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Meet Members of Nava’s Gender Equity ERG

Gender Equity is Nava’s largest Employee Resource Group. Learn more about what gender equity and community mean to these members.

Gender Equity is Nava’s largest Employee Resource Group. Learn more about what gender equity and community mean to these members.

Lauren Bermudez, Diversity and Inclusion Technical Recruiter

A photo of Lauren Bermudez holding bouquets of flowers.

Lauren Bermudez, Juntos co-lead and Diversity and Inclusion Technical Recruiter.

What does gender equity mean to you?

Gender equity is acknowledging that we do not live in an equitable society. That we must continue to learn and identify where those gaps are, as well as understand the history and social structures that led to where we are in the present. That we do not achieve true equality until gender minorities feel safe, empowered, and valued in their private lives, workplaces, and communities.

What makes you feel connected to your community?

I find strength and connection in celebrating multiple parts of my identity alongside my support groups of friends, colleagues, and family. I find comfort in conversations I have with others where I can speak freely about being a woman in 2021, and the beauty and hardships that come with that.

Who makes you proud of your community? Who is someone that inspires you when it comes to gender equity?

My grandmothers and my mom — their sacrifices and accomplishments make me incredibly proud to be Latina and part of such a beautiful community. My mother was the first in her family to go to college and become a physician. She only had that opportunity because my grandmother fiercely advocated for her education while she worked in a cannery. My grandmother on my father’s side worked as a seamstress in downtown Los Angeles for many years in order to support her five children and send them to college preparatory schools. I am inspired by their unyielding determination to give opportunities to their children that they themselves were unfairly denied. These heroes of mine are just a couple of the stories that make up the vibrant and storied history of Latinas in this country. I am humbled and empowered by their wisdom and guidance.

Daniella DeVera, Designer/Researcher and Design Manager

A headshot of Daniella DeVera standing in front of a bookshelf.

What does gender equity mean to you?

It means acknowledging that people who don’t identify as cisgender men are too often undervalued and treated inequitably. It also means advocating for structural change towards building equity and identifying where we can support and celebrate traditionally oppressed groups.

What makes you feel connected to your community?

I find myself in a number of different communities, based on how I identify and also what I spend my time doing. I find connection through sharing experiences (good and bad!) and being genuine and vulnerable with others, especially when it comes to navigating the intersectionality of one’s identity. It’s powerful and beautiful.

Who is someone that inspires you when it comes to gender equity?

I am constantly inspired by acts small and large. Right now, I’m inspired by one of our designers who has been advocating for more equitable form fields on a project. I’m also inspired lately by bell hooks as I read through some of her works, and by Silvia Federici as I think about the value of domestic labor.

Afia Genfi, Delivery Manager

A picture of Afia Genfi standing on a balcony with a city skyline behind her.

What does gender equity mean to you?

Gender equity means that factors like gender and its intersectionality between race and socioeconomic status are no longer determinants of what you can or cannot achieve, both personally and professionally.

What makes you feel connected to your community?

Mentorship makes me feel connected to my community. Sharing ideas, laughs, personal and professional journeys, and aspirations with dynamic women from all walks of life often evoke feelings of joy and connectedness for me.

Who makes you proud of your community? Who is someone that inspires you when it comes to gender equity?

I’m often inspired by women who have lived life boldly by challenging societal norms in the fight for both gender and racial equality. Despite numerous obstacles, Black women have made incremental strides that oftentimes do not benefit them directly but positively impact their daughters, nieces, and granddaughters. I think of women like my mother, aunts, and grandmother. Their passion and commitment to creating a more equitable society inspires me every day to continue the work towards gender equity.

Ivana Ng, VP of Product

A photo of Ivana Ng sitting with her orange cat with a bookshelf behind her.

What does gender equity mean to you?

Gender equity is about breaking down the systemic and structural barriers that disadvantage those who don’t identify as cisgender men — and cultivating spaces that support and lift up those folks as well.

What makes you feel connected to your community?

I feel connected when I can maximize my allyship and use my privilege to make space for and amplify the voices of others in this community.

Who is someone that inspires you when it comes to gender equity?

Women of color who work to lift up and support underrepresented people inspire me. One of my best friends, Jasmine Araujo, started Southern Solidarity, a mutual aid organization in New Orleans that supports unhoused folks. They do direct relief (e.g., food, medical resources, basic needs) as well as consciousness-raising efforts grounded in the group’s anti-imperialist principles. She inspires me to live my values and be more of an activist in all the spaces I occupy.

Tina Nguyen, Designer and Researcher

A photo of Tina Nguyen sitting with posters and books behind her.

What does gender equity mean to you?

It means recognizing that women and other gender minorities are historically treated as inferior in society. Gender equity is correcting such oppression through structural changes to lift and celebrate these populations.

What makes you feel connected to your community?

Lately, I’ve been connecting with my community through recognition. It’s taken me a while to own my identity; I used to avoid recognizing the parts of myself that are “visually obvious” because it would define me as whatever I’m not (“not male, not white, not tall,” etc). But in acknowledging my gender, race, and history, I can celebrate it unapologetically and recognize it in others around me. Encouraging others to celebrate their own identity and whatever shared identity spaces we both inhabit has been a way to create community. We connect because we shine a light on all the ways we might struggle, and share how we all have grown.

Who makes you proud of your community? Who is someone that inspires you when it comes to gender equity?

I’m proud whenever I see anyone being brave enough to express their personal truths and lifting historically marginalized groups up. This month, I’ll be thinking of Roxane Gay, Barbara Kruger, and Ursula Le Guin.

Cheryl Pierce, Contracts Manager

A photo of Cheryl Pierce wearing sunglasses.

What does gender equity mean to you?

Once we achieve gender equity, all people will be treated in the same manner, regardless of their identified gender. Everyone performing a job would be paid at the same rate, regardless of gender. People would be promoted based on merit, rather than gender.

What makes you feel connected to your community?

I belong to more than one disadvantaged community and participate in activities such as marches for gender equity and groups such as this ERG, the NAACP, and other groups that make me feel connected to my communities.

Who makes you proud of your community? Who is someone that inspires you when it comes to gender equity?

Being a person of color, it makes me especially proud that Black women have historically participated in all of the movements to address civil inequities in American society, from the women’s suffrage movement in the early part of the 20th century, through civil rights movement in the 60s, to women’s liberation in the 80s, straight through to LBGT rights and gender equity today.

Amanda Robinson, Software Engineering Manager

A photo of Amanda Robinson sitting at a restaurant table.

What does gender equity mean to you?

Not needing to worry that I or anybody else either missed out on, or got, any given opportunity because of our genders — both in the short term (making one specific decision) or the long term (a lifetime of opportunities granted or withheld leading to someone having or not having an opportunity right now). Creating and holding space for many different ways to approach life, without judgment about what’s “appropriate” based on some sort of gendered expectation.

What makes you feel connected to your community?

Getting to talk to each other, mainly. There’s a profound sense of relief that comes when I share something I’ve experienced that at the time felt personal in some way but then hear from others who’ve had similar experiences — you realize you’re not alone, and you can start to name patterns, etc. There’s real power in that.

Who makes you proud of your community? Who is someone that inspires you when it comes to gender equity?

My mom, to be honest. She was also an engineer and also a manager (plus a teacher and entrepreneur). I didn’t intend to follow quite so closely in her footsteps, but having seen her pretty fearless approach to her career, I’ve always had an innate sense that I could do a lot with my own.

PublishedMarch 8, 2021

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