discussions, sometimes simply to listen because they knew they didn’t have the answers. Even in those scenarios, they’d come up with relevant action that they could personally be responsible for. Despite the comfort zone I had created over the past 10+ years of watering down my blackness, our Sales team encourages individuality and has brought out the best version of me. It’s helped lift a giant weight off my back. I know I’m no longer starting from behind, and I don’t fear that folks are going to judge me. As I wrap-up my first year in sales leadership, I’ve noticed significant transformation in my personal development, and I’m excited that I get to continue taking on new challenges that will bring discomfort, but instill confidence that I can persevere. As we celebrate Black History Month, I think about the opportunity I have to expose other members of the black community to a profession in sales. Our experiences and our perspectives are highly valued and necessary in order to build a better tech-centric future. We’re passionate about cultivating a culture where people of all backgrounds, identities, and experiences feel valued and heard. Find your next career opportunity at MongoDB.
MongoDB Employees Share Their Coming Out Stories: (Inter)national Coming Out Day 2022
National Coming Out Day is celebrated annually on October 11th and is widely recognized in the United States and parts of Europe. MongoDB proudly supports and embraces the LGBTQIA+ community across the globe, so we’ve reimagined this celebration as (Inter)national Coming Out Day, and this year is our third official celebration. In our yearly tradition of honoring (Inter)national Coming Out Day, we ask our employees who are members of the LGBTQIA+ community to share their coming out experiences and perspectives. Visibility is education. In bringing queer voices to the forefront, we are able to shine light on so many different persepctives, hopefully creating space for others to come out and live authentically. It’s only with continued storytelling, varied representation, and open conversations that we can try to invoke real change. Cara Silverman (she/her) Manager, EA, Product & Engineering | ERG Global Lead, NYC, USA Hear from our own MongoDBers, who share their coming out journey and experience: The full video, The Coming Out Journey , is available on our YouTube channel . Twenty-four MongoDBers from the LGBTQIA+ community and allies participated in this video. With the behind-the-scenes teams included, we saw involvement across just about every team and department in the company. This project has been a true embodiment of our core values , including Embrace the Power of Differences, as allies and LGBTQIA+ folks came together to share their insights and support to create an inclusive space—not just internally, but globally and externally. A great example of our Build Together value is showcased in this video, as our ally community came forward to show their support: The full video, MongoDB Allies , is available on our YouTube channel . (Inter)national Coming Out Day is an important day in the LBGTQIA+ community. Our own MongoDBers express what it means to them personally: I didn't even know my identity was a thing. When I first came out, I thought I was a lesbian. And it was only through education efforts of being exposed to all the full spectrum of the rainbow, if you will, that I discovered later in life that there's a more personal term that describes me. Angie Byron (she/they) Lead, Community Programs, Vancouver, Canada Coming Out Day means a lot because the entire one-year journey of coming out has been a great transformation in itself, to me—physically, mentally, emotionally—in all possible ways. Aasawari Sahasrabuddhe (she/they) Community Triage Engineer, Gurgaon, India We still need Coming Out Day. We're not so far along, as a species, that we can say it doesn't matter because it still does. And so as long as it does matter, those of us who can share our story should. Representation does matter. This is not just a trite saying. Tara Hernandez (she/her) Vice President of R&D Productivity, California, USA I went to a college in Texas where people weren't necessarily safely out. So it was always a big deal. And one of the very first things I did when I kind of took over that organization was start making a big deal about Coming Out Day. I think it's just so exciting to see it on a global scale, seeing how many cultures and how many countries have come along with us on this journey, and how many more people are able to live freely and as they are and without that fear. Cris Newsome (she/they/y’all) Software Engineer 2, Docs, Texas, USA “Representation matters, and to hear these queer voices and to see these queer people, it's something as a child that I always looked for—to actually hear these positive queer stories from people, and it's actually a positive experience. It gives people hope, and hope can achieve a lot of things in the world.” Seán Carroll (he/him) Senior Marketing Operations Manager | ERG Regional Lead, Dublin, Ireland It's critical that we are as visible as possible at all levels of the organization, different age groups, different regions that we come from. And the more visibility that we provide, the easier it will be for all of those around us and future generations to feel like they're able to come out. Ryan Francis (he/him) Vice President, WW Demand Generation & Field Marketing | Executive Sponsor of the Queer Collective, San Francisco, USA International coming out day means a lot to me. As a member of the gay community, it's a significant milestone in my life and I think in the life of all LGBTQIA+ people as they come out. Justin LaBreck (he/him) Services Delivery Enablement Engineer | Global ERG Lead, San Diego, USA Coming Out Day to me is a celebration of our community. It's also a way to support those that haven't made that journey yet, that haven't come out, that there's a community here waiting for you. We're here for you and we're here to support you. Cian Walsh (he/him) Senior Recruiter & Diversity Program Manager | ERG Regional Lead, Dublin, Ireland The fact that we need a coming out day as opposed to just people being able to be their authentic selves everyday means that we are still not in that future that maybe 25, 30 years ago whenever I first came out, I probably was wishful thinking that someday this won't be a thing. People will just talk about their significant others and spouses, and other people will not necessarily assume what the gender of such person is, or if they assume and they're wrong, they're like, oh cool. You're gay or bi or queer or whatever. Asya Kamsky (she/her) Principal Engineer, NYC, USA I think some of the best relationships that I've had, or the best teams I have been in, have been teams where we all know each other very personally and we all know each other's stories and that has created a huge sense of harmony. And if you could bottle that and sell it I think there would be so few problems in the world. Shane O’Brien (he/him) Sr. Manager, Employee Experience | ERG Regional Lead, Dublin, Ireland What I see International Coming Out Day as is really an opportunity to kind of reframe the experience of coming out. So taking what is a historically difficult process and really using it as an opportunity to kind of build visibility for just the overall LGBTQ community and how we can make a difference in the world. Jeff Wilfong (he/him) Enterprise Account Executive NYC, USA International coming out day, what that means to me is celebrating who you are as a person. So no matter where you're from, no matter what your role is personally and professionally, it's just being completely comfortable in your own skin and celebrating who you are. Alex Bissell (he/him) Strategic Customer Success Manager, NYC, USA If you're looking for more content just like this, then check out our 2021 and 2020 blog posts. ERG Global Lead Cara Silverman , who led this project, would like to thank MongoDB’s Production, Marketing, and Employer Brand teams who worked together to create our first-ever global Coming Out Day written and video content featuring the coming out stories of our MongoDBers. The goal of this expanded project was to reach even more people and increase visibility through representation.
