Immuta’s Data Access Platform delivers data access and security at scale.
We help the world do right with data. Our mission is to enable legal and ethical data operations. That means ensuring data is accessible to only those who need it, for the right reasons, and in the right form. With proper data access controls, organizations can truly maximize the utility of their data and achieve true data privacy. Since our founding in 2015, Immuta has become the leader in cloud data access control. That comes by applying our expertise in engineering, security, ethics, and law. But, more importantly, it requires a relentless focus on our customers’ needs. From global enterprises to small, innovative startups, companies worldwide leverage the powerful capabilities of Immuta to automate the governance of their sensitive data.
All team members have access to free WHOOP fitness bands, which enable users to track their workouts, recovery rates and sleep patterns.
Employees recently met up in Napa, California, to hold kick-off meetings and take part in team-building exercises against a beautiful backdrop.
The company has its own brewery, which means team members can enjoy beer samples and Immuta Brewing Company T-shirts.
In addition to being recognized by Forbes as a top American startup in 2022, the company has earned a spot on Inc. Magazine’s Best Places to Work list for four consecutive years.
Culture is built every minute of every day. It’s part of every communication, interaction, and meeting. It guides what we do or not do, and the way we work together. It influences how we know what we know and how we do what we do. At the core of an enduring culture is a set of values that we all believe in and engrain into everything we do.
Born out of a government mission, we understand why data is about more than just analytics – it also represents our values. Our mission is to enable the legal and ethical use of data, ensuring that data is accessible to only those who need it, for the right reasons, and in the proper form.
We are experts in privacy, ethics, law, and engineering. But true expertise requires constant change – to always learn and to always adapt. And that means we excel as students and as teachers. We have something to learn from everyone, any time, in any place.
We don’t need guidance to get things done, yet we know when to ask for help. We accomplish our mission while upholding our values, whatever it takes.
For us, life is about the values we uphold, not the credit we receive or the attention we garner. We operate with respect and consideration of our peers, acting with empathy, honesty, transparency, and integrity.
At Immuta, we truly care about the holistic health of our employees. To ensure that all employees put their health and well-being first, the company pays 100% of all health plan premiums, has doubled the number of EAP and well-being visits provided through our EAP, and provides unlimited time off. We can’t be successful without our employees, and our employees will be their best if they are happy, well-rested, and healthy.
Where did you grow up and what were you like as a child?
I was born to Pakistani Immigrants to the US and grew up in a small town in Central NY. My father worked for the Federal Government and my mother was a homemaker and the “CEO” of our home. Our family was muslim and my parents were also EXTREMELY cultural – which was not easy to be in a small un-diverse town in central NY. As a child, I often joked that there were 4 people of color in my school – Me, My brother, My Sister and one of our family friends. Growing up as a minority can be challenging especially as when you are young you are most often concerned with “fitting in” or being a part of the “in crowd”. However, I feel that I was truly blessed as I had several opportunities to share my unique upbringing and truly experienced the melting pot with my friends and classmates growing up. I participated in several sports and clubs and overall – I had fun.
Where did you go to college? What did you study and what did you do after graduating?
I initially went to school with thoughts of becoming a lawyer, however, once I took my first technology class at the Rochester Institute of Technology, I was hooked. I switched my major to Information Technology. During college, I had the opportunity to co-op/intern within the IT department at a pharmaceutical company where I helped code a marketing application. After I graduated, I started working at Booz Allen and Hamilton which was a large Public Sector SI as a programmer and I got exposed to various technology products. One of those products was a content management solution which I then joined as a part of their professional services team. I leveraged my experience there to pursue a pre-sales role. I became a pre-sales manager and then pursued an MBA. Eventually, I had the opportunity to begin my sales career with various roles that culminated in taking on a global sales leader position to eventually running Public Sector and ISV alliances for a data startup – which brought me to Immuta.
What inspired you to get into the tech industry?
