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Women Engineers Shine at Moxe

As we celebrate Women’s History Month, we’re shining a light on four of our women engineers and applauding all of our women engineers for the important contributions they make to Moxe.


What do a former PhD student in 18th Century British Literature, an optometric technician, data engineer, and an actuarial sciences major have in common? 


They’re all women in engineering at Moxe, and they’ve all made a significant impact on the company in their time here.


While they’re all women engineers, their paths to engineering and Moxe look quite different.


Staff Software Engineer Laura Berkholtz was a science nerd as a kid. It made sense, then, when she went on to get undergraduate degrees in astronomy and physics.


Her first real job out of college was as a computer operator. She learned to code on the job and says she “sort of fell into programming.” 


Berkholtz worked as a programmer for several years, but when she had her son, she started to reassess her career path. After completing some career inventories, she settled on getting certified as an optometric technician and worked in the optometry field for a number of years. 


Ultimately, her interest in and gift for working with computers led her back to IT.  When she found Moxe, it seemed like the perfect blend of being able to use her programming skills in a spacehealthcarein which she felt called to make a contribution. 


“I like working for a start-up and passionately caring about the company. As a member of the Point of Care team, I’m very much involved in the design of the product,” Berkholtz says. 


“Moxe is a very open, accepting company. My contribution is validated, and I’m respected as much as somebody can be who tells bad jokes,” she smiles.


Data Engineer Riya Bhargava took a somewhat more linear path to Moxe: She started as an intern in the summer of 2022.


Bhargava had such a good experience interning at Moxe, she stayed on part-time while she was completing her MS in Data Science. She started as a full-time employee in June of 2023. 


“Since the day that I started at Moxe, I have always been encouraged to learn and experiment. We’re given time and resources to do just that; there is a great culture here of learning and exploring,” Bhargava says. 


A native of India, Bhargava says when she moved to the United States for her MS program and experienced the US healthcare system for the first time, she was struck by how accessing healthcare and healthcare data didn’t happen quite as quickly as it does in India. 


“In India, the data belongs to the patient. You don’t have to do a lot to get it,” she says. 


While part of that is due to differing laws that govern how patient data is shared, another part is due to gaps in infrastructure to support the exchange of data, Bhargava says. 


Growing up watching her older sister code, Bhargava says she is thrilled to now be working as a data engineer at Moxe and playing a role in helping to bridge that gap.


“We’re trying to make data and information more accessible not just to the patient, but to everyone,” she says. 


For Manager of Data Operations Shae Armstrong, accepting challenges and delivering solutions is in her blood. 


Inspired by her grandmother, who went to veterinary school and opened her own practice in a time when that was almost unheard of, Armstrong says she has never shied away from difficult things. “My grandmother was the only woman in her vet class. Sexism was rampant. My grandmother’s example was my anchor: I never had the thought that I couldn’t do something because I was a woman.”


“If someone cautions me that something is hard, it’s almost like that’s additional fuel for me to tackle the challenge,” she says. Her actuarial sciences degree was one of those hard things. “I probably completed my degree partially out of spite,” she says. 


While Armstrong has been in healthcare IT from the start of her career, she says she’s found a compatible work home at Moxe. 


“In some companies, it’s, ‘Don’t rock the boat. Stay in your lane.’ That’s not the case here; creativity and passion are encouraged,” she says. 


As a member of both the neurodivergent and LGBTQ+ community, Armstrong says she appreciates that she can be her authentic self at Moxe. 


She also loves being able to deliver solutions in a fast-paced environment. Armstrong says that her team’s workimplementing a data platform using open-source toolingis tough, no matter who you are. “My tenacity has served me well here,” she says. 


Like Armstrong, Staff Lead Engineer Deidre Stuffer appreciates that she can be her authentic self and has the autonomy to problem solve at Moxe.


Unlike Armstrong, Stuffer didn’t begin her career in programming. She was working towards her PhD in 18th Century British Literature when she began helping computer programmers create rules to apply across early modern literature data sets. 


“I always had a gift for language, which is why I was pursuing an advanced degree in literature. But, as time went on, as I was teaching engineers and working with computer programmers, I realized I talk more like computer science and engineering students than literature students. I worked really well with them, and I began to think that I was perhaps in the wrong field,” she says. 


Stuffer defected from her PhD program and took a technical writing job at a pharmaceutical company, where she worked her way up to being a programmer and eventually a software validation engineer. 


She says her desire to contribute to the healthcare space drew her to Moxe, where she started as a junior software engineer. “We all know people who are sick and have to fight the healthcare system.” 


Now, Stuffer has no regrets about changing directions during her PhD program and says that a lot of skills she gained during her PhD studies translate to the work she does now.


“The study of language translates to the study of code,” she says. “The skills I used in teachingorganizing work, making it understandable, making sure people are on the same page so we know what we need to deliverare skills that I now use as a team lead, too.” 


And while Stuffer says she enjoys leading a team, she appreciates that her manager recognizes that women often take on work she describes as “glue work”the work that holds teams together but isn’t always as valued as more technical types of workand ensures she has time to focus on projects that are meaningful to her and will foster her growth as a developer.


The unique perspective every person brings

Stuffer, Armstrong, Bhargava, and Berkholtz say that while they don’t necessarily feel they bring a unique perspective to engineering at Moxe because they are women, they do bring different perspectives because of their different backgrounds and life experiences. They say they appreciate that every individual’s perspective is valued at Moxe. 


“Every individual brings a unique perspective,” Berkholtz says. “There’s not this idea that you have to be a certain type of person or fit into a stereotype to make valuable contributions as an engineer,” she says. 


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