Women of Lucid: Part 1

Oct 12, 2016 | Marketplace

Jessica Inman
Federated Sample
Kate MacDermott
Sarah Clarke
Project Manager
Federated Sample
Laura Manning
Sr. Project Manager


What is your day-to-day role at Lucid? What do you do in detail?

JI: I am the Director of Operations for Federated Sample. I lead a team dedicated to delivering white glove service for our non-DIY research projects. I am responsible for identifying inefficiencies and areas for automation, as well as leading the integrations for those solutions.

KM: I’m a manager on the Partner Ops team. A third of my day, similar to the other Partner Ops managers, is devoted to account management and working with the suppliers on our platform. My role outside of account management is primarily with product development and initiatives pertaining to our suppliers and our internal operations.

SC: I’m a project manager for the Integrated/Key Accounts team in Federated Sample. I manage projects in Fulcrum for some of our biggest accounts. Most of my day is spent in the platform, communicating with clients and suppliers, troubleshooting, and maintaining or assisting with internal processes to help our team stay on track. Excel and PowerBI (PBI) are my friends!

LM: I am a senior project manager on our newest business unit, Proof. In theory, my role revolves around servicing clients’ needs and executing projects on their behalf. In reality, I wear a number of different hats as we work to build and scale an entirely new business from scratch. My day often revolves around in-depth conversations around how to iterate successfully on our product. I also have my hand in tackling major business challenges from paying our bills to how we classify and track our progress utilizing the same tools the other departments rely on.


What brought you to Lucid?

JI: I was looking to be part of the technology startup scene in New Orleans, and Lucid (then Federated Sample) completely won me over.

KM: I joined Lucid in 2015 after graduating from Tulane. My last year in school, I spent a lot of time thinking through where I wanted to live and what type of career path I wanted to follow. Ultimately, I decided to stay in New Orleans and find a job in the tech or non-profit space. After looking at a few companies and organizations, it was clear that the culture and team at Lucid was the best fit for me.

SC: After working for a year in Houston and graduating from LSU, I was ready for a change both personally and professionally. I heard of Federated Sample while working in college, and had always been interested in the industry since taking numerous marketing classes in school. When I found the opening at Fed (the rebranding took place right after I was hired. Needless to say the welcome email really threw me for a loop when it read Lucid), it was almost too good to be true. Thankfully, it wasn’t.

LM: I’ve always been interested in technology and particularly the startup scene in New Orleans. I thought Lucid (then Federated Sample) would provide a challenging, but ultimately rewarding, opportunity to grow my career in a new and fast paced industry. Two and a half years later and counting, I’ve never looked back!


What are the top 3 survival skills a woman needs to work in research tech?

JI: Voice, analytical intuition, an internet connection

KM: Confidence in herself and her ideas, quick thinker and problem solver, and pivot tables (or even better, Power BI and other data analytics tools)

SC: Confidence, determination, and a good sense of humor

LM: Strong analytical/reasoning skills, the ability to question or challenge the status quo, and iPhone chargers everywhere  


Tell us about a time that you felt empowered, as a woman, to overcome a challenge at work.

JI: I once told a male colleague that he often spoke over me or rephrased what I said in public settings. He stopped doing it after I said something, and it was refreshing to know that I could say something and be heard. Sometimes our biggest restrictions are what we think might happen if we speak up.

KM: I make a point in my day-to-day to ensure that I’m not treated differently because of my gender. In the few instances where I have seen pushback because I am a woman, I speak up and make it known that it is unacceptable behavior. I try and do this for my female colleagues as well, to support and empower them to not let gender stand in their way of success and growth.

SC: There have been times in past positions where I felt uncomfortable because I was the only girl in the room. I think it was in those moments I became stronger and learned you don’t always have to say something to be heard.

LM: I don’t feel challenged by my gender at work, but I do think there are instances where others view my actions as pushy or bossy, because I am female. I may very well be those things, but I rarely hear male colleagues referred to as the “squeaky wheel” or “bulldozer,” etc., for following up on action items, pointing out product challenges, or questioning old ways of doing things. I certainly don’t let those attitudes restrict me, but I do think they persist. I hope to empower other young women in our workplace to speak up when they feel passionately about something, regardless of what other voices may think.

JI1 “Sometimes our biggest restrictions are what we think might happen if we speak up.”– Jessica Inman

What can we at Lucid do to encourage young women, who are new to the workplace, to continue to pursue a career in technology?

JI: I would like to see clear paths for promotion and leadership training so that underlying biases become less capable of skewing these selections.

KM: I’d like to see Lucid be more proactive about working with women of all ages. Showing that there is opportunity for them to grow in the tech industry is crucial.  It is important to give women from all backgrounds something to look up to and opportunities to find mentors. Let’s bring them into the office, show them what we do, and participate in their events. The more of a presence we have, the more we empower them.

SC: I think a lot of people have the misconception that when you work for a tech company, you have tech experience, or a computer engineering degree. So many of us have different backgrounds, and I think sharing our stories with colleagues, applicants and students will make a career in tech more approachable.

LM: When I interviewed at Lucid, I remember being totally blown away by our former CFO. She was in a position of enormous responsibility at Lucid, had a young baby at home, and managed to always be one of the most upbeat and positive people I interacted with on a daily basis. I would love to have 20 more of her in our company for other young women to look up to. I think we should set clear expectations across the board for what it takes to get promoted internally to manager, director, VP level and beyond.

KM “Let’s bring [these young women] into the office, show them what we do, and participate in their events. The more of a presence we have, the more we empower them.”

– Kate MacDermott 

This month, Lucid is sponsoring a workshop in our New Orleans location to teach women how to code an HTML web page and style it with CSS. You can register for this two-part HTML/CSS workshop series by New Orleans WIT on October 18th and October 25th and learn more here.

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