It was actually a little bit of luck along with my own preparation. I realized very early that what I enjoyed the most was teaching customers on how to leverage technology to solve their business problems. I was able to take that passion and the associated opportunities to new roles which allowed me to gain a broad breadth of experience. My technical background certainly helped in terms of becoming comfortable with continuous learning and being able to break down what I learned into manageable impact points. Overall – the best advice that I would give people is to always be flexible and determine ways to solve problems as a team.
What has your career path looked like since joining Immuta?
My time at Immuta has been incredible in terms of growth and development for me personally. I have met some extremely talented people and I love being a part of the team. I was able to leverage my sales background and technical background to really jump into my new role at Immuta with vigor. I have been engaged in helping to spearhead the growth of our Public Sector business – which is a key vertical that we have a rich history with across several important missions. That has been especially rewarding.
Can you share the high-level responsibilities of your current position as a Regional Vice President of Alliances at Immuta?
I work as a leader on the sales team to promote, evangelize and drive sales for our market leading automated data access and privacy control platform. It is an offering that I am personally very proud to be promoting. In short my job is to drive sales and pipeline through our ISV and SI partners in order to grow the Immuta Public Sector business. I work extensively with sales, marketing and other key functions across Immuta to make that happen.
What has attributed to your success thus far and what types of obstacles have you had to overcome along the way as a minority?
The biggest contributor to my success has always been my flexibility and desire to succeed as well as being a part of a team. I am fortunate to have a hands on approach in which I am not afraid to get my hands dirty no matter what the task. This is a trait that is found throughout Immuta. We have a company culture which promotes the concept of a “humble intellect”, meaning that we attract people to be on our team who listen and seek to understand prior to just taking action.
The fortunate thing about Immuta is that it’s an incredibly inclusive environment, with several diverse team members who have impressive backgrounds. I know no-one is off limits when it comes to me raising a question, including them on a campaign or taking part in an effort with a partner. The goal is to make the company a success – and once that happens we as a team will reap the benefits.
What types of programs and initiatives does Immuta have that support diversity, equity, and inclusion?
I think diversity is important especially as we think about representation. We are blessed at Immuta to have several key members of our leadership team represent a wide array of backgrounds. In addition, Immuta recently underwent training in DEI as well and these initiatives are all supported by various members of our organization. We also take opportunities to help educate on our backgrounds and experiences through company-wide events that have garnered great attendance numbers. Many of these events are in-formal but are just as important for the development of ones career.
What advice would you give to other minority professionals who are interested in joining the tech industry?
I think personally it is important to have confidence in your own abilities and to say “yes” to a new opportunity. The tech industry is one that changes constantly – so you have to be open to that change. In addition, I would say flexibility is also extremely important. By that I mean – its good to be a generalist – to know a little about a lot of different areas. In addition, it is ok to raise your hand up and say “I need help understanding….whatever”. You would be surprised that even in small organizations – people often work in silos. Chances are members of your team have wrestled with this problem prior and have seen what works and also more importantly what does NOT work.
While general awareness of the problem of diversity in the tech industry is a step forward, to make a lasting change, real actions need to be taken. Do you have any ideas or suggestions on what companies or employees can do to step up and make a difference?
Companies are doing great in hiring minority employees, but more effort has to be put into retaining them as well. Encouragement, mentoring and making people feel involved are all ways that you can be a part of an organizations initiatives to support minority employees.
Where did you grow up and how would you describe yourself as a child?
I grew up in Rockville, MD with my parents and 3 siblings. As a child, I went to Catholic school and was very involved in sports, friendships, and instilled with a discipline that you have to work hard to be rewarded. Because of this, I grew in my independence and knew that in order to take care of myself, I had to always push forward even in the toughest of times to accomplish my goals. I started working small jobs as a teenager and remember loving the fact that I made my own money to go shopping.
What did you study in college and what was your first job out of school?