Honoring Latine Heritage Month at MongoDB
Heritage and culture sits at the centerfold of human interaction. With a population of more than 650 million people, speaking over 400 different languages, and spanning a geographic area from the tip of Patagonia to the Caribbean, the people of Latin America and the culture of their 33 countries are difficult to condense into one identity. In celebration of Latine Heritage Month, we asked a few Latine MongoDB employees to reflect on their heritage and ultimately how that shapes their work. Tayrin S Riojas , Head of Government Relations and Public Policy I was born in Los Angeles and moved to Mexico City before my third birthday. In my junior year of high school, my family moved back to the United States and ended up in Dallas. I feel so incredibly fortunate to have experienced living in both countries for extended periods of time. I remember high school in the United States feeling like I was in a Hollywood movie — there were big lockers, cheerleaders, and sports teams. However, I felt my friends in Mexico City had a wider variety of social activities compared to the friends I made in the United States. As Mexicans, and in many Latino cultures, we are passionate and socially driven with our families, extended families, and friendships. This is what I personally love most about my culture. We have great traditions and share in them together, from posadas, piñatas, soccer games, and even mourning. This is something that transcends our location, and I feel honored to have been raised with these values. Throughout my career, I have worked in telecommunications, film post-production, healthcare, and the government and held roles such as lobbyist, Senate Committee Consultant, and International Relations Advisor. Tech is at the core of every single one of these opportunities. I am certainly not an engineer, nor can I code anything functional, but I do have a passion for learning about technology. After having my second “COVID baby” and being on parental leave, I decided I wanted to get back into tech. A relative recommended MongoDB, and soon after, I started as a Cloud Account Executive for the Latin America market. I loved talking to our customers, and it taught me so much about the power and versatility of our tech. It was a great role, but I had spent so much time working with the government that I honestly missed it. I truly believe that to excel at what you do, you must have your heart in it. MongoDB is growing fast, and we are encouraged to build our own careers here. When I realized we had no Government Affairs department, I decided to propose it. I wrote a paper on why Government Affairs, why now, and the incredible value and ROI this could have for us (especially with our partnerships). I sent my proposal to leadership for their consideration. From ideation to leadership approving the department and role, I had amazing mentors, guidance, and support from other women at MongoDB and employee resource groups like Sell Like a Girl and The Underrepresented People of Color. I am now the Head of Government Relations and Public Policy at MongoDB. As a Latina woman, having a company of MongoDB’s size make room for your ideas and contributions has been an incredibly fulfilling journey. There is still much work to be done to build our Government Affairs department, but I am incredibly blessed to work for people I admire and contribute to the company through a role I am passionate about. If you are looking for a great career in tech, I urge you to consider MongoDB. Adriano Fratelli , Customer Success Manager My family’s history in Brazil began with my grandparents who migrated from Calabria, Italy to São Paulo in the mid-1960s. My grandfather had received a job opportunity in the largest and most modern port in Latin America, Santos. Growing up in São Paulo, my childhood was rich with Brazilian culture. I was surrounded by family, music, dancing, great food, festivals (like Brazilian Carnival ), and sports. My journey into technology began with my father. He worked for 40 years as a technology product manager in the retail industry and inspired me to pursue a career in tech. I finished my degree in Information Systems in 2014 and started my professional career at IBM as a Field Technical Sales Specialist. I then worked at Lenovo and Oracle before looking for a new career opportunity. My decision to start a new journey at MongoDB was due to the great perspective that customers have regarding our products and services, along with MongoDB’s inclusive culture. The world of technology has opened up many opportunities in my personal life by helping me improve my English language skills and giving me exposure to different countries and cultures around the world. MongoDB is growing exponentially in the Latin American region and, as part of the Customer Success team, I enjoy that I’m able to help our customers onboard and adopt MongoDB’s services. One thing that makes working at MongoDB stand out is knowing that employee’s differences are embraced and our ideas are heard. As part of a global team, it’s great to know that I have the space and support to share my ideas and am valued for the unique perspective I bring. Read more stories from Hispanic and Latine employees at MongoDB . We’re embracing differences every day at MongoDB. Join us to make an impact and transform your career.
Hear From the MongoDB World 2022 Diversity Scholars
The MongoDB Diversity Scholarship program is an initiative to elevate and support members of underrepresented groups in technology across the globe. Scholars receive complimentary access to the MongoDB World developer conference in New York, on-demand access to MongoDB University to prepare for free MongoDB certification, and mentorship via an exclusive discussion group. This year at MongoDB World, our newest cohort of scholars got the opportunity to interact with company leadership at a luncheon and also got a chance to share their experience in a public panel discussion at the Community Café. Hear from some of the 2022 scholars, in their own words. Rebecca Hayes, System Analyst at Alliance for Safety and Justice I did an internal transition from managing Grants/Contracts to IT and just finished a data science certificate (Python, Unix/Linux, SQL) through my community college. My inspiration for pursuing STEM was wanting to understand how reality is represented in systems and how data science can be used to change the world. What was your most impactful experience as part of the Diversity Scholarship? Most impactful were the conversations I had with other attendees at the conference. I talked to people from all sectors who were extremely knowledgeable and passionate about shaping the future of databases. The opportunity to hear from MongoDB leaders and then understand how the vision behind the product was being implemented made me feel inspired for my future in STEM. How has the MongoDB World conference inspired you in your learning or your career path? MongoDB World inspired me to understand the real world applications of databases. I left knowing what's possible with a product like MongoDB and the limits of SQL and traditional databases. After the conference, I wrote this article on Medium reflecting on what I learned at the conference. What is your advice to colleagues pursuing STEM and/or on a similar path as you? Embrace what makes you unique. Just because things take time doesn't mean they won't happen. When learning programming and data science, think about how your work relates to the real world and share those thoughts with others. Seek out new perspectives, stay true to yourself, and keep an open mind. Delphine Nyaboke, Junior Software Engineer at Sendy I am passionate about energy in general. My final year project was on solar mini-grid design and interconnection. I have a mission of being at the intersection of energy and AI What inspired me to get into tech is the ability to solve societal problems without necessarily waiting for someone else to do it for you. This can be either in energy or by code. What was your most impactful experience as part of the Diversity Scholarship? My most impactful experience, apart from attending and listening in on the keynotes, was to attend the breakout sessions. They had lovely topics full of learnings and inspiration, including Engineering Culture at MongoDB; Be a Community Leader; Principles of Data Modeling for MongoDB; and Be Nice, But Not Too Nice just to mention but a few. How has the MongoDB World conference inspired you in your learning or your career path? MongoDB World has inspired me to keep on upskilling and being competitive in handling databases, which is a key skill in a backend engineer like myself. I will continue taking advantage of the MongoDB University courses and on-demand courses available thanks to the scholarship. What is your advice to colleagues pursuing STEM and/or on a similar path as you? STEM is a challenging yet fun field. If you’re tenacious enough, the rewards will trickle in soon enough. Get a community to be around, discuss what you’re going through together, be a mentor, get a mentor, and keep pushing forward. We need like-minded individuals in our society even in this fourth industrial revolution, and we are not leaving anyone behind. Video: Watch the panel in its entirety Raja Adil, Student at Cal Poly SLO Currently, I am a software engineer intern at Salesforce. I started self-teaching myself software development when I was a junior in high school during the COVID-19 pandemic, and from there I started doing projects and gaining as much technical experience as I could through internships. Before the pandemic I took my first computer science class, which was taught in C#. At first, I hated it as it looked complex. Slowly, I started to enjoy it more and more, and during the pandemic I started learning Python on my own. I feel blessed to have found my path early in my career. What was your most impactful experience as part of the Diversity Scholarship? My most impactful experience was the network and friends I made throughout the four days I was in New York for MongoDB World. I also learned a lot about the power of MongoDB, as opposed to relational databases, which I often use in my projects. How has the MongoDB World conference inspired you in your learning or your career path? The MongoDB World conference was amazing and has inspired me a ton in my learning path. I definitely want to learn even more about MongoDB as a