Vagaro is a company of integrity. We hire individuals who are exceptional at their craft, but if we weren’t making room at the table for underrepresented groups, what kind of message would that send? Vagaro’s largest client demographic is women-owned businesses, so we know a thing or two about celebrating the female lead.

Throughout history, however, the efforts of women have been minimized & diminished. Not only is this morally unacceptable, but it does society a grand disservice to stifle such innovative minds. In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re highlighting some of our women in leadership whose efforts have led to overall wins for Vagaro as a company. Meet Michelle Silverblatt, Director of Social & Influencer Marketing, and Stephanie McKinny, Head of Copy & Editorial.


Michelle Silverblatt: Director of Social & Influencer Marketing

Michelle Silverblatt Director of Social and Influencer Marketing

What does it mean to you to be a woman in leadership?

As a woman in leadership, it means being a role model & mentor to those on my team, as well as others in the organization. It also means being unafraid to take risks, speak up in a room, break down barriers, and play in the “white space.”

I’ve always had an open-door policy no matter where I’ve worked—which means I want people who work on my team, as well as others, to feel comfortable coming to me with challenges, ideas, thoughts, wins, and even personal hurdles they are facing.  Vulnerability is also key and realizing that while we have a job to do, we are also humans with thoughts, feelings & challenges—so approaching situations from an open, human mindset is important.

Which women inspire you?

I’ve always looked up to my grandma (aka “Nannie” in our family) who is approaching 91 years old this month! Though she didn’t have a corporate job, she was responsible for holding down the fort at home for my father and his two siblings. She is a quiet force, who is full of wisdom, and has instilled in me that no matter what the circumstances, it’s crucial as a woman to speak your mind, have a flexible mindset, and that nothing is a problem until it cannot—literally—be fixed.

Professionally, I’ve looked up to my mom who has been a trailblazer at Mastercard, leading the Small Business Division. She’s completely changed the business for the better, providing a platform for female entrepreneurs to succeed, and has become a mentor to a number of females along the way as they’ve started their dream businesses. She’s always set the example to not be afraid to speak up in a room and network authentically, as you can never know too many people!

What did your journey to success look like?

My journey to success has not been linear! It consists of a handful of trial-and-error jobs, risk-taking, and uncertainty of what’s next. However, each experience has been full of lessons that have helped me get to where I am today.  I have gone from TV production to ad agency creative leadership, and into B2B & B2C marketing roles. The common thread has been to embrace new learning opportunities, but know that each experience builds on the previous. TV production inspired my creative mind & passion for entertainment, my time at the agency gave me a love and passion for health & beauty brands, and now at Vagaro I get to lean into all of that while building new skill sets.

If you could give career advice to another woman reading this, what would it be?

Don’t be afraid to get uncomfortable and take on projects and initiatives that are new and unfamiliar, as those moments are crucial to growth. Lean in to being proactive in your role, and don’t wait for your manager to give you the green light to offer suggestions & ideas. Challenge the pre-existing norms. Every job experience provides an opportunity to learn something about yourself, get clearer on your goals, and gain skills that will more than likely be leveraged in your future.

What does gender equity mean to you in the workplace, and why is it important?

For me, gender equity in the workplace means fairness of treatment for all genders according to their needs. Of course, it means diversity in hiring & development, fair pay for roles regardless of gender, and an environment that provides the psychological safety for women to speak up & push for change that they feel is good for the business. In addition, and in my case, as a working mom of two young children (4 & 6), it means feeling comfortable and empowered to be present in the moments that matter for my family with the trust from my workplace that I will deliver for my team and my colleagues, without sacrificing being a heavily involved mother at the same time.


Stephanie McKinny: Head of Copy & Editorial

Stephanie McKinny Director of Copy and Editorial

What does it mean to you to be a woman in leadership?

