Exemplifying What It Means to Have Moxie

Women in the workplace are embracing their own versions of this career-defining characteristic.
Written by Taylor Karg
June 17, 2021Updated: June 17, 2021

Moxie. 

It’s a lot of things. It’s a novel written by Jennifer Mathieu that follows a young high school girl and her journey disrupting the status quo. It’s also a carbonated beverage brand that was among the first mass-produced softs drinks in the U.S. It’s even an artificially intelligent robot designed to help children build social-emotional skills. 

As you can see, moxie has numerous meanings. But also, it’s more than just a book, beverage or learning tool: It’s a way of being. It’s about being authentic, determined and unapologetic. It’s also about being a visionary and using your personal and professional skills to work toward a better tomorrow. And as moxie continues to move away from just a colloquial term to something more powerful, more and more women in the workplace are not only embracing it, they’re also creating their own versions of it.

So whether it’s finding the courage to confront fears and push boundaries, or tackling new challenges outside of their comfort zones, the following women in tech certainly exemplify what it means to have moxie. 

 

Meet the 50 Women Who are Ushering a New Era of TechIntroducing Built In's 2021 Moxie Award Winners

 

Kerry Huang
Director, Product Management • Xpansiv

As director of product management at green technology company Xpansiv, Kerry Huang has a few words of advice for women in the workplace looking to develop and embrace their moxie: “Confront your inner fear, whatever that may be, and build the confidence you need to push the boundaries when you might face resistance.”

 

What does the word moxie mean to you, and how do you embody it in your work? 

Moxie, to me, means courage, hard work and determination. As a product management professional in the tech industry, I am constantly challenged with how to be creative with problem-solving techniques. When facing a difficult problem, stepping outside of our comfort zones can be unsettling as our natural instinct is to draw from our experiences and resolve with familiar solutions. But innovation takes courage — courage to push the boundaries, courage to ask the tough questions and courage to think outside the box. I often find myself strengthening my courage when searching for innovative solutions.

The real work is in verifying the hypothesis and designing an iterative approach before a solution can be formalized. This process can be demoralizing at times because the results don’t always validate your theory. It takes hard work and determination to analyze the outcomes, identify possible flaws in the experiments and pivot if needed in order to reach the final goal.

Tell us about a recent project or initiative you’ve led that tested your moxie or pushed you to bring a certain level of boldness, determination and resilience to the table. What were the results?

At Xpansiv, I am leading the design of our new platform, which provides innovative ways to collaborate with environmental commodity ecosystems. I am constantly analyzing my design with a set of hypotheses and pushing the boundaries to rethink what’s possible. My work is extremely rewarding because it directly contributes to the greater goals of bringing transparency to the global environmental, social and governance-inclusive markets and helps accelerate the transition to a net-zero future.

Moxie, to me, means courage, hard work and determination.”

 

What advice do you have for other women when it comes to building up and embracing their moxie? 

Hard work and determination come naturally when you are passionate about what you do. To me, finding courage is something I have to make a conscious effort to do. My advice would be to confront your own inner fear, whatever it may be, and build the confidence you need to push the boundaries when you might face resistance. Two examples of this are asking tough questions with a room of experts and thinking outside the box when everyone else is maintaining the status quo.

 

Elise Harrington
Senior Manager, Corporate Marketing & Communications • Nintex

Elise Harrington is the senior manager of corporate marketing and communications at workflow automation platform Nintex. Her advice to women in the workplace looking to build up and embrace their moxie? Don’t be afraid to take on new challenges. The more you venture outside of your comfort zone, the more confidence you’ll feel in everything you do. 

 

What does the word moxie mean to you, and how do you embody it in your work? 

To me, moxie is all about determination and confidence in yourself and what you do. As I’ve grown in my career, so has my own moxie. For example, a year ago I hosted my first Nintex webinar. I’ve previously orchestrated countless webinars, but I never was the person on camera, so I was very nervous. I practiced my portion and it went well. Two months later we launched a new webinar series and I have hosted monthly ever since. Now, I’m more nervous about my internet or computer failing than delivering my portion of the presentation.

Tell us about a recent project or initiative you’ve led that tested your moxie or pushed you to bring a certain level of boldness, determination and resilience to the table. What were the results?

We recently hosted our annual conference, Nintex ProcessFest, which brings together Nintex leaders, customers and partners from around the world to hear the latest news and innovations to our platform. Due to COVID-19, the last two annual conferences have been hosted virtually with a live 90-minute keynote followed by access to hours of new on-demand content. This year, we exceeded our event registration by more than 40 percent from last year and received great feedback from every customer, partner and employee who attended. When I started at Nintex almost six years ago, I supported this event and managed the registration process. This year, thanks to a lot of work and determination, I led the entire event planning process — and even served as the host of our keynote!

To me moxie is all about determination and confidence in yourself and what you do.”

 

What advice do you have for other women when it comes to building up and embracing their moxie? 

Don’t be afraid to try new things or take on new challenges just because you haven’t done them before. The more you go out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself, the more confidence you’ll feel in everything you do. Don’t just embrace your moxie — enjoy it! Bringing that energy and courage to what you do can help you achieve so much.

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