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Three Questions with Culture Program Manager, Becky Harmonson

Today’s installment of Women in Identity is near and dear to my heart. A huge reason that I am such a vocal advocate of the #SailPointCrew team is that our culture is literally like nothing I’ve ever experienced in my 18+ year professional career. I have never worked for a company where I feel so entirely surrounded by caring, kind, genuine, humble and smart people who I actually want to spend extra time with on the regular. Our culture is so ingrained in all that we do and all that we are at SailPoint, it’s unmistakable, unbeatable and for certain, unshakable.

While I already felt strongly about our culture as a ‘stand-out’ reason that our company and team is so killer, once COVID-19 hit and I had a front-row seat into the overwhelmingly positive impact it’s had on us as a team, my feelings on the topic have grown ten-fold. Our SAILon initiative has made such a positive impact and a big driver behind this particular culture push is our super-talented and passionate Culture Program Manager, Becky Harmonson.

She’s joining us on the blog today to share how she has personally grown and evolved since joining the #SailPointCrew (that alone is an incredible story), what each of us can learn from her on constant self-evolution, and much more on how this whole SAILon campaign came together to begin with.

Without further ado — Three Questions with Becky Harmonson:

Your career path at SailPoint has been so interesting and really highlights how supportive our company and leadership team is of employees taking different paths throughout their journey at SailPoint.  Talk to me about your career at SailPoint and how you got to where you are today as our Culture Program Manager today?

I saw a friend post about a receptionist position at SailPoint on her Facebook page. I was newly divorced after a 20-year marriage, the kids were grown, and it was time for me to begin looking at the next chapter of my life. When I interviewed for the position, Abby Payne and Amy Williams both assured me that the receptionist position was only a stepping-stone and that SailPoint looked at the role as an opportunity to get to know the people and understand the different areas of the business. I loved that role. I was the first face many saw as they walked into the lobby and the last face they saw as they left to go home. I made it a point to say hello to every single employee (which wasn’t really a point, hello comes natural for me).

Eventually, I shifted gears into an executive administrative assistant to support our head of sales. In this role, I had the chance to connect with the sales team and before long, I found myself begging to plan anything to do with and for them – I had the chance to help plan their annual Sales Club trip, to various sales leadership meetings and auxiliary leadership meetings held in and around our annual sales kick-off event. The connection and energy I got from the field team was energizing and I thrived in the role of being their ‘go-to person.’ My next opportunity came from our CMO, Juliette Rizkallah. She recognized my passion for planning and executing events and my relatable energy with the sales team, and invited me to join the Field Marketing team. Again, I was heavily involved in planning events and supporting the people of SailPoint. I should point out that while in both roles, I still volunteered for EVERY SINGLE Culture Crew event that I could. Whether it was the Family Picnic, Halloween Party, Holiday Party, you name it — I wanted to be in the mix! 

After 15 months as a field marketer, I knew I wanted to stay connected to the field, but the grind of traveling was not my passion. SailPoint is my passion, the SailPointCrew is my passion. And just like that, the role of Culture Program Manager was formed, and I could not imagine doing anything else. I still pinch myself daily and thank Mark and Abby for allowing me the opportunity to do what I love for the people I love. I still have relationships with so many SailPointCrew members due to the great conversations I had after all of the time I spent at the lobby front desk when I first started out.

What is your number one piece of advice for women as they explore their own career path? Especially for those who are thinking of taking a leap into a new direction.

Follow your passion. I have always loved events, people and project management. While raising my kids as a stay-at-home mom, I was the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) president at all three of their schools and organized every possible fundraiser for the kid’s schools that I could!  I organized many Halloween parties and loved it as much for them as I do now. My passion for connecting people and making them feel special has been with me my entire life. I just get to share that passion at the best company ever and with the best talent and group of people on the planet.

I would also say reach out to those you admire. Ask them how they got where they are and ask them how they push themselves to be better. We all need to continue to grow and we do that by building one another up. This is not a one man/woman show. We are put on this earth to inspire encourage and connect. It is the human way 😊

As an aside, I would also say that for anyone who has experienced a big life event like experiencing divorce or becoming an empty nester, it’s not game over. You can recreate yourself and dig deep and bring out what was always inside you. It may surprise you that your PTO party planning skills and love for people…actually works well at the best software company ever.

And final question, the impact that COVID-19 has had on our world has been epic. Similarly, the positive impact it has inadvertently had on our culture has really stood out to me. The reaction from the ‘crew highlights our Four I’s culture so strongly — I’ve honestly never seen our team stronger or more unified than it is today. What skills have you pulled from your own personal arsenal to help drive this charge across the company with full buy-in from both Mark and Abby?

Again, I see my talent is in connecting and helping. When we first entered this crisis, the PR team and I hopped on a call, emailed with Mark and Abby about a vision for this quarantine and within 10 minutes the #SAILon mantra was born!

I jumped into this with an ‘OK, what next?’ attitude – bring it on. No more parties on the patio for a while? OK, then let’s have a virtual Dance Party, or how about a virtual Karaoke party? We have even done a pet parade and most recently pulled off an epic virtual surprise birthday party for our CEO Mark (talk about high-pressure situation!!).  

Despite our team going to a virtual workforce, we have still managed to have five lunch-and-learns ranging from Zoom tips and tricks to, what board games are best for families during a quarantine. Virtual calls aside, I am most proud of the philanthropic endeavors that we have driven in this time. We as a company distributed nearly 1k masks to our SailPointCrew members, donated 500+ food items to the Central Texas Food Bank, and raised over $11k for families in need of a hot meal. Last week alone, we delivered 1400 breakfast tacos to two Austin-area hospitals. The SailPointCrew was also challenged to write notes of encouragement to senior citizens at the Longhorn Village here in Austin.

In closing, I want to take minute to thank the SailPointCrew for showing up during COVID-19. Yes, I get to organize, plan and execute the activities but it is our ‘crew showing up, bringing their personal energy and love for this company that makes the events a success. Mark created the culture —  I just get to help make sure that we are here for one another and continue to #SAILon!

Becky Harmonson