database, and in terms of a career path, I would love to intern at MongoDB as a software engineer down the line. What is your advice to colleagues pursuing STEM and/or on a similar path as you? My advice would be to network as much as you can and simply make cool projects that others can use. Evans Asuboah, Stetson University I am an international student from Ghana. I was born and raised by my dad, who is a cocoa farmer, and my mum, who is a teacher. I got into tech miraculously, because my country's educational system matches majors to students according to their final high school grades. Initially, I wanted to do medicine, but I was offered computer science. I realized that computer science could actually be the tool to help my community and also use the knowledge to help my dad on the farm. What was your most impactful experience as part of the Diversity Scholarship? The breakout room sessions. As scholars, we had the chance to talk to MongoDB employees, and the knowledge and experiences changed my thoughts and increased my desire to persevere. I have learned never to stop learning and not to give up. How has the MongoDB World conference inspired you in your learning or your career path? Meeting these amazing people, connecting with the scholars, being at the workshops, and talking to the startups at the booths has made me realize the sky is the limit. I dare to dream and believe until I see the results. What is your advice to colleagues pursuing STEM and/or on a similar path as you? 1. Explore MongoDB; 2. You are the only one between you and your dream; 3. Take the initiative and meet people; 4. Never stop learning. Daniel Erbynn, Drexel University I love traveling and exploring new places. I am originally from Ghana, and I got the opportunity to participate in a summer program after high school called Project ISWEST, which introduced me to coding and computer science through building a pong game and building an Arduino circuit to program traffic lights. This made me excited about programming and the possibilities of solving problems in the tech space. What was your most impactful experience as part of the Diversity Scholarship? My most impactful experience was meeting with other students and professionals in the industry, learning from them, making lifelong connections, and getting the opportunity to learn about MongoDB through the MongoDB University courses. How has the MongoDB World conference inspired you in your learning or your career path? This conference has inspired me to learn more about MongoDB and seek more knowledge about cloud technology. What is your advice to colleagues pursuing STEM and/or on a similar path as you? Don’t be afraid to reach out to people you want to learn from, and create projects you are passionate about. Build your skills with MongoDB University's free courses and certifications . Join our developer community to stay up-to-date with the latest information and announcements.
How These MongoDB Employees Celebrated Juneteenth
On June 19, 1865, soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, announcing that the more than 250,000 enslaved Black people in the state were free by executive decree. This was more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed. Today, June 19 is celebrated as Juneteenth, a day of hope despite present-day uncertainty. It reminds us that at the end of every struggle there comes a time for a change if we persist and do not give up. Juneteenth is a federal holiday in the United States, and MongoDB recognizes this by providing employees with the day off to celebrate and reflect. Members of MongoDB’s affinity group the Underrepresented People of Color share what they did to celebrate. Supporting Black Businesses Kayla Warner , Internal Communications Manager Some of the delicious food and the hands that prepared it, Chef Will Coleman (@chefwillcoleman). Every year, I have to get soul food on Juneteenth. It makes me feel the most connected to my culture (and it’s always great to support small Black businesses). I spent this Juneteenth at a friend’s restaurant pop-up. Being from the Southern United States, it’s not often that I get to have the comfort foods of home in New York. His pop-up had fried fish po’boys, smoked watermelon feta salad, crab deviled eggs, strawberry shortcake biscuits, and sweet tea (that was actually sweet). These dishes and flavors brought me back to backyard cookouts and fish fries all while in the middle of Bed-Stuy. Showing up for folks in my community and building community with them is deeply important to me. Some of my favorite memories in life are connected to food and fellowship, so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to create another memory with friends. Juneteenth for me is a time for the Black community to come together in corporal celebration. A day of pure celebration, to honor those who came before us, to reflect on our past and hold one another close as we face the future together. Moreover, I recognize that Juneteenth has recently come into the national conversation as a holiday. The history and importance of this celebration is still being learned by many across the country, and people are still navigating how to participate and acknowledge this day. While it may seem small, it means a lot to me that MongoDB not only held space for employees to share their Junteenth traditions and experiences but also a reminder that my whole self, including my Blackness and my Southern-ness, has a place and is respected and welcomed at MongoDB. Nia Brown , Workplace Coordinator My partner and I are enjoying our meal at Simone’s, Black-woman-owned Caribbean Restaurant in New York. This Juneteenth, while my partner and I were in Toronto, we looked up Black-owned restaurants to support. I was pleased to find there were many options. We support Black-owned businesses year round, but doing it on Juneteenth made it that much more poignant, knowing the Black dollar only lasts six hours in the Black community compared to 28 days in Asian communities, 19 days in Jewish communities, and 17 days in white communities. It’s important we educate ourselves and one another to help build up the Black community, especially on Juneteenth. Knowing the history of this holiday makes me now, more than ever, want to spread knowledge so that we are never left in the dark again. Spending Time With Family Lakuan Smith , Manager of Inclusion This Juneteenth weekend a few of my family members and I rented a house so that we could spend time together and share knowledge on the things we are doing in our lives to improve our physical, mental, and financial wellness. I chose to participate in these activities because one of my takeaways from Juneteenth is the importance of spreading knowledge and information to improve lives. I think about the news that was shared on June 19, 1865, and how important it was for those African Americans to receive the knowledge of freedom. I am also fortunate enough to spread knowledge beyond Juneteenth weekend as a manager of inclusion at MongoDB. My day-to-day consists of expanding perspectives and creating initiatives that improve the professional lives of under-represented communities. At MongoDB, I don't have to do it alone. With the help of company leadership and our affinity groups, things are changing for the better. Members of my family and I gathered together for a weekend get away and graduation party. Bryan Spears , Senior Technical Recruiter Posing with my dad, best friend, and his father after playing a round at Hanover Golf Course in NJ To celebrate Juneteenth, I hit the golf course with some family and friends. At a very young age, my dad got me into golf with my own set of clubs. As he has gotten older, it is becoming less frequent that my pops gets on the course with me, and it had been over five years since his last time swinging a club. To my surprise, but probably not his, my dad was still hitting the ball better than me at the age of 79. He might not swing the club with the same speed, but more often than not, he was hitting clean shots straight down the course! Overall, I really enjoyed being able to spend time with family and friends to celebrate Juneteenth. Thinking about all the things I was able to do with my loved ones really makes me grateful for the sacrifices made by our ancestors so that we could live in a more equal society. My dad was in his late teens and early 20s during the Civil Rights movement; he married my mom in 1969, just two years after the 1967 United States Supreme Court decision Loving v. Virginia, which struck down all anti-miscegenation (racial segregation at the level of marriage and intimate relationships) laws the remaining in 16 U.S. states. Just being around him is like walking with history, and while I appreciate the freedom that we have today, there is still a lot of work to do in order to combat systemic racism and oppression in the U.S. and worldwide. My hope is that while we all enjoy these holidays with loved ones or use the day off to relax and rejuvenate, we also take some time to reflect and educate ourselves so we can continue to take action. Educating and Reflecting Courtney Turner , Campus Recruiter My Juneteenth weekend was spent reflecting on the past, embracing the present, and encouraging others to have a better understanding of the holiday and the injustices that we are still faced with today. I spoke virtually to a group of young African Americans about the struggle and process of getting to what we now call Juneteenth. I also spent time with my friends at an annual Juneteenth festival, enjoying their company and reflecting on what our community has accomplished and the work still ahead of us all. Spending time with friends and speaking to youth gave me the opportunity to appreciate my culture, enjoy fellowship with other African Americans, and most importantly, do my job educating others on black culture. My desire is that, as we educate ourselves about Juneteenth, we realize that being “free” or “equal” goes beyond signing an order or taking the day off. We can’t celebrate Juneteenth but not teach the history of it in our classes; we can’t celebrate but not encourage justice and equality for all. My desire is that we celebrate with a new understanding and purpose for the holiday. MongoDB is committed to building a culture of inclusion where employees of different origins, backgrounds, and experiences feel valued and heard. Learn more about Diversity & Inclusion at MongoDB .
