F, 23, SF

I joined my company as the twelfth employee, and first female.

I was the first entry level sales development representative at the company, making the sales team a party of two. I quickly realized my boss was both misogynistic and unmotivated, making my job a lot harder. Nonetheless, I buckled down and put in 6 months of hard work. At that point, our CEO who fearlessly recognizes merit over pedigree promoted me to lead the sales team, which in the last 6 months has grown to a team of 7.

When I hired the second female at the company, I had to literally excuse myself to the restroom and shed a tear of happiness. In a masculine company, industry, and field, I’m happy to say that the females here and everywhere are badass, and competitive as the highest performers to date.

On the worst days, I’m just thinking “onwards, it was never a freaking dress.”