65. Meesha Gerhart – CEO, RedTree Web Design

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“Even as my business grows I always want to make sure that [community] remains a priority to me. I can’t grow without my community around me.”

Tell us a little bit about what a typical day looks like for you.

One of the things that I love about owning a business is I don’t have typical days. I’m always having to adapt to changes in the market, client requests/support and employee growth/development. I love every minute because it means I’m constantly growing and changing.

How do you stay passionate in your career?

My whole career has been about learning. I entered the technology industry because I loved how everything was always constantly changing which means I’m constantly learning something new. Even if I get to a point where I’m not learning anymore I’m thinking about where technology is going to taking us and predicting where we should be going next.

Did you have a traditional path into tech (i.e.: CS/IT degree transitioned into tech job)?

Not at all. I went to school for graphic design and at the time they were focusing more on print ads then website or digital ads. When I was a senior though, the school got smart and started to realize how important websites were to an individuals portfolio. They required each student to have one before they could graduate, this included culinary students as well as designers. At the time none of us had money but I had a line of students asking to trade services for a website. At that time I knew I had found my calling, not only did I love making websites but people found value in them.

Are there any apps, software, or tools you cannot live without?

1. SLACK – I would die 2. My bullet journal – I’m a very forgetful person and it keeps me organized.

It’s common knowledge that women and femmes often face obstacles in the tech industry based on their gender. Have you ever had to deal with this type of experience and if so how did you handle it?

When confronted with this type of experience I usually figure out a way to go around it or change the direction of the conversation or situation.

What’s your favorite thing about being a part of the #womenintech community?

The amount of support of other women in technology is unbelievable. We all know how little women there are in the room or at the table so we all support each other to get there.

If applicable, how have you given back to the WIT community?

I’m currently sitting on the RedChair PGH board. A non-profit organization dedicated to created gender balance in the technology professions.

What is a piece of advice you would give to others wanting to or currently pursuing a career in tech?

Find a support group and ignore the naysayers. I know I’ve struggled with this for years. I’m my harshest critic and I didn’t have enough room for other people’s negativity. Although there are times when imposter syndrome kicks in and I can’t help but let people get to me and thats when I need my support group.

Tell us about a time you felt extremely accomplished in the past year. 

Personally I’ve always made it a priority to contribute to my community with the skills I’ve learned throughout the years. Either through my local government or through organization. Even as my business grows I always want to make sure that this remains a priority to me. I can’t grow without my community around me.

For my business, about 3 months ago we hired a project manager and when we did I sudden realized that everyone in our company were women. Not that we intensionally did it this way but the fact that it happened, by accident, gives us the position to make a difference, even a small one.

Favorite quote:

Luck didn’t have anything to with it. I’ve been blessed and I’ve received those blessings by honoring them with hard work.

Janice Bryant Howroyd



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