Photo Courtesy of Elastic
“A lot of people still ask me why I left a company that was still on the upward trajectory to come to Elastic,” said Lisa Jones-Huff, senior director of security solutions architecture at Elastic. “Elastic has an opportunity to shake things up.”
Elastic builds real-time, scalable enterprise search, observability, and security solutions on a single technology stack that can be deployed anywhere. Building on top of Apache Lucene, an open-source search engine library, Elasticsearch made it easy for developers to quickly build search functionality into their applications and to take search technology in new directions.
From the beginning, the community and customers have been able to view and make pull requests to update Elastic’s open code, as well as modify the code for their own use cases and to make sure it fits perfectly into their own environments.
In addition to being an innovative, widely-used platform, Elastic is also a terrific place to work for women. We spoke with Lisa Jones-Huff, senior director of security solutions architecture; Courtney Wilburn, manager of SRE; and Melissa Humble, area vice president for the US commercial segment, about why they love working at Elastic. Here’s what they said.
“It's the job of a good people manager to hire people who are better than them, smarter than them,” Lisa said. “That’s what makes a better team. I take great pride in spending time and really working with my team, giving them constructive criticism. I love to teach. I’m a momma bear and I fight for my cubs fiercely. What makes me very happy is if I can see someone as successful in their roles as I have been in mine.”
This is a pervasive ideology throughout the company. Among other efforts, employees have required, quarterly conversations about their career goals, roles, responsibilities and performance in order to support employees in their career progression, as well as to help Elastic develop team members and meet financial objectives.
Elastic is dedicated to making the company an equitable place to work. It has the goal of reaching 30% women and non-binary employees in 2021.
According to the company, “We want our Elasticians to fully represent the communities we live in and the customers we serve.” Their efforts include having regular pay equity assessments and are actively filling senior roles with strong female leadership.
“We continue to improve each year, and we need strong women to make it happen,” the company said.
Rather than listing values, Elastic has what they call “Source Code.” These ideas, such as “Space, Time” and “Humble, Ambitious,” make the company what it is. “They are reminders that keep us steadfast because we’re not perfect, we’re human,” according to Elastic.
Courtney appreciates Space, Time the most. “Work life balance is so important,” she explained. “Even while at work, finding the right kind of balance allows you a chance to discover new things and feel nourished by the work that you do.”
Meanwhile, Melissa finds Home, Dinner, the most attractive part of the Source Code. “There was a time in my career when working longer hours and not necessarily being as efficient was more valued than the outcome of the work,” she said. “I need to help get my kids ready in the morning to go to school, and if I need to step away from five to seven to go to soccer practice and eat dinner and get back on later, the culture at Elastic allows that. The Source Code lets us, without guilt or shame, put our family first.”
“I came from an organization where my business was on track to do a billion dollars a year, and I was leading 130 people,” said Melissa. “But I came to Elastic to lead a team of less than 30 people. I did that because it wasn't about the revenue and it wasn't about the number of employees. It was much more about being a part of a journey growing and doubling a business in a short period of time.”
Even though Elastic’s team is spread across more than 30 countries, there is still a strong sense of community. The company believes that the many different perspectives and unique approaches to tackling challenges makes them better at creating thoughtful and holistic solutions.
Elastic’s many benefits span several areas of health, wellness and self-care. Examples include:
● Toast to your health: Health coverage for employees and their families in many locations
● Craft your calendar: Flexible location and schedule for many roles
● Savo(u)r time for you: A generous number of vacation days each year
● Give back your time: Up to 40 hours each year to use toward volunteer projects you love
● Embrace parenthood: A minimum of 16 weeks of parental leave
“I try to give people a good degree of autonomy,” said Courtney. “I tell people the sorts of things we want to accomplish, but I’m not really precious about the specifics of how it gets implemented. I want people to have the creative freedom to find unique ways to solve problems.”
“At Elastic, we’re really allowed to fail forward,” agreed Melissa. “If we make a mistake we learn from it, but we’re also allowed to take that chance. In addition, I’m allowed a lot of autonomy in my day-to-day work. I don't feel micromanaged in any way. But on the flip side, I get all the help I need when I need it. People are willing to help, and because of that, I feel fully confident that we can take care of our customers.”
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