Celebrating Pride at MongoDB
For Pride 2022, members of MongoDB’s affinity group the Queer Collective shared sentiments about what this month means to them, why Pride is important, how they’re celebrating, and what the future holds for LGBTQIA+ visibility and acceptance. Why does Pride matter? Ryan Francis , VP of Worldwide Field Marketing “While I love the parades, the parties, and the color palette, they all serve Pride’s primary objective, which is to create visibility. That visibility has a ripple effect: It emboldens a young kid in Indiana to come out to his family and friends. And, as research has shown, knowing a queer person tends to be the driving factor toward greater acceptance of queer people generally. And then that kid lives their life proudly, which emboldens future kids to come out, and acceptance grows. But we’re under no illusion that it’s a straight line toward progress, so it is more important than ever to be proud.” Angie Byron , Principal Community Manager “Pride helps folks who are struggling to exist or who lack a sense of belonging in the world to instead find a welcoming new home among others who truly get them. Pride is embracing and respecting the differences between us and our experiences, but coming together as our whole, authentic selves in celebration.” Seán Carroll , Senior Marketing Operations Manager “Visibility and representation matter. Pride is the most visible time for people of the LGBTQIA+ community as it provides an opportunity for us to show our pride and express who we are unashamedly. People view Pride as a party, but it’s more than that. It is a time to remember the origins of Pride, which was a protest, and provide hope for a more honest and open future where we can all live in a free and equal society.” What does Pride mean to you? Shane O’Brien , Senior Manager of Regional Employee Experience, EMEA “Pride to me is not contained in one day or month. It’s a living, breathing, and evolving experience. It’s our past, our present, and our future. It’s a reminder of where we came from and where we are going. Pride is living every day without fear. Pride is knowing when to call someone in and not out. Pride is holding someone’s hand and not thinking twice. Pride is the critical relationship we have with ourselves that is not based on shame.” Robyn Anderson , Senior Director, International Finance “Pride is being myself, defying expectations. It’s about showing love for humanity. It’s about having representation. It’s building a community that respects each other and shouts loudly when there’s injustice. It’s about taking my wife’s hand in public and feeling safe, just like everyone else. Pride is allyship, growing, and embracing. It’s taking responsibility for tomorrow.” Tiffany Green , Executive Assistant “Pride means authenticity. It means standing in your truth, fully embracing who you are, and choosing authenticity each and every time. For many years, I tried to limit who I was in fear of rejection. It wasn’t until I decided to lean into my truth that I really started living.” How do you celebrate Pride? Eddie Aramburo , Team Lead, Corporate Account Strategy “I celebrate Pride every day for giving me and others in our community an unintended strength and euphoria when we let our colors burst. You know that feeling when you listen to Katy Perry’s ‘Firework’? Yeah, that’s the feeling!” Cara Silverman , Manager, Executive Support “When I celebrate, I’m not doing it just for myself. I’m waving my flag high for those who can’t anymore, for those who fought (and continue to fight) for the freedom for our community to exist and be celebrated. I fight so that younger folks questioning their identity can feel empowered to step into their own light, because living authentically is Pride.” What does the future hold for Pride? Paul Sokolson , Senior Program Manager, GTM & Product Commercialization “I look forward to continuing to raise awareness that as humans, we share more similarities than differences. I look forward to continuing the fight for equality for the generations of LGTBQ youth that come after me.” Ashley Brown , Lead Technical Writer, Server “The fight isn’t over yet, and this Pride, I’ll be supporting not only my queer community, but also people of color, women, people with disabilities, and all members of marginalized communities who are working to secure the same rights as the historically privileged.” Tara Hernandez , VP of Developer Productivity “Acceptance starts within! Pride is more than just a month celebrated each year. For many of us, it’s celebrated every day. While things today are not perfect, seeing how far we have come despite the challenges we’ve faced gives me hope for the future.” At MongoDB, we celebrate Pride all year round. Join us in embracing the power of differences!
