Compliance training platform Ethena was founded by two women - Roxanne Petraeus and Anne Solmssen. The software breaks down topics like harassment prevention training into digestible monthly doses delivered throughout the year. Read on to learn more about a career at this edtech startup.
- The Elpha Hiring Team
Mission and Values
Ethena is a compliance learning platform built for today’s teams. Our micro-learning approach to compliance training is designed for retention, and our entertaining and informative content is designed for a cringe-free experience.
Comics! Videos! Podcasts! Our training isn’t just a thing people get through, it’s something they actually enjoy (we got the stats to prove it—over 90% positive ratings). We help companies train on relevant topics, ranging from Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, to Anti-Money Laundering. Our easy-to-use platform allows company admins to view and manage their team’s learning, and supplement their training with pre-scheduled mini-trainings.
We are proud to be a part of the culture at companies like Netflix, Zendesk, and Zoom.
- Play to win → We hire people who are good at what they do, and expect them to chase greatness. We compete together, win as a team, and are not satisfied with second place.
- Do our training proud → We live the values our training teaches. We work with empathy, learn from our mistakes, and prioritize personal and organizational health as we grow. Importantly, we work as hard on our organization as we do on our product in order to create a space that models the behavior we hope to see in others.
- Embrace feedback → We embrace every part of feedback: giving, receiving, and soliciting. We give it directly, but with kindness and tact. We receive it eagerly, but without foregoing curiosity and contextualization. We solicit constantly and with examples of vulnerability. Because we’re at our best when we’re all trying to be better.
- Humor is human → We spend a third of our days at work, it shouldn’t be miserable. Tell a joke in a meeting, send that funny gif. Humor brings more than levity, it creates space for vulnerability, introspection, and friendship.
We are almost 70 strong and counting. We expect to double in 12 months.
Women in Leadership
Ethena is women-founded and women-led. Our CEO Roxanne Petreaus and our CTO Anne Solmssen lead our executive team which remains majority women (6 of 9).
Work / Life Balance
We take work-life balance extremely seriously. Just because we’re a startup does not mean we need chaos and long days.
At Ethena, having a life starts at the top. Our executive team includes working moms and dads with responsibilities that are definitely more important than Ethena. Even though we’re a fast-paced startup, we deploy the resources of the company to prevent late night and weekend work, vs asking that of our team “because it’s the startup life”.
We think having a healthy balance ultimately is more productive, and scrambling to the finish line probably means you didn’t plan. Everything from our vacation policy, to our hiring plan, to our open culture of communication is geared towards having a healthy balance inside and outside of work. When folks are underwater, we address it head-on, vs letting problems fester.
Benefits and Perks
Ethena is fully remote, with the option for team members to spend as much or little time as they’d like in office spaces near them. We have a hub office in Brooklyn, NY as well as clusters of team members in Toronto, Denver, and the Bay Area.
- Medical - Blue Cross Blue Shield (PPO & HMO), Premium 100% paid
- Dental - Delta Dental, Premium 100% paid
- Parental leave - 12 weeks, 100% paid leave
- Short-term disability - Sun Life, 60% of weekly earnings (max $1,700/week), Premium 100% paid
- 401k - Guideline, Pre-tax & Roth contributions available
- Life insurance - Sun Life, 1x annual salary, up to $200,000
- Vacation - 20 days + 5-day winter break + all federal holidays (We take a “counting the days” approach because research on unlimited vacation shows it can create inequality and anti-vacation-taking incentives)
- Employee Assistance Program - Resources for everything life can throw at you, including legal guidance, mental health, childcare, financial planning and more.
- Co-working - access to local WeWork (or equivalent coworking space).
Ethena holds company-wide performance reviews twice a year, with the expectation that they’ll ultimately be boring!
This is because every week at “Feedback Fridays” managers and their direct reports work to set expectations, level set on performance, and ultimately form strong lines of communication. We avoid grading team member performance using algorithms or other overly technical measures, rather empowering managers to advocate for the full impact of each team member. We also hold quarterly skip levels with your manager's manager.
How does this inform compensation?
- We value fairness and equity in our compensation policy. We do not negotiate and set strong top-of-market salaries and equity grants across the board. See our VP of engineering’s viral blog post on compensation philosophy for the eng team at Ethena.
- We perform yearly compensation reviews to ensure we consistently pay our team competitively.
- We have performance cycles twice a year to ensure team members are promoted and compensated fairly.
Although our HR & Talent team is small at this stage, many of our advisors are themselves HR leaders, including Jessica Yuen, former CPO at Gusto and Couchbase and Matthew Hoffman, former VP of People at DigitalOcean and they have helped us develop inclusive and thoughtful policies to date.
Team Culture & Bonding
Instead of droning on with corporate speak, why not see what our team members had to say when we asked them a few questions:
Why did you choose to work at Ethena?
- “Ethena is one of the few companies that practices what they preach when it comes to DEI and ethics.” - Kai, Sales
- “The brilliant/authentic/driven/fun female founders. It's a mission-driven company with a huge impact because it's relevant to every employee at every company globally, and everyone hates the existing experiences and products.” - Tess, Enterprise Sales
What surprised you most about Ethena once you joined?
- “I was most surprised by the areas where Ethena didn't feel like an early-stage startup. I've worked at other companies of a similar stage, so I had an expectation and readiness for the chaos that can come with an early-stage environment. Ethena displayed some of that (which is what makes it fun!), but also showed some real maturity (e.g. user manuals for every member of the team, great documentation). I remember being really impressed by that.” - Christina, Director of CS
- “The company events that are not work related are (surprisingly) really engaging and fun. We do them weekly and involve the whole team so you get to meet people you don't normally work with.” - Fernando, Engineering
What is most different about working at Ethena compared to other organizations you’ve worked with?
- “Hands down it has to be work/life balance. Company-wide there is a deep respect for the fact that we are all people and this is a job that is only one part of our lives. We are encouraged to bring our whole selves to work, but not to make work our whole self. “ - Trevor, Content
- “I've worked for successful companies with lots of positive reviews, loyal customers, etc. before, but it always felt like a crumbling facade and behind that, the entire staff was miserable or at least vocally dissatisfied. I think that the optimism around Ethena is completely genuine. We are growing and expanding our offerings, yet it doesn't feel like we are scrambling to keep it together. You can feel the communal drive and common goal that everybody here wants Ethena to succeed, thrive, and exist in every workplace.” - Carrie, Operations
Ethena engineering is a product and collaboration focused team. We want product engineers with strong EQ and soft skills. We do not do tech for the sake of tech, but rather in the service of our customers and the employees we train every day.
With all of our open roles, we build interviews that directly assess job skills for the roles we’re hiring, not a bunch of theoretical tests. For example, if the role involves coding, expect to code during the interview! Looking to become a manager at Ethena? Expect to roleplay manager scenarios with our interviewers.
We have designed our interview process to value your time and ours. Interviews at Ethena typically consist of:
- A pre-screen video call
- A brief 30-60 min take-home assessment
- A virtual onsite interview - to accommodate candidates’ busy schedules, we can split the onsite into two parts
- Learn about Ethena's CEO, Roxanne: From military service, to a failed startup, to raising $20M for Ethena – this is my non-traditional path to tech
- Learn more about Ethena's VP of Customer Success, Akhila: I'm Akhila, and this is what I learned in my first year as a VP of Customer Success