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I came to work for Polycot after having been in online community management and customer service with two companies that had previously hired this team for their websites. I naturally fell into a main point of contact role with each company. From these experiences, the Polycot team thought they saw something I could offer their projects: great communication skills. That was nearly a year ago, and I couldn't be happier with my decision to say yes to this learning experience. Robert Matney, the Lead Project Manager, took me under his wing. The rest of the team welcomed me warmly and immediately started treating me as a "pack member." He and Jon showed me the ropes of Agile project management and trusted me immensely from the get go. Each team member has shown me unending respect, something quite rare to find with a male team as a woman in tech.
People in the worker cooperative "movement" often say that Co-ops will solve all the worlds problems. I think another step is required. It takes a very special kind of person to want to and then be able to cooperate, and that comes through on even the worst days (which there are few) with this team. Each member-owner genuinely cares about our clients, what we are producing, as well as each other. When I need to step back for personal reasons I have a team that encourages that. When someone else needs to do the same, everyone steps forward to support them. Polycot, in my eyes, has been a rare find in a tech company - one that truly values people and wellness. And, to add greatness to great, they are an extremely aware team, open to new ideas, and emerging internal best practices. Truly agile.
I am "only" a contracter right now, but don't worry. I am in the pipeline to becoming a member-owner. I couldn't feel more humbled by it.