Pledge 1%’s #WomenWhoLead series celebrates female leaders who are paving the way for the next generation. While our featured leaders come from a variety of backgrounds and industries, they are united in their efforts to promote equality for all women in the workplace. We’ve asked them to share a bit about their journey to success, as well as lessons they’ve learned along the way.

What is your name and title?

Anna Currin, Manager of Employee and Community Impact at Okta for Good.

Briefly (1-2 sentences) describe your current role.

I manage Okta for Good’s employee and community impact program, leveraging our employees’ resources for good. I also build regional partnership with community partners.

How did you get here? Please share any quick stories from past work experiences.

Someone once told me that building a career is more like a jungle gym than a ladder, and that has really rung true for me. I explored many career paths after school (including teaching abroad, advertising sales, and recruiting) and finally landed at Salesforce – where I was first introduced to social impact when a friend convinced me to come along for a group volunteer event. From there, I became enthralled with the idea that I could work closely with nonprofits and explore areas I was passionate about. I like to connect others to similar experiences.

In your opinion, what’s the #1 decision or move you’ve made that has helped advance your career?

Joining Erin Baudo Felter (VP, Social Impact) at Okta for Good. Erin had recently joined and recruited me as her #2. My task was to build out an employee impact program from scratch. This was an exciting and challenging move, as I’d previously worked on large teams managing programs at scale. I’m so glad I took this opportunity because I’ve learned and grown in ways I couldn’t have imagined.

What is the most important lesson you’ve learned this past year?

Meet people where they are. It’s been a TOUGH year and people are dealing with challenges that reach far beneath the surface of what anyone can see or know. At the same time, it’s a privilege and opportunity to be able to give back to important and pressing issues. I’ve found that Okta for Good is an outlet for many of our employees who want to channel their energy into something impactful, when so many other parts of their lives are limited or restrained.

What advice do you have for women who are just starting their career?

Ask questions, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. I spent several years feeling very timid because I was afraid to reveal I didn’t know the answers. I later discovered if you’re confused or don’t know the right source, many people likely feel the same way. And people love sharing their advice with others.

What is one thing companies can do, big or small, to help create an environment that advances women into leadership positions?

For one, have women in leadership positions. You can’t be what you can’t see, and having a woman in a leadership role will help facilitate conversations to get the right people in the room, and will also be a model for those outside to know it’s possible.

Is there a cause that is particularly close to you? If so, why this cause and how did you get involved?

San Francisco’s Family House will always have a special place in my heart. Family House is a “home away from home” for families whose children are undergoing cancer treatment at UCSF Benioff Children’s hospital. I first volunteered with them while at Salesforce, and have since partnered with them for many volunteer events at Okta. Our new hires even volunteer with them on their second day of work (pre-COVID-19) by playing games with siblings, serving breakfast, and cleaning the facility. It’s a wonderful nonprofit.

When did your company join Pledge 1%? What does your impact program mean to you?

Okta took the 1% pledge in 2016 by dedicating 1% of our most valuable resources – employee time, equity and product to charity. Okta for Good’s mission is to connect people, technology, and community; and Pledge 1% helps us fulfill that mission.

What do you like to do outside of the office? Any interesting (or unique) habits or interests?

I love exploring neighborhoods of San Francisco, eating with friends, and meeting new people. So it’s been…..tough as of late. These days, I enjoy watching true crime and taking my golden retriever Peggy to the beach.

Are you reading/listening to anything interesting at the moment? Please share your most recent favorite book or podcast!

I’m a long time fan of Sam Harris’s Waking Up podcast, and he’s had a few interesting conversations with William MacAskill, a prominent voice around Effective Altruism and a scientific approach to philanthropy. I highly recommend!

What’s been the one (or two!) things that have helped you navigate this past year? Any tips or tricks to dealing with remote work?

Don’t feel like you need to hide or muddle how you’re doing. My team has a daily check in which is really helpful to keep a pulse on everyones well being. Once time my colleague Adam started the meeting and just lay down on the floor because he was “having a day.” We each copied him and did the same. What a refreshing moment to admit we don’t always have things figured out, and sometimes you just need to lie down.