Last year, the Women of Influence Awards Luncheon honored the top 26 women from every industry and profession, women who have made a difference in their communities, blazed a trail and are leaving their mark on Oregon. University of Portland Alum, Monica Enand was one of these women. She has changed the face of the tech industry by proving that women are a formidable force in the field.
This year, she was invited to talk to city employees about her company, Zapproved because, “she built a company that prevailed when it should have foundered”. She talked about the many challenges she has faced as a woman in tech. “Homogeneity has become one of the top sources of angst in the tech industry (second is the impact of the industry on housing prices), and virtually every employer in Portland is tweaking organizational structures to create a more representative workforce. Enand’s company hosts monthly workshops on inclusion and diversity, and Enand herself is full of stories about gender bias.”
Enand also has a strong passion for mentorship and entrepreneurship. She co-founded a startup camp at Catlin Gabel. “Now in its fourth year, the camp invites hundreds of students across the city to a series of workshops held over a three-day weekend. ’Monica does all the fundraising,’ Meredith Goddard, a teacher at Gable, says, and helps recruit the 40 different mentors who attend. ‘I don’t know how she’s as productive as she is, but it’s inspiring.’ Enand is also a mentor herself. Two of her recent mentees launched a startup capitalizing on the growing awareness about the health risks involved in sitting at a (school) desk all day.”
“Enand is already becoming a fixture in Oregon leadership circles; she has been a speaker at the Oregon Leadership Summit, the annual gala for state power players, and was vocal in her opposition to last year’s controversial corporate tax-receipts measure.”
“And this year she thrust herself into the center of a political maelstrom by signing onto a project with well-known New York judge Shira Scheindlin to provide free legal representation to immigrants facing deportation, a direct rebuttal to President Trump’s aggressive posturing toward outsiders.”
“Immigration is an economic issue. It’s also highly politicized and partisan. Clearly, Enand prefers running a company and raising a family to getting sucked into identity politics.”
“But whether she likes it or not, Enand is a poster child for the benefits of opening national borders — and, for that matter, gender diversity. Policy making is slow, but Monica Enand moves at warp speed.”
“The city of Portland is doing its best to catch up.” We cannot wait to see what this Alum will do next! Go Pilots!
To read the entire Oregon Business reporter Winston Ross remarkable account of her rise, please click on this link.
Photo credit – Jason Kaplan