Honoring Black History Month
As Black History Month comes to an end, we reflect on and honor the history, legacies, achievements, and contributions of the Black community in the United States. Hear from three members of MongoDB’s affinity group TUPOC (the Underrepresented People of Color) to learn more about what this month means to them, and how they are honoring Black history all year round. Bryant McCombs , Manager, Customer Success I manage the Customer Success team for New England, Eastern Canada, & the Mid-Atlantic. My team is responsible for making sure that our customers have all of the resources they need to be successful in leveraging MongoDB. I’ve had a very non-linear path to tech, starting my professional career as a performance coach at an athletic training facility. I then decided to transition into financial sales consulting, but quickly realized that it was not the career path for me. So, I decided to drop everything I was doing and move to rural Australia. There, I began working as an irrigation manager on a farm the size of Manhattan. After my brief stint as a farmer, I decided to get back into coaching and landed a role as volunteer assistant track coach at the University of Pennsylvania. During my time in Philly, I also held a number of part-time jobs and began attending my first tech meetups. It was when I attended Philly Tech Week that I finally realized tech was the place for me. Several months later, I landed my first role at a startup software development consultancy as an operations manager. I was the second employee and I knew next to nothing about software development. Over the course of two years, I helped grow the team to over 60 employees while managing everything from the company accounting, human resources, account management, and more. Those two years were probably the most valuable years of my professional career in tech, and I haven’t looked back since. When I was being recruited to work at MongoDB, the values that prioritized intellectual honesty and psychological safety were very enticing to me, and I’ve found them to be embodied values throughout my tenure. MongoDB has had a huge impact on my career within a very short amount of time. In the year and ten months that I’ve been here, I’ve been promoted twice: first as an individual contributor and then to a manager role. I enjoy working at MongoDB because we are solving some pretty huge challenges every day and are in a period of consistent and rapid growth. In college, I was a history major with a focus on the African Diaspora. I remember being amazed the first time I learned about the impact various African traditions had on the culture of a wide range of places such as Brazil, the Bahamas, and the U.S. When I think about the middle passage and the incredibly harsh conditions that my ancestors endured reaching America, I can’t help but think that it’s a miracle I am even here today. Learning anything about the lives of my enslaved ancestors has never been an easy task, with no equivalent of Ellis or Angel Island and poorly maintained slave papers. However, after extensive research, I found some of the names and photos of my ancestors that were enslaved in Mississippi and North Carolina. This process helped me reclaim some of my family’s history and feel more connected to my lineage. When a lot of people think of Black history they think of slavery or black and white footage of Martin Luther King Jr. marching on the capital. However, to me, it’s a lot more than that. My parents were teenagers before the Civil Rights Act was passed and adults by the time it was widely adopted. They experienced most of their childhood and a significant part of their adulthood without basic human rights. They struggled with racist institutions and setbacks based purely on the color of their skin, and as an unintended consequence of their experience, they became stronger and more resilient individuals. I like to think that they’ve passed that strength and resilience down to me, and as I begin to start my own family, I hope that I can pass it down to my children. When I think of what Black History Month means to me, I think that Black history is unable to be contained by a month and that Black history is being made and should be celebrated every day. Kayla Warner , Internal Communications Manager As a child in Alabama, Black History month was recognized and celebrated wherever I went– school, church, and especially at home. From rote memorization of Black History facts like Madame C.J. Walker being the first female millionaire, or memorizing lines for the latest Black History month play at church, I was fully bought into celebrating the achievements of Black people. However, I never gave much thought to why it was important to recognize these achievements. As I got older, I learned about the atrocities of slavery and segregation; met people who protested and participated in the Civil Rights Movement; and realized that my father was born two weeks after Bloody Sunday. It was now clear to me that Black History doesn’t live in the past– it affects us now and shapes our future. Kayla and her father As I came of age, racial identity and consciousness became more and more important to me. But to be honest, it was less by choice and exploration– but by necessity. The deaths of Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, and Michael Brown made a seismic impact on my life because they were all my age. Race became the biggest conversation in my life. I had to interrogate my held beliefs and values, and define what being Black in America meant to me– when so much of Blackness in America was becoming synonymous with pain and strife. I had to forge my own identity, so I decided to do something radical. I chose joy. My definition of Blackness became one of light, celebration, laughter, and most importantly, hope. Black History Month has become a time to celebrate customs and traditions, to rejoice with levity and laughter, and to embrace my community. That communal aspect is key, especially within the Black community and other communities of color across the country. That is why I am so thankful that there is space for community at MongoDB through affinity groups like TUPOC. Onboarding as a remote employee is never an easy feat, but having a resource like TUPOC made me feel less alone and reminded me of the importance of fellowship. Beyond TUPOC, the Corporate Communications team has made me feel at home and respected as a member of the team. MongoDB’s value “embrace the power of difference” made me want to join and seeing it in action from the executive team to my peers has confirmed that I made the right choice. Courtney Turner , Campus Recruiter Black History Month is not just 28 or 29 days to reflect on the countless contributions of African American culture to society, nor is it a month to make a one-time purchase from Black businesses. Black History Month is truly a lifestyle for me. Growing up in a small town in North Carolina, I can remember my family teaching me about prominent figures in Black history like Medgar Evers, Dr. Shirley Jackson, and Carter G. Woodson. They also taught me about the harsh realities of Black history like the tragic murder of Emmett Till, the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing, and the lynching of Joe Code. As a child, my mother and late aunt encouraged me to be active in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, where I hosted annual Freedom banquets, sang the Negro National Anthem, and was even recognized for my contributions to the community and the state. Understanding that Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) were created when admission wasn't granted to African Americans, I knew it was imperative that I attend an HBCU. Starting my college journey at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University and completing my collegiate experience at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, I was surrounded by black excellence and unity, but most importantly I saw the hard work HBCU students put forth to excel even when not given the same opportunities and funding as other students. This is where my passion for inclusion and advocacy arises from, leading to my passion for starting a career in recruiting. Despite the stereotypes and labels placed on African American males, my mother always reminded my two brothers and me that we were kings. This led me to run and serve in the role of Mister Black North Carolina. My platform was Reconstructing the Black Male Image, and after serving as Mister Black North Carolina, I decided to launch my own mentoring program “Dapper Distinguished Men Society”. Courtney and his mother Today, we reflect not only on Black history but all parts of the Black experience. Black history represents the tears that slaves shed in the stillness of the night while working to escape into what they thought would be freedom. Black history contains the fear that Black families felt driving through sundown towns while using Green Books for guidance, it's the feeling of not being equal, not being heard, not being appreciated, and not feeling safe enough to jog in your neighborhood, visit the local store, and relax in the comfort of your own home. It is the realization that we have progressed but have so far to go to truly be counted equal. As we reflect on Black history and glimpse into our Black future, we recognize that no matter how many times we are knocked down, we are never knocked out. Interested in joining MongoDB? We have several open roles on our teams across the globe and would love for you to transform your career with us!
