Women in Engineering - Ryane Heater


For International Women in Engineering Day, Everactive is saluting and celebrating the contributions of the driven and intelligent women who power our company every day of the year.

Beginning in the UK in 2017, National Women in Engineering Day went worldwide due to an enthusiastic reception from an international audience. International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) was born to enable a global celebration of women in engineering.

We sat down with Ryane Heater, an Operations Specialist here at Everactive.  In our interview, Ryane shares her experience working to solve complex problems with technology and people in her time at Everactive.

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself, your current position and a brief history of your career and experience?

I am currently the Operations Specialist for the Customer Experience team at Everactive. I started at Everactive in late 2020 after graduating from Grand Valley State University earlier that year. My first role here was as a Field Operations Assistant, where I would analyze data for our sensors and customer sites. About a year into my time at Everactive, I was promoted to Customer Experience Coordinator where I helped lead the CX team’s scheduling and communication between customers and our company. From there I moved into my current role, Operations Specialist, where I am doing a combination of my past positions plus more to be able to grow and maintain customer satisfaction.

How did you get involved in a S.T.E.M. Career?

I actually never thought I would end up in a STEM career. My degree is in Sport Management, but graduating in the beginning of a global pandemic pushed me into different directions that I didn’t think was possible. I had an old friend who reached out to me about the Field Operations Assistant role here at Everactive and I have been here since that point in time.

The past 3 years has been a huge learning curve for me. Not only did I need to learn about what Everactive is and what we do, but I have needed to learn a lot about the STEM industry as a whole to be more effective in the roles that I have been in. I have had to take classes, ask questions and learn more about technology as a whole since being here and honestly I am still learning more everyday.

What do you like about working in S.T.E.M.?

This is an industry that is so wide-ranging that there are so many different things you can do that still equates to working in STEM. Contrary to what most people think, STEM is not just about engineering, science or technology. The basic skills to be in this field are very transferable to other industries and jobs; there are always positions that are ground level that you can grow into. Even better is there are always going to be people that want to help you into these positions.

Who have been role models for you as you navigate your career in technology?

While working here at Everactive I have had the opportunity to have two great mentors, John O’Brien and Dakota Peregoy. They have both individually helped me learn more about the technology that we are creating here at Everactive, have never looked down on me for asking a multitude of questions (almost everyday), and have taken the time to make sure that I am becoming the person I want to be in and out of work. Having their support over the last few years has been influential to my work at Everactive but also things that I will take with me for the rest of my career and life.

What impact do you feel you have created as a visible woman in this field?

I would love to show women and girls looking toward the future that this is a viable career path, even if you don’t have the background. I want to show those who are in the times of their lives that are changing, approaching a different path than you originally thought is not something you should be scared of.

When I got approached with the idea of starting here at Everactive, I didn’t know if I should do it. I had goals and dreams of working for professional sports teams and I thought I needed to give that up if I started working in a different industry. This is not the case at all and I realized that my dreams and goals are changing as I figure out who I am and what I want to do. My background will always be a part of who I am, but who I am becoming is different than what I first thought. I would love to help others who were in the same situation as me, and let them know that it is okay to change.

What do you find most exciting about working at Everactive?

Everactive not only has great technology; but the people behind the technology make this company great. I know many places say “Oh we are like a family here”, but that is actually true for this company. Not only do our employees love to see the company succeed, but we love to see individual success in our roles. We encourage each other in the best way possible. Since being here at Everactive, I have had the opportunity to continue to grow both professionally and personally. The team around me has pushed me and supported me to better myself, and I am not the only person who has had the same opportunities to do so.

Can you provide some advice to other young women interested in entering STEM careers?

My biggest advice to other women entering the STEM field is to not be afraid to take a leap of faith. This industry is one that is consistently growing and changing, there will always be a path forward if you decide to take it and not be afraid of it.  I’d also say, do not be afraid to reach out and find a mentor in the path that you want to take. Workers in this industry are always looking to help those who want to learn and take the steps necessary to be as successful as they can.