Have you Herd?

Meet the Shebras

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Hear from our herd about what it’s like to work at one of the most successful U.S. insurtech companies, and best places to work – straight from The Zebra’s mouth! Ready to join? Check out our current job openings.

Allow us to introduce ourselves…

The Shebras are the oldest and largest employee resource group at The Zebra. We are a group of women and allies who provide opportunities for all Zeebs to come to work as their authentic selves. We strive to create inclusive spaces for learning, growth and leadership. Our goals are to support working moms, create and implement mentorship programs and develop career growth. 


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The Shebras’ origin story

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Prior to joining The Zebra, Sarah Kettles had experienced the powerful career support and community that can come from women-focused ERGs at previous companies. As she was planning her next career move, she wanted to join a company that already had ERGs or was open to the possibility of creating them. 

Two months after joining The Zebra in early 2018, she met with CEO Keith Melnick to discuss the concept of a women-focused ERG. At that time The Zebra didn’t have any ERG presence, and Keith was incredibly supportive of the idea. He asked her to come back to him with a proposal. As a true researcher, she went to the women of the company to see if there was interest. She found that an ERG had been attempted previously and that there was already a vibrant community created around women at The Zebra. 

From there, the women of The Zebra brainstormed ways to provide career and skill development opportunities, including ways for us to give back to the community together. Those areas of focus ended up being the pillars upon which The Shebras was founded as a group in 2018. 

 

Pathways to inclusion  

The Shebras have provided a community for women at The Zebra. They foster an environment where women and allies have the resources to shine and advocate for themselves. Our intention has always been to showcase the wonderful skills that make each woman their own unique force. The Shebras have created a group where women are consistently highlighted and brought to the forefront of conversations.

The group is volunteer-led by women who craft events that aim to benefit women in their daily, professional and personal lives. Building camaraderie and community has become a big part of who we are as an ERG. For example, a few years ago we started #LittleWinsDay as a way for members to share any wins — big or small — they’d like to highlight in our member Slack channel. It’s one way we can connect and celebrate each other! 

 

Connection & fellowship 

The Shebras have had the opportunity to offer a variety of events and resources over the years. It’s been important to the group that any events and resources are impactful but also fun to participate in. The pandemic has shifted how we do events but here are just a few of the events we’ve had the opportunity to host over the years:

International Women’s Day 

While the theme changes every year, we’ve always aimed to highlight this holiday internally and give all employees the opportunity to participate. This year’s theme is #BreakTheBias and we are engaging employees to write down their biases and “break” them. 

The Shebra Showcases

The Shebra Showcases were started as a way for our members to demonstrate their skills to others. We wanted to highlight the diversity of interests and skills that everyone has to offer. Since their inception, we’ve offered a variety of skillshares that include, but are not limited to: drawing basics by a designer, bread baking 101 by a product manager, Gmail organization by a compliance manager, indoor houseplants by a data scientist, and how to write better by a director of marketing research. All of the showcases have promoted growth and knowledge sharing which we are a huge proponent of.

Workshops & Panels

One of the great things about being employee-led is that we all have different experiences that allow us to gather a variety of ideas to bring to The Shebras. Over the years, we’ve had many workshops and panels that have been internal and external led. A few include:

  • Self-advocacy workshops
  • IC to VP leadership panels
  • Career pivot panel
  • Managing hard conversations
  • Smart money moves
  • Brag Better book + worksheet 

 

Community impact 

From the beginning, The Shebras have made a conscious effort to engage with the local community. In any event we plan, we’ve looked to incorporate women-led initiatives. Shebras AIDS walkFor example, prior to the pandemic we would bring in female speakers to talk to The Shebras about their work, their paths and their wins within their respective industries. It was important to us to elevate women in the company and in a variety of industries. 

The pandemic has shifted how we interact with the community but, throughout the years, we’ve made an effort to purchase from small and local businesses for events or at a minimum highlight companies led by women that The Shebras can support. For example, last year we curated a list of women-owned restaurants for employees to use when ordering food for company events. We’ve approached each and every event with care to ensure we help highlight the great communities that Austin has to offer. 

We also strive to impact the community in positive ways by highlighting women-focused causes for our members to contribute to. For example, we host item collection drives for Dress for Success and Casa Marianella. We’ve also contributed to Shelterbox and hosted a panel to highlight their work in disaster areas across the world.

 

From the herd.
Why do you like being a part of The Shebras?

I enjoy being a member of The Shebras and helping create inclusive spaces for learning, growth and leadership where all Zebras can come to work as their authentic selves. Being a part of a group that aims to serve women and cultivate allies of women, supporting diversity and inclusion, seems almost necessary being a woman working in tech.” - Enja

The Shebras are an intentional group where I feel comfortable sharing painful experiences in the past. Where we, together, can add value and create solutions for our workplace. We share wins, experiences, learn together about how we can truly make this an accepting place regardless of inherent or adherent backgrounds.” - Sara

The women at The Zebra are some of the most incredible people I've ever worked with! It's inspiring and empowering to be part of this ERG.” - Haley

I want to be a strong ally for my co-workers and advocate for an inclusive workplace where gendered norms and biases are confronted and broken down.” - Daniel

I think it's important for women (and non-binary and allies) in tech to have spaces to form community, share resources and build each other up. I appreciate that The Shebras is really intentional about making a variety of different types of events at different times to be accessible to everyone.” - Susan

Women supporting women! I wanted to connect with women outside of the group I normally interact with and hear what they do, what they enjoy, and what their contribution to our herd is. With being remote, a lot of the organic learnings and connections are gone so it's a great way to hear what other groups are working on and to see those women succeed.” - Kierra

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Ofelia RodríguezSoftware Engineer

Ofelia Rodríguez is a software engineer who spent the last few years in quality engineering. Currently, her focus is on building out functionality for the organic marketing teams to better serve The Zebra's prospective users. Rodríguez is passionate about uplifting women and creating inclusive environments and leads one of The Zebra's most active ERGs for women, The Shebras. In her spare time, she likes to read non-fiction and eat Jeni's ice cream.