#EachForEqual Women of AppNeta: Thea Mercer, People Operations Specialist
by Paul Davenport Paul Davenport on

In celebration of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, we’re featuring amazing #AppNetians who have helped make us the award-winning solution and company we are today!

In today’s highlight, we feature Thea Mercer, who has been a fixture of our Vancouver office since 2014!

What’s your role at AppNeta and when did you start?

My role is People Operations Specialist, but I started as the Office Manager in 2014 for the Vancouver team and then gradually grew my career into the Human Resources function - and, today, People Operations! It’s hard to believe how the time has flown by; I feel incredibly fortunate to work every day with people I truly love spending my time with in an environment that never gets boring.

Why was AppNeta an attractive employer to you in the first place?

When I first interviewed with AppNeta, I was instantly charmed by the welcoming environment and exciting atmosphere, with internet memes taped up in the breakroom and 8-bit video game characters depicted in post its on the windows. I felt immediately at ease in my interviews (well, maybe a little nervous). I went home bubbling with excitement to my now-husband, totally psyched about potentially joining this cool software startup that seemed to hum with energy and possibility.

What about AppNeta’s culture do you think makes it a welcoming place for female employees in particular? Was our inclusivity part of what made you interested in AppNeta?

I work in Vancouver, our tech center and home to AppNeta Engineering. There have traditionally been more barriers to entry for women in tech, and one way I think AppNeta puts inclusivity in focus is the support and growth that women like me have found within this organization. AppNeta has a lot of stories like mine, of women that have been with the company for years and have grown and flourished, for what feels like a lifetime in high tech! I’ve also never worked in a company that was as transparent as AppNeta, or one that encourages all people to voice their opinions and join the conversation.

The geeky comics that plaster the ladies’ room don’t hurt either…

What have been some of the most exciting projects you’ve taken part of since starting here?

When I joined AppNeta, we didn’t even have an employee handbook, and the HR function was probably a bit more reactive and focused on keeping the wheels on as we raced along expanding our team and growing the company. As the years passed, I’ve had the great fortune of working on some extremely fulfilling organizational developments, including the rollout of AppNeta’s fantastic parental and family leave benefits, which are truly industry-leading. Since I joined, People Ops at AppNeta has evolved into a more tactical role within the company with regards to our internal processes and controls, and in partnership with Product, Engineering and IT, we successfully achieved SOC2 certification last year!

Is there a female AppNetian who you view as a role model? Who and why?

Eva Maloney, AppNeta’s Vice President of Business Operations and my former manager, has been a role model to me for years. Eva has People Operations within her purview, and has really driven our department forward in how we automate, streamline, and manage our (considerable) workload. People Operations is a very lean group, and we have to leverage technology as much as possible in order to keep up with hiring campaigns, organizational initiatives, and fostering AppNeta’s stellar culture. Thankfully I’m fortunate to be surrounded by forward-thinking team members that I learn so much from every day.

How/has AppNeta (or your manager) helped facilitate your professional development?

I have had several managers during my time here and have been truly blessed to report to some amazing key players within AppNeta. I’ve been fortunate enough to take several classes that managers sponsored me for as I grew into my HR responsibilities. My manager Mike Spinale, Director of People Ops, has offered me tremendous mentorship and support in the time we’ve worked together. His knowledge and insight has been so valuable for growing towards being a true strategic partner to our organization’s leaders.

In general, what’s your favorite thing about working here?

I laugh that I always give a truly “People Ops answer” to this question: it’s 100% the people. We all spend a lot of time at work - even with a great work/life balance like AppNeta affords us - and being surrounded by people whose energy and warmth motivates me every day is irreplaceable. Add to that, I don’t think I could ever trade the feeling I get when I engage with a great candidate, usher them through the hiring process, and get to welcome them into the company. It’s always such a thrill, and so rewarding.

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Tags: network performance monitoring , network monitoring , enterprise IT , IT jobs , people operations , Boston , vancouver , IT jobs , IT , human resources , #EachForEqual , women of AppNeta , Women's Month , IWD 2020 , International Women's Day 2020