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Pinpoint: Meet Pinterest Canada’s Tricia Kopec and Whitney Mak

a collage of two women

Pinterest Canada is up next on the Life at Pinterest series, Pinpoint, where we zoom into our global regions and meet the Pinployees behind the product. For this special Women’s History Month feature, we’re sitting down with Tricia Kopec, Account Manager, and Whitney Mak, Engineering Manager, to dive deep into their career journey, life at Pinterest and what they enjoy doing outside of their day-to-day roles. 

Hi Tricia & Whitney! Thank you for joining us today. Let’s start with learning more about what led you to your current role at Pinterest? 

Whitney: Hi! Very excited to be chatting about Life at Pinterest today! I was brought into Pinterest as the first Toronto-based Engineering Manager to help build out the engineering team around Merchants and Shopping products. I continue to work with teams across San Francisco and Toronto to help implement features that allow Pinners to be inspired to shop and create the life they love.

Tricia: When I started looking for a new role, I knew I wanted to support a company I believed in, that aligned with my values and that had a strong culture that encouraged growth, comradery and led through inspiration. Pinterest was at the top of the list, and I am grateful to be a part of building a more inspiring internet. At Pinterest, I work on the Sales team in Canada, helping advertisers inspire Pinners and helping Pinners find their next purchase to create a life they love. I am also excited to be one of the Co-Leads for our global Women@ Pinclusion Group (ERG).

Outside of your role, are there any initiatives that you enjoy participating in? 

Whitney: I’m a huge advocate for women and minorities in STEM fields, so I’m always looking for ways to give back to the community whether it’s through mentorship or speaking events. I’m also a part of several Pinclusion Groups at Pinterest and volunteer my time to join events and learn from others whenever I can.

Tricia: Being raised by a single mom, I’ve always been inspired by women’s potential – it’s what led me to become one of the leads for Pinterest’s Women@ Pinclusion Group. I’ve been a mentor for Monday Girl, a professional network for women based in Toronto, but that expands across Canada, and I speak on different panels on how to time manage, stay motivated and advocate for yourself in and outside of the workplace. This year, I am excited to be sitting on the Young Person’s Cabinet at Women’s Brain Health Initiative.

Your roles are vastly different, and at Pinterest, we have a core value called Act as one. How do the Sales and Engineering teams Act as one to achieve our common goal of bringing Pinners from inspiration to action? 

Whitney: Engineering works closely with cross-functional partners including Sales & Marketing to bring everyone’s needs and ideas to light. Many projects that come into our roadmap are a collaboration between our teams to determine Pinner needs on the platform as well as internal tooling pain points that we can fix to improve Sales team efficiencies.

Tricia: The sales team is always open to learning and asking our cross-functional team questions as well as providing feedback as to what our clients are saying and experiencing! We as the sales team try to provide as much feedback as we can to help inform our roadmap for the coming years as to what will create the most impact.

We know Pinterest Toronto opened the doors to a