Mammotome’s passion for Diversity and Inclusion wasn’t the main driver in Katy Austin’s decision to join the Mammotome team. Still, she has quickly come to love how that focus has influenced our culture. Read more to hear about Katy’s experience of acceptance and inclusion at Mammotome as a bisexual woman and how her experiences have contributed to her growth and success at the company.
As a bisexual/pansexual woman, Katy sometimes feels like a minority within a minority group. In early 2020, Katy started to search for a new job and a new company. She was fed up with what she describes as merely being tolerated.
“I was realizing I didn’t want to remain silent when rude jokes were told in a non-diverse environment.” She was intentionally looking for a culture where she could be fully ‘out’ and not feel the need to hide parts of her whole self. Mammotome was on the short list of companies she was interested in working for.
Shortly after completing her application in March of 2020, the world ‘shut down’ in response to the pandemic. She had assumed that her opportunity to join Mammotome was shut down along with the rest of the world. However, that month, Maria Jernelid, Vice President of Regulatory and Quality Assurance, reached out to confirm her interest. Mammotome, like many other employers, had placed a hold on hiring and Maria asked Katy if she was able to wait a bit for Mammotome and the world to understand what was happening and resume hiring. Katy says that “good things are worth waiting for” and since she was gainfully employed and didn’t need to leave quickly, she agreed to wait. A few weeks turned into a few months, but Maria and Katy stayed in touch and Katy joined Mammotome in November of 2020. Now over a year and a half later, Katy says she has found contentment that she hasn’t experienced at other companies.
Katy talks about her decision to ‘out’ herself during her interview despite being unsure of the reaction she would get.
“In my younger years I perceived staying closeted as ‘professional’, but in today’s age, I understand that being authentic is professional. I made the decision that if I’m in an organization that doesn’t celebrate diversity, then I need to find somewhere that does. Mammotome made this very easy for me as it was clear the culture leads with diversity and inclusion. Mammotome employers in my interviews did not skip a beat when I opened the proverbial closet door. I felt welcomed and we kept on talking, and that was brilliant.” After Katy started working at Mammotome, her initial feelings of acceptance were reinforced. “From my very first team meeting I could literally look around the ‘room’ (on Teams with cameras on) and see the evidence of diversity being celebrated.” In 2022, at the start of Katy’s second year with Mammotome, she was delighted to learn that the company encourages associates to include support of the Mammotome diversity and inclusion efforts in their annual performance goals. Mammotome rewards leaders and associates who are committed to action in support of our diversity and inclusion efforts. “The company and my management are literally putting action behind their words and promises. One of the RAQA managers is championing the LGBTQ+ associate-led group. It’s so wonderful to see and feel support all around me. More than tolerance, I feel acceptance. I’m proud to be here.”
Katy says that her decision to join Mammotome was easy. “The older I get the more I realize bi(sexual) is valid unto itself. I have a passion for supporting the LGBTQ+ community after growing up with a gay father who I was very close to and now as a bisexual woman.”
Her decision to be ‘out’ at Mammotome gives her more than just feelings of acceptance. It helps her to perform at her best every day. “In the past, I sought harmony in groups even if it meant I stayed quiet,” Katy says she can now see that her tendency to stay quiet not only meant not speaking up when she saw something wrong, but it also meant she wasn’t as effective at her job. “When I developed the courage to speak out for me and my community, I also gained the confidence to start speaking more strategically in meetings. I’d like to think this directly contributes to my success at Mammotome. I’m confident I can speak up when or if I need to. More than that, I have faith I’ll be heard.”
Katy has enjoyed a number of career transitions and is thankful that at Mammotome her skills and background are paired with work that suits her experience.
“I’ve had a very colorful career trajectory, starting in pre-veterinary, entering veterinary technology, then into laboratory animal sciences and on to heavily regulated industries, management and compliance functions. Along my career trajectory, I supplemented my initial undergrad with a Bachelor of Science and an MBA in Human Resources because I loved the social sciences of human behavior. These career changes helped me see what all jobs have in common, rather than seeing what is different and assuming that certain jobs are not in the scope of my future. I’ve learned that many careers require similar skills such as effective communication, negotiation, collaboration, how to speak with people in ways they best hear, and other soft skills that are harder to train but easier to experience. Without exploring what skills could be transferable, I’d never have found myself in regulatory affairs today after starting in animal nursing. At Mammotome, I feel my manager had a thorough look at my background and paired me with work that suits my experience.”
Katy feels proud to work at Mammotome where her work contributes to helping women. At Mammotome our passion is being the indispensable partner to physicians, clinicians and patients.
“My job comes to life for me every time I hear someone is scheduling a mammogram or when I think about the two breast cancer survivors I know personally.”
Katy’s purpose At Mammotome goes beyond our mission and vision. she Takes Pride in Mammotome's efforts to celebrate diversity, take action and extend trust.
“Mammotome’s celebration of diversity is not just for the LGBTQ+ community, it includes efforts to learn about and celebrate cultures across the world. In an era where Asian hate crime is up and #BLM is a cry for human rights, I saw Danaher and Mammotome’s social media presence consistently speaking out… So many other companies stayed silent. Mammotome’s moral compass remains outspoken and true, and I perceive this to be uncommon compared with other places I worked and other places where my friends and loved one’s work. Organizational courage is a powerful force. The Mammotome culture has consistently demonstrated compassion and support during unusual times. I’ve been in businesses where an individual had to fight for an ounce of compassion, and still others where compassion was given, but it came across as somewhat reluctant. Mammotome’s culture stands out to me because they lead with trust. Trust begets trust. Other organizations have made me feel scrutinized, suspect, and constantly proving I’m doing my job. Mammotome trusts me. I trust Mammotome. That foundation has resulted from hiring amazing people who I now work with every day.”