I went to college in Philadelphia and had an interest in majoring in business. Human resources was somewhat of a new topic and degree, and after looking at the curriculum, I instantly knew that I wanted to major in it. I graduated with a B.S. degree in human resource management with a minor in psychology.
I received a call with my job offer one month after graduation as a benefits specialist in the human resources department of a federal government contracting company in my hometown. I had a 20 year career at this same company and moved up the ladder, while obtaining my M.A. degree in organizational management.
Can you share the details on your career path and what were the critical moments that got you to where you are today?
Starting in HR as a benefits specialist was a great entry way into HR. I was able to expand my role into generalism, recruiting, employment law and compliance. It was my goal to learn all of these aspects of HR to become the leader one day, which came true. It came with a lot of hard work, continuous learning, setting an example as a female leader across the organization, and while experiencing business pains, always trying to stay positive and focused to get the work done. After 15 years in HR, the CEO presented me with the opportunity to be the head of operations. While it was intimidating at first, I knew it would expand my knowledge base and I would learn a lot. I spent 5 years in this role and at the mark of a 20 year tenure, decided there was more out there for me. I was contacted by a headhunter about a job at a startup company as the leader of public sector operations. I thought it was risky to make a move, but I also knew that when an exciting door opens, you need to take a chance and it was my time. I’m happy I did because in all of my tenure, I built a solid background in both business operations and human resources and knew I could bring value on day one.
What is your current role and responsibilities?
I’m currently the director of public sector operations and responsible to keep our business operations on track. I have oversight on various functions to include finance, procurement, HR compliance and training programs, recruiting programs, contracts, processes, systems, knowledge bases, customer success reporting, team events, logistics, security program, and various ad hoc projects and initiatives for the team. My manager calls me, “the magician behind the curtains”.
Looking back, is this where you thought you’d be professionally? Was it always your goal to be in this position?
Yes, because I set my mind to it. What was interesting to see over the years was how a hybrid background in business operations and human resources has proven to be a very valuable role for businesses today.
For people who are looking to be in a similar position, what advice would you give to others in terms of helping them achieve their career goals?
Learn to holistically look at the business and understand the connections and transactions between various functions and people. Build relationships. Do what you love and be in a role that emphasizes your strengths. Take on new challenges. Set goals and consistently work to achieve them. Follow-through and get it done. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or seek guidance. Do good in the world. Have fun.
What are the most important skills that you need to do your job well?
The ability to multitask, listen, analyze, problem solve, provide recommendations to improve, stay engaged with people, be accessible and reliable, deliver results, be agile when you need to pivot, and align yourself to the goals and objectives of the team.
What do you find most interesting/rewarding about your work? What’s the most challenging?
It’s rewarding to help people through challenges, solve problems, accomplish goals, be on a team with great people and have fun, get recognized for hard work, and simply get work done and see how it positively impacts the business.
Challenges happen everyday, and you need to be ready for them. Whether it’s through building the team and business and ensuring your processes are aligned with the ever increasing growth, it’s important to try and get ahead and help each other with an all hands on deck mentality.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Spending time with my family and traveling. I also love watching DIY and HGTV shows for design ideas and house hunting.
How do you manage stress?
I like to walk, carve out quiet time for myself, and not let things get to me as much as they did in the past. I’ve learned that I cannot control things that are not in my control and to let it be.
How many cups of coffee/tea/diet coke/similar do you have in a day?
I usually have 2 cups of coffee in the morning and like an occasional ice tea with lemon in the afternoon.
Any book or podcast recommendations?
I just finished reading Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus. I recommend this one for working moms.
What advice do you have for recent college graduates?
I go back to the old adage that you have to work hard to play hard. Nothing is guaranteed but as long as you try your best, that’s what matters. Show up, get engaged, be respectful, contribute and just be a good person. Your life is valuable, but adding other value on top of it is icing on the cake. And lastly, if you don’t ask, you won’t receive. Take chances and enjoy the ride.