That’s a powerful set of words—”woman in leadership.” We, as women, have not always been given that equitable real estate, so to be able to represent that is some kind of wonderful that is not lost on me. To be a woman in leadership is a living, breathing sign of progress, of change. Many a woman have worked determinedly to build up the soil on which I stand. So, I view my position as a woman in leadership with high reverence & responsibility. I strive to lead with a fine balance of actionable integrity for Vagaro & empathy for the human beings that look to me for guidance. I’m the steward of so many women’s hard work before me. And I aim to lead with that in mind, always.

Which women inspire you?

I come from a long line of female tenacity. My grandmother came to this country from a tiny cobble-stoned island off the coast of Portugal. One day, while my dairy farmer grandfather was working, he suffered a massive heart attack and my grandmother was, all at once, left with five children to provide for in her thirties. She barely spoke English and certainly didn’t have the financial means, but she worked & struggled, and she made it happen. Here I am, a woman in my thirties as well, her first-generation American granddaughter, telling you about being a female in leadership. So, to answer, the kind of woman who charges through the hellfire, being well aware of how much it burns, and comes out the other side better for it—that’s the kind of woman who inspires me.

She took some of that fire and passed it on down to my tias (aunts), my mama, and me. We carry her flame inside of us, and we burn bright wherever we are.

I’ve been bestowed strength from women on both sides of my family, as my other grandmother always worked hard in her career for a branch of the local government, and her mother (who is now 102) was a real-life Rosie the Riveter.

How lucky am I to have been born to such forces?

What did your journey to success look like?

Calling it a journey is appropriate. I was married for a long time and then, one day, suddenly found myself as a single mother with a newborn. I’ve written for the biggest hotels & casinos in Las Vegas; I’ve done marketing for startups under NASA and been a part of space missions. But there comes a point in this world that we live in when you hit a ceiling—and I don’t do well with ceilings. It became very clear that I would need a second degree to make the life for myself & my son that I wanted, on my own. I worked full-time, took accelerated college courses from my kitchen table while my boy slept, sometimes until 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning. Then, I’d get us up at 7:00 for work & school and do it all over again.

I still don’t know how I did it—all I know is why I did. Providing a good, stable life for my child was a non-negotiable for me. The most important thing for any individual, and any business, is to determine their WHY—the one, overarching reason that ignites your soul and pushes you to make. it. happen.

My son is my reason. Find yours, whatever it may be, and absolutely run with it.

If you could give career advice to another woman reading this, what would it be?

Don’t take no for an answer. Make no mistake: You will be told it often. That comes with the territory of being a woman, especially striving to get to a position of leadership, something that has historically been occupied by men. Except that it isn’t—not anymore. Leadership is a shared space now, so let each “no” fuel you forward. You’ve got to be resolute in your goals & relentless in your path toward them. Determine what it is that you want, use your WHY as your driving force, and don’t give up until you’re standing on that same, woman-made, hallowed ground that I am now.

If a tired, struggling, single mother can do it, I promise you can too.
The world loves to try to tell women who they are and what they’re capable or incapable of. Block out the noise and forge ahead in the strength & stillness of knowing that you are the one who sets those parameters—nobody else.
And for goodness’ sake, tend to your mental health along the way.

What does gender equity mean to you in the workplace, and why is it important?

For me, it’s workplace recognition, accolade & compensation based on skill & merit, full stop. Early on in my career here, it became very clear that Vagaro sees individuals, no matter their gender association, as professionals. I feel valued for what I bring to the table because I work for a company that champions my accomplishments. You want happy, productive people leading your company? Treat them with respect as equals, regardless of gender. It’s really not much more complicated than that. Being a good person and using those values to build an equitable business is something that anyone can be proud of at the end of each day.


Stay tuned to the Vagaro Pro blog for parts 2 & 3 of our Women in Leadership series in honor of Women’s History Month! Want more now? Check out our International Women’s Day article! If you’d like to learn more about Vagaro, visit us here.