The Power of Embracing Differences: My Journey to MongoDB
September 14th, 2021 marked my first full year at MongoDB, and what a year it’s been. A bit about me Hi, I’m Cara! I’m a Team Lead, Executive Assistant, specifically for Tech & Product. I’m based out of our NYC office and live in Jersey City with my girlfriend and our three cats. At MongoDB, I support our amazing Chief Product Officer and also lead a team of awesome Administrative Assistants (AAs) and Executive Assistants (EAs) within Tech & Product. We are hiring like crazy, too, and I can’t say enough great things about our team. Beyond my already rewarding and challenging role as a Team Lead, I also get to work on other meaningful projects while growing my core career. I’m incredibly grateful and humbled to be a Global Lead for two of MongoDB’s affinity groups (known as employee resource groups at some companies) alongside some of the best, most passionate people I’ve ever met: Queeries - A closed group and safe space for people who personally identify within the LGBTQIA+ spectrum. The Queer Collective - An open group for the LGBTQIA+ community as well as our amazing allies (all are welcome!) to exchange thoughts, ideas, and learn and grow from each other. As we like to say, the future is inclusive! Finding my voice and professional purpose The funny thing is, I didn’t know what an “affinity group” or “employee resource group” was for most of my career. I used to work in a more conservative corporate environment and spent over a decade in the food/hospitality industry with people whose views were wildly different from mine. One of my bosses always asked me if I had a boyfriend or when I was going to settle down with a nice guy. It was awkward and uncomfortable, but it was a discomfort I got used to. How sad is that? The crazy thing was, it didn’t feel sad or weird or anything at the time. I just thought I had to stay hidden at work. That’s what you did. It wasn’t “professional” to be gay. The first time I saw a queer coworker was when I had my first real introduction to the tech start-up environment. He was so vibrantly open about who he was, and I was in awe of him. I stayed quiet for my first few months there and studied people’s reactions, interactions, and how they responded when he would say things that I never thought could be said in an office. They weren’t bad things by any means, but they were topics about being queer that I watched everyone embrace. Then, it slipped out during lunch one day. I thought maybe I could casually mention going on a date so it would be less weird, but everyone was super surprised. I get told I “look straight” a lot, which I’ve always found irritating. What does that even mean? Do I need to be masculine-presenting to be gay? Me (right) and my girlfriend From there, I moved on to work at Zocdoc, which truly opened my eyes to affinity groups, workplace queer communities, and how far they expand. It was the first place I worked that even had an affinity group. I befriended two amazing humans there who were the founders of ZocPride, which represented Zocdoc’s queer community. We got to talking and they told me they only planned something for Pride month. They’re not planners, they actually hate planning, but they didn’t want the group to die. So I said, “Good news. Hi, I’m Cara. I’m super queer and I love to plan things!” We chuckled and then I immediately started planning and researching what I could do with this awesome gift I was just given. Since we had no D&I team and a very limited budget, I worked to find other companies to partner with as well as vendors who would be open to sponsoring events for us. Before I knew it, we were partnering with Out in Tech to host an external panel discussion about queer access to healthcare. We hosted it on Coming Out Day and had about 300 guests. From there, things really took off. We did a “spread the love” campaign for Valentine’s Day, had hugely successful fundraisers for NYC’s AIDS Walk, and then, you guessed it, went crazy for Pride. I proudly introduced the art of drag to Zocdoc and started their annual Drag Bingo Pride event. We also sponsored and had a booth at the Lesbians Who Tech Summit the year that Hilary Clinton came to speak. It was unbelievable. My MongoDB journey After receiving incredible offers to work at a few more companies, unexpectedly experiencing workplace discrimination, and reflecting on what I want and need to be happy and thrive in a work environment, I found myself at MongoDB. One of my amazing colleagues from Zocdoc was working here and we were catching up. I heard the details about the Company and role and thought it sounded like a great fit! I love working in tech, but specifically with Product & Tech teams. They’re brilliant, passionate, quirky personalities that vibe well with mine and in my experience, are hyper-focused on having fun and building a positive culture. Because of my previous experiences, I knew exactly what I was looking for. I asked questions that could be uncomfortable to some, as far as the company’s commitment to Diversity & Inclusion, what it means to them personally, and how they practice what they preach. I didn’t want any more wooden nickels. The interview process was amazing. Everyone was super responsive, informative, and helpful and didn’t hesitate to answer any of my hard-hitting questions. Interviews are a two-way street, and I was immediately put at ease when I realized that MongoDB was the place for me. My recruiter started telling me about our growing D&I team, our affinity groups, and how involved and supportive the leadership team is. Then I got to interview with my manager, our Chief Product Officer, who I clicked with instantly. I knew right away that I wanted to work with him. In my experience, I haven't always been lucky with great bosses. I’ve been ignored, lied to, dismissed, looked over, and simply not appreciated. I don’t feel that way here. I feel heard and respected, and that speaks volumes in itself. I’m often encouraged to take time for myself. I had some personal health issues at the beginning of the year. I was anxious to take time off because I was still so new, but the outpour of support and understanding I received blew my mind. That’s when I knew I had really found my new home. When I joined MongoDB last year, The Queer Collective was still a new group, only three months old at that point, and I was able to join at a very exciting time when there was lots of opportunity and momentum. We officially launched the group alongside the communication of launching our first-ever celebration of (inter)national Coming Out Day . We celebrated again this year and have decided that it will be a company-wide annual tradition. Last year, four of our leads (myself included) shared their coming out stories, and we didn’t realize how much of an impact it made until feedback started to trickle in. We were told that some employees joined MongoDB after reading our stories and some even felt comfortable coming out of the closet and stepping into their own light. If that’s not rewarding, I don’t know what is. This year, more employees shared their stories , and we partnered with our Benefits team to host an internal panel discussion. October is Mental Health Awareness Month, and we thought it would be the perfect time to talk through and bring awareness to the mental health journey that comes along with coming out and embracing your true, authentic self. We will also be planning a full week of impactful programming for Trans Awareness Week so that we can continue to amplify the voices in the Trans Community while encouraging continued education. This past July, I also spoke at MongoDB.live (formerly known as MongoDB World) with my Queer Collective co-lead and dear friend Seán Carroll about Allyship and how to upgrade to an active accomplice. It explored what accountability and support look like and how we can all improve our support of the LGBTQIA+ community. The feedback was amazing, and I can’t wait to evolve our topic and content and hopefully speak in person next year! I also have the pleasure of working closely with our incredible D&I team on impactful initiatives, such as helping with large external events and partnerships like the Lesbians Who Tech Summit, where we secured a top-tier sponsorship at the largest queer tech event in the world! I’ve also been part of meaningful conversations, such as expanding gender and identity options and helping to evolve and plan for benefits that help and impact the Queer community. The list goes on, really. I frequently sync with our D&I team and I’m so grateful to work somewhere that truly invests in fostering an inclusive and equitable work environment. Why MongoDB is the place for me I’ve worked in a lot of different industries, with people from every level and walk of life, and now I feel as though I’m where I was meant to be. MongoDB’s values truly align with my own, and this is the first company that I’ve seen make an actual effort to align their company objectives and goals with their values. Here’s how I live some of our MongoDB values every day: I proudly embrace the power of everyone’s differences (mine included). We evolve and move forward with a magical combination of varied backgrounds, interests, and ideas. Why bother doing anything if you don’t plan to make it matter ? I stand behind everything I work on and am proud of the meaningful projects and impacts I’ve seen first-hand so far. I’ve always been a big idea kind of human - Think Big, Go Far - I thrive on creativity, ambition, and being a relentless dreamer. When I joined, I received a postcard from our CEO. Part of it said, “We want your time here to become a real inflection point in your professional career”, and I can wholeheartedly say after just my first year, it already is. I’m constantly learning and growing at MongoDB. From management training to webinars to endless learning and development resources, and beyond. These were things I had been requesting, asking, and looking for at previous companies. They were things promised to me “eventually”, but they never came. Here I was in my first week at MongoDB, given them without asking. This is a company that truly cares about its employees’ development and success. I’ve hired (and am growing) an awesome team of amazing humans who I’m so proud to work alongside every day. Any job can be great, but the people make it extra special. The EA team at MongoDB is like no other, and I can’t wait to see its continued growth and evolution. Helping to build and evolve a world-class EA org is incredibly exciting and rewarding, and I love being a part of it. I love that I can be fully myself at work and am given the opportunity to make an impact in so many ways. I can’t wait to see what the future will bring. It’s been an unbelievable experience and journey so far! Interested in joining MongoDB? We have several open roles on our teams across the globe and would love for you to transform your career with us!
