Women who inspire the Women of Collibra — Celebrating Women’s History Month 2023

Women’s History Month is a time to honor the women who have had a positive impact on our world: the inventors, the explorers, the changemakers, the caretakers, the thought provokers, and the boundary breakers. Women have made and continue to make history in every field and social sphere. We at Collibra are spending the month learning about some of these amazing women and connecting with one another to apply the lessons we learn toward advancing our own careers and Collibra’s mission. 

The Women of Collibra Equity and Impact Community spent some time reflecting on women who inspire them. Some of their inspirations are historical figures, others are modern-day leaders, and some are personal heroes who — though they may not have made headlines — made a great impact on these Collibrians’ lives. 

We hope these stories inspire you like they have inspired the Women of Collibra.

Nichelle Nichols, Actor, NASA Spokesperson and Recruiter

Inspires Kathy Barton, Senior Product Specialist

Nichelle Nichols smiles as she sits behind a NASA computer board

“While she is best known for her portrayal of communications officer Nyota Uhura in the original Star Trek series, she inspired generations of women and people of color to pursue their dreams in science and technology by appearing in a job exclusively held by white men at the time. 

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King was a huge fan and encouraged her to remain on Star Trek by telling her, ‘You have the first important non-traditional role, non-stereotypical role. … You cannot abdicate your position. You are changing the minds of people across the world, because for the first time, through you, we see ourselves and what can be.’ She went on to work with NASA to recruit women and people of color into the astronaut program.”

Ruth Bader Ginsberg, US Supreme Court Justice

Inspires Bobbi Caggianelli, Manager, Sales Engineering

“She overcame gender discrimination. Ruth was the first person (male or female) to sit on both the Harvard and Columbia Law Reviews. She co-founded the first law journal on women’s rights. During the 1970s, she brought six cases before the Supreme Court, winning all but one. Ironically, RBG’s signature approach to combating sexism was bringing lawsuits on behalf of men who were being treated unequally because of their sex. Her thinking was that male judges would appreciate the injustice in a case where men were the victims, and in winning those cases, she was building the scaffolding for addressing the sexism women suffered. She wrote key supreme court decisions to expand rights to all Americans.”

Laura Sellers, Collibra Chief Product Officer

Inspires Christie Young, Senior Account Executive

Laura has done an excellent job leading Collibra’s product organization, with a strong vision that is well-aligned to what our customers want from their data intelligence platform. It has been great to see the field respond so enthusiastically to the new features that Laura and team have already delivered. I admire her engaging presence as a speaker and an executive at Collibra.”

Kalpana Chawla, Astronaut

Inspires Rakhi Wani, Senior Database Reliability Engineer

“Kalpana Chawla was an American astronaut and the first woman of Indian origin to travel to space. Kalpana Chawla inspires me and others, particularly women and minorities, because of her accomplishments and dedication to her profession. She overcame many challenges and obstacles to achieve her dream of becoming an astronaut, and her achievements paved the way for others to follow in her footsteps. Her perseverance, hard work, and intelligence have been an inspiration to many, and her memory continues to motivate and encourage people around the world.

In addition to her professional accomplishments, Kalpana Chawla was also known for her humility, warmth, and friendly nature. She was a compassionate individual who cared about others and had a positive impact on those around her. Her legacy serves as a reminder of the power of hard work, determination, and kindness in achieving success and making a difference in the world.”

Valerie McDonough, Senior Account Executive at Collibra

Inspires Melina Arista, Senior Account Executive

“She is kind, strong, cancer survivor, first responder, my mentor, great mother and grandmother. She is always willing to help, share her knowledge and open to learn from others. AND beautiful!”

Katie Taylor, Boxer and Footballer

Inspires Kristie Syson, Principal Business Development Representative

Katie Taylor holds her hands up in a victorious gesture in the boxing ringPhoto source

“I want to be remembered as the person who opened doors for women. Sport is a great way to keep fit. It’s a stress reliever. You’re clearing your mind during a workout. Boxing is a great sport for girls!” — Katie Taylor

“To me, Katie Taylor is an inspiration in her ability to never give up on her dreams, and to inspire girls and women to take up sports for their health. She started boxing at age 11 in a country where women’s boxing was illegal, and she went on to ensure female boxing was not only legalized there but also introduced into the Olympics in 2012 — where she won the gold medal.”

Mahila Sivanandan, Mother and Mentor

Inspires Simla Sivanandan, Senior Manager, Data Intelligence

photo collage of Simla and her mother Mahila

“In a world where there is no shortage of inspiring women, my mom is my number one. She continues to inspire me to stay grounded, be proud, and aspire to be better all at the same time.

She got me hooked on reading, picked out stories that showcased strong women and encouraged me to review their approaches and tactics during times of adversity. She nurtured my curiosity and helped me realize that if you listen with an open mind, you will find new perspectives even in the age-old narrative. Her words, ‘Knowing ‘why’ you do something is important for your own clarity, but the ‘how’ is what matters in the long run.’ My awesome mom!”

Authenticity and belonging are embedded into Collibra's culture, and we are committed to creating equitable experiences and an inclusive environment.

Learn more

Related resources


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Collibra is One of the Best Workplaces in Technology™ — Here’s Why.

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Authenticity and belonging are embedded into Collibra's culture, and we are committed to creating equitable experiences and an inclusive environment.

Learn more

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