For day 4 of our International Women’s Day series, we’re featuring a Q&A with Karen Merino. Karen’s a front-end web developer based in our San Francisco office, and she shared her thoughts on being a working mom in a highly male profession — not to mention some great advice for other women in her field.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing other women in your role today?

As a web developer, most colleagues in the industry are male, and most managers are male. It can be challenging to find coworkers who understand the challenges of being a working mother. Luckily, Esurance is flexible and has great work-life balance. Also, finding your support network can be life changing. For me, it was joining a Moms in Tech (MinT) group.

What’s your best piece of advice to women just starting out in their careers?

Be strategic in your career and plan for the future. Be bold. Don’t be afraid to speak up and make a difference.

What’s the best way to lift other women up in the workplace?

Talk openly and honestly about issues we face in the workplace. Make close friendships and support each other. Build each other up, help foster personal growth and career success.

Who’s the woman you most admire?

[I’m] currently obsessed with Michelle Obama! Who isn’t? But I admire my mom the most. She is a bad ass!

What’s the last photo you took on your smartphone? My daughter playing at fairyland in Oakland.

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about Jonathan

Jonathan is a word nerd, a food freak, and a travel junkie. By day, you'll find him weaving words for Esurance as a Senior Copywriter. But in his off time, he'll likely be digging into a new restaurant in his home base of Denver, Colorado, or white-knuckling his way down a mountainside on a weekend road trip.