MongoDB Employees Share Their Coming Out Stories: (Inter)National Coming Out Day 2021
National Coming Out Day is celebrated annually on October 11 and is widely recognized in the United States. MongoDB proudly supports and embraces the LGBTQIA+ community across the globe, so we’ve reimagined this celebration as (Inter)National Coming Out Day. In our yearly tradition of honoring (Inter)National Coming Out Day, we asked employees who are members of the LGBTQIA+ community to share their coming out experiences. These are their stories. Ryan Francis , VP of Global Demand Generation & Field Marketing Growing up in the 90s in what I used to call “the buckle of the Bible Belt,” I did not believe coming out was in the cards. In fact, I would sit up at night to devise my grand escape to New York City after being disowned (how I planned on paying for said escape remains unknown). I was, however, out to my best friend, Maha. During the summer between my Sophomore and Junior years of high school, I spent time with her family in Egypt. On the return trip, I bought a copy of The Advocate to learn about the big gay life that awaited me after my great escape. Later that month, my mother stumbled upon that magazine when she was cleaning the house. She waited six months to bring it up, but one day in January sat me down in the living and asked, “Are you gay?” I paused for a moment and said… “yup.” She started crying and thanked me for being honest with her. A month later, she picked up a rainbow coffee mug at a yard sale and has been Mrs. PFLAG ever since, organizing pride rallies in our little Indiana hometown and sitting on the Episcopal church vestry this year in order to push through our parish’s blessing of same-sex marriage. Needless to say, I didn’t have to escape. My father was also unequivocally accepting. This is a good thing because my sister Lindsay is a Lesbian, so they sure would have had a tough time given 100% of their kids turned out gay. Lindsay is the real hero here who stayed in our homeland to raise her children with her wife, changing minds every day so that, hopefully, there will be fewer and fewer kids who actually have to make that great escape. Angie Byron , Principal Community Manager Growing up in the Midwest in the 80s and 90s, I was always a “tomboy;” as a young kid, I gravitated to toys like Transformers and He-Man and refused to wear pink or dresses. Since we tended to have a lot in common, most of my best friends growing up were boys; I tended to feel awkward and shy around girls and didn’t really understand why at the time. I was also raised both Catholic and Bahá’í, which led to a very interesting mix of perspectives. While both religions have vastly different belief and value systems, the one thing they could agree on was that homosexuality was wrong (“intrinsically immoral and contrary to the natural law” in the case of Catholicism, and “an affliction that should be overcome” in the case of Bahá’í). Additionally, being “out” as queer at that time in that part of the United States would generally get you made fun of, if not the everlasting crap kicked out of you, so finding other queer people felt nearly impossible. As a result, I was in strong denial about who I was for most of my childhood and gave several valiant but ultimately failed attempts at the whole “trying to date guys” thing as a teenager (I liked guys just fine as friends, but when it came to kissing and stuff it was just, er… no.). In the end, I came to the reluctant realization that I must be a lesbian. I knew no other queer people in my life, and so was grappling with this reality alone, feeling very isolated and depressed. So, I threw myself into music and started to find progressively more and more feminist/queer punk bands whose songs resonated with my experiences and what I was feeling: Bikini Kill, Team Dresch, The Need, Sleater-Kinney, and so on. I came out to my parents toward the end of junior high, quite by accident. Even though I had no concrete plan for doing so, I always figured Mom would be the more accepting one, given that she was Bahá’i (a religion whose basic premise is the unity of religions and equality of humanity), and I’d have to work on Dad for a bit, since he was raised Catholic and came from a family with more conservative values from an even smaller town in the midwest. Imagine my surprise when one day, Mom and I were watching Ricky Lake or Sally Jesse Raphael or one of those daytime talk shows. The topic was something like “HELP! I think my son might be gay!” My mom said something off-handed like “Wow, I don’t know what I would do if one of you came out to me as gay...” And, in true 15-year old angsty fashion, I said, “Oh YEAH? Well you better FIGURE IT OUT because I AM!” and ran into my room and slammed the door. I remember Mom being devastated, wondering what she did wrong as a parent, and so on. I told her, truly, nothing. My parents were both great parents; home was my sanctuary from bullying at school, and my siblings and I were otherwise accepted exactly as we were, tomboys or otherwise. After we’d finished talking, she told me that I had better go tell my father, so I begrudgingly went downstairs. “Dad… I’m gay.” Instead of a lecture or expressing disdain, he just said, “Oh really? I run a gay support group at your Junior High!” and I was totally mind blown. Bizarro world. He was the social worker at my school, so this makes sense, but it was the exact opposite reaction that I was expecting. An important life lesson in not prejudging people. When I moved onto high school, we got… drumroll ... the Internet. Here things take a much happier turn. Through my music, I was able to find a small community of fellow queers (known as Chainsaw), including a ton of us from various places in the Midwest. I was able to learn that I was NOT a freak, I was NOT alone, there were SO many other folks who felt the exact same way, and they were all super rad! We would have long talks into the night, support each other through hardships, and more than a few of us met each other in person and hung out in “real life.” Finding that community truly saved my life, and the lives of so many others. (Side-note: This is also how I got into tech because the chat room was essentially one gaping XSS vulnerability, and I taught myself HTML by typing various tags in and seeing how they rendered.) I never explicitly came out to anyone in my hometown. I was too scared to lose important relationships (it turns out I chose my friends well, and they were all completely fine with it, but the prospect of further isolating myself as a teenager was too terrifying at the time). Because of that, when I moved to a whole new country (Canada) and went to college, the very first thing I did on my first day was introduce myself as “Hi, I’m Angie. I’ve been building websites for fun for a couple of years. Also, I’m queer, so if you’re gonna have a problem with that, it’s probably best we get it out of the way now so we don’t waste each others’ time.” Flash forward to today, my Mom is my biggest supporter, has rainbow stickers all over her car, and has gone to dozens of Pride events. Hacking together HTML snippets in a chat room led to a full-blown career in tech. I gleaned a bit more specificity around my identity and now identify as a homoromantic asexual . Many of those folks I met online as a teenager have become life-long friends. And, I work for a company that embraces people for who they are and celebrates our differences. Life is good. Learn more about Diversity & Inclusion at MongoDB Interested in joining MongoDB? We have several open roles on our teams across the globe and would love for you to transform your career with us!
