This profile is published as part of Pledge 1%’s Women Who Lead series, which celebrates women in the Pledge 1% community who are creating change within their workplace and communities.
Darine Pokawatana is the Director of Product Development at Causecast.
Q1: How long have you been working for your company?
I’ve been working with Causecast for 5 years. Having started off as a Quality Assurance Engineer, I made my way into Project Management and continued on into Product Management and Development.
Q2: What inspired you to work in this industry?
The opportunity to bring technology and innovation to philanthropy inspired (and continues to inspire) me. I find it difficult to not acknowledge the state of what is currently around us, and feel that providing to the various organizations that are aimed at improving the different areas in need is key in making our world a better place. At Causecast, technology has given us the tools we need to build a platform that benefits several nonprofit organizations, while focusing on engaging employees to make a societal impact through their workplace.
Q3: What would you tell women who are looking to work in tech? Any advice on how they can build their career?
My advice would be to find your passion within it, and go forth with full force. While the tech industry is currently male dominated, there’s something to be said about the women in tech that are on the rise. Find an employer who doesn’t see you for your gender, but for the skills and knowledge you have. It’s important to remember that the limits we encounter are those that we set for ourselves, so never settle for less. Know your worth, be confident in yourself, and let that be seen!
Q4: Is your company a Pledge 1% member or do you personally give back to your community? If so, how do you give and to what cause?
Causecast is a proud Pledge 1% member. Our social technology platform allows us to give back to many nonprofit organizations through the employees of companies that are passionate in making a difference in their communities. Outside of work, I am passionate towards supporting causes that benefit human rights, animals and wildlife, and the research and development of cures for various diseases, to name a few.
Q5: Do you serve as a mentor? What does mentorship mean to you?
I would consider myself a mentor-in-training. Surrounded by powerful women in life and leadership, I’ve been able to apply what I’ve learned from them to support and lift up those around me. I find mentorship to be an integral part in developing and empowering future leaders, especially in an industry like technology that is ever-growing.
Q6: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received to help you with your career?
The best advice I’ve received to help with my career (and life in general) is to always ask questions and to not be afraid to fail. Joining a new industry or organization can be quite intimidating, but over the years I have learned that every company will run their businesses differently and it’s up to you to figure out how that is. Don’t worry about how you would look by asking a question that seems silly, especially if it means that you’ll be equipped with the right knowledge on how to get your tasks done effectively and efficiently. Should you forget to ask, do remember that failing is not the be-all end-all. As Winston Churchill once said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
Q7: What’s the one piece of advice you would give to yourself 5 years ago?
The advice I’d give to myself 5 years ago would be to trust and believe in yourself. It’s easy to forget your better qualities when you don’t feel confident in your space and are stacked up against several others. I spent an unnecessary amount of time being critical of myself and in things that didn’t really matter much in hindsight. While feeling in doubt may be difficult to avoid, do allow yourself the space to prove yourself wrong. Always keep in mind what it is you are trying to achieve and don’t give up. Be both a fighter and your own cheerleader!