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?

Jiordan Castle, Director of Marketing at Atrium.

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

I do marketing for a technology consulting services company focused on AI and machine learning… which means I get to ensure we’re telling great stories, supporting our customers and partners in meaningful ways, and getting our name out in the ecosystem!

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

I’ve worked for a number of Salesforce partners over the years in a full-time capacity and ultimately started my own brand and content strategy business in 2020. I ended up being offered this position with Atrium after they’d been my biggest client for several months! I’m also a professional writer outside of my corporate role, which has informed many of my relationships along the way.

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

In a lot of ways, getting my MFA in poetry has actually bolstered my corporate career in marketing. Creativity isn’t for any one industry; it’s for all of them. And learning how to inject creativity in unexpected ways into more traditional roles or ventures has helped me stand out and support others around me.

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

Leave room for error and leave room for change! Both allow for growth.

What’s the number one challenge you face as a woman in your industry?

It can be lonely, sometimes being the only person who looks like me in a meeting with several others. That can feel like an echo chamber if you don’t push outside of yourself and talk about that exact issue with others at your company.

Do you have any mentors? What does mentorship mean to you?

I do! Most of my managers have been wonderful, thoughtful, completely different thinkers – and I can (and do!) call on many of them to be a sounding board, to offer specific guidance, or simply to learn more about their path (the good, the bad, and the confusing!). Mentorship, to me, means providing guidance from a combination of heart and experience.

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

How much time do you have?! If I had to narrow it down, I’d say… find a few people you can be yourself with at the company and ask them what you deem stupid questions (honestly) so that you can grow more comfortable with people in higher positions, partners, customers, etc. Trust your own instincts, but let the data – the truth without emotion – be a close guide as you get going at the beginning of your career.

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

Set up mentoring programs, certainly, but also simply: be explicit about your efforts to bring women to the forefront, to the top. Make your hiring intentions clear. You’ll get more raised hands and applications if you make it known that this is intentional, purposeful, and important to the business.

What is one thing you hope to accomplish in the next year?

I hope we see marketing influence a lot of pipeline! That’s vague, but basically, I hope to help more people see what marketing means to a bottom line – that creativity pays off.

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

There are a lot of women- and minority-led groups I’m passionate about, but one I’m particularly HOPING to get involved with in the future is Girls Write Now. (I’m a writer! This is how I can help others hone their skills.)

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

We joined in 2020, but I’ve worked with Pledge 1% at other companies in the past and I love that we can not only help make a difference but learn from other companies who are leading the way in dedicating time and resources to organizations most in need.

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

I have a published poetry chapbook out in the world and I’m working on my first full-length book!

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

A book I loved recently that everyone should read is “For Black Girls Like Me.” I also love the now-ended (I think?!) podcast “The History of Fun.”

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?

Yoga, my dog, my husband… a lot of coffee and a lot of reading to get me outside of myself and into new worlds, new ideas. Logging off at a certain time and not returning.