Honoring Hispanic Heritage Month
We’re honoring Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 to October 15) in a few ways here at MongoDB! First, hear from three MongoDB employees about their own experiences and what this month means to them. Then, keep scrolling for a Spotify playlist, reading list, and movie list curated by members of our affinity group the Underrepresented People of Color Network (TUPOC). Alicia Raymond , Director, HR Business Partner (Core & Cloud), New York City At 18 years old, and without knowing a word of English, my mother left behind her entire family in Chile to come to the United States. This was in 1973, shortly before the dictator Augusto Pinochet came into power. The following years in Chile were tumultuous and my mother, who was now married to a U.S. military member, relocated frequently. Over time, she lost contact with her family in Chile. Years later, I was a college student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a Morehead-Cain scholarship. The scholarship allowed me to take part in various summer activities, including a summer of studying abroad. Chile was on the list of countries where I could study, so I jumped at the opportunity to go there and find my family. As soon as the plane touched down, I began searching for traces of my family members. This was before the prevalence of social media, so I spent a lot of time sifting through phone books. Finally, I was able to locate a phone number for my mother’s younger sister, Esther, but I didn’t call her right away. I was anxious about how I would fit in with my Chilean relatives. My identity as Latina had always felt a bit nebulous — a common feeling among multiracial, multicultural people and second-generation immigrants. I was Spanglish-speaking and white-passing, and I had not grown up among a Latinx community in the U.S. At the time, I struggled to feel like part of the Latinx community, but I also felt a deep obligation not to abandon the complex mix of identities I inherited from my mother — a mix we are still learning about today. Until recently, she didn’t know she was almost half Indigenous American — a detail her parents hid to improve their chances of integrating into the middle class of Chilean society. Alicia with her mother and aunts from Chile in New York City Eventually, I worked up the courage to make the call. After a few rings of the phone, someone picked up on the other end. I confirmed that it was Esther and then, in broken Spanish, I explained who I was and that I was in Chile. Esther’s excitement melted away all of my concerns. We scheduled a time to meet in person that week, and we have remained in contact ever since. After re-establishing and maintaining contact with my Chilean family, my bonds with my Chilean heritage strengthened. Although my cultural identity still feels complicated, within that complexity lies an incredible blessing. It has given me the opportunity to navigate multiple worlds and be shaped by varied perspectives and communities. That’s not to imply that those identities always meshed in a frictionless way — my father’s parents almost disowned him for marrying my Latina mother — but even that friction helped expand my view of the world. In a career context, this has allowed me to be highly adaptable to new circumstances, adept at perspective-taking, and flexible enough in my own beliefs to understand others’ viewpoints. Those skills are essential for my role as an HR Business Partner, where the issues I face often involve multiple stakeholders, rarely have one right answer, and require a big dollop of creative problem-solving. I am eternally grateful for the multifaceted lens my cultural background has provided me. Alicia's mother as a child, outside the house she grew up in Gustavo Chavez , Senior Solutions Architect, Austin Hispanic Heritage Month is not just a month, it’s a lifestyle! I’m originally from a small town in Mexico and was raised all over the state of Chihuahua. Growing up, I was always fascinated by airplanes and technology, and when I reached high school I had the opportunity to start learning computer programming. My friend’s father owned a payroll-processing company, and he started teaching RPG and COBOL on an IBM System 34 (yeah, I know, I’m dating myself) during the afternoons, so I would go there two or three times a week. This is where my passion for computers and technology really grew and led me to pursue a degree in computer science. After graduating, I began working at a local startup doing offshore work for a mainframe application performance-monitoring company located in Santa Monica, California. The company, Candle Corp, then offered me the opportunity to work for them in the U.S., so my wife and I packed our things in a U-Haul and drove 900 miles west to Los Angeles! IBM acquired Candle Corp in the mid-2000s, which led me to Austin, Texas. After a few years, I had the opportunity to join MongoDB. Diversity is celebrated here, and we all work together toward a common goal while having fun along the way. In my role as a Senior Solutions Architect, I support the LATAM Corporate Sales organization and help align MongoDB technology with customer needs and business goals. My children were born in Los Angeles, where, as an immigrant, I started thinking about my role as a parent in preserving Hispanic language and culture for the next generation. Luckily, it wasn’t too difficult given our location. The shared history between Mexico and the U.S. provides the perfect canvas to paint a picture of blended colors and influences from other places. This is apparent all across Texas and the southwest of our country. The food, architecture, names, battles, and social struggle through the years help build the foundation of what it means to be of Hispanic descent in the United States. We are embedded in the fabric of the region and country, and that is what we aim to share with everybody — our common bonds instead of our differences. Today, as the proud father of two young adults attending university, I can honestly say the job is not done. We still have other generations to share our culture and heritage with. I hope we can ensure that future generations are proud of being Hispanic and proud of the contributions made by members of the Hispanic community to the United States. Gustavo and his family Camilo Velez-Gordon , Field Marketing Specialist, New York City In 2003, my mom and I hopped on a one-way flight from Colombia to Newark International Airport with four suitcases and a lot of unknowns. As a 7-year-old with minimal knowledge of the English language, I had no idea what it meant for me or my future, and I was terrified. My family and I quickly settled in northern New Jersey, and I learned English in less than a year thanks to cartoons and shows such as Rocket Power and Drake and Josh. Throughout my upbringing, I learned that two things will always be true: Family is and always will be an important part of my life, and in the United States you are in control of your destiny, which may not be the case elsewhere. The older I get, the more significance Hispanic Heritage Month has in my life. This may be due to a deeper understanding of the importance of culture and my background. The month is a great opportunity to reflect on my journey to where I am today, and also a good time to educate the people around me about what it is like to be Latino in today’s America. The tech industry has always been fascinating to me, but, while in school, a career in tech always seemed like a far-fetched goal. Through my network, I was fortunate enough to secure a marketing internship for an ad-tech firm while finishing my senior year as a business student at Montclair State University. Once I got my foot in the door, I was determined to take full advantage of the opportunity. To this day, my main takeaway from the process of getting into tech is that mastering the skill of networking will open many doors in your career. As I approach my two-year anniversary at MongoDB, I frequently look back on my journey to where I am today, and I can’t help but smile. The terrified 7-year-old from 17 years ago came a long way. At MongoDB, I continue to grow, evolve, and learn. During my tenure, I have met incredible people, achieved many milestones, and launched multiple global programs that have had a positive impact on the business. I am so proud of how far my family and I have come, and I could not be more excited for what is to come for MongoDB. Camilo and his family Celebrate the Hispanic and Latinx community's contributions to music, literature, and film Spotify Reading list Title Author The House on Mango Street Sandra Cisneros I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter Erika L. Sanchez The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao Junot Diaz Dominicana: A Novel Angie Cruz War Against All Puerto Ricans: Revolution and Terror in America's Colony Nelson A. Denis Latinx Superheroes in Mainstream Comics Frederick Luis Aldama Empire's Workshop: Latin America, the United States, and the Rise of the New Imperialism Greg Grandin Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza Gloria Anzaldúa The Borders of Dominicanidad Lorgia Garcia-Peña The Battle for Paradise: Puerto Rico Takes on the Disaster Capitalists Naomi Klein The Arawak: The History and Legacy of the Indigenous Natives in South America and the Caribbean Charles River Editors The Indian Chronicles José Barreiro Eva Luna Isabel Allende The Bronx Evelyn Gonzalez Barrio Dreams: Puerto Ricans, Latinos, and the Neoliberal City Arlene Dávila Bodega Dreams Ernesto Quiñonez The Eagle's Throne Carlos Fuentes The Poet X Elizabeth Acevedo When I Was Puerto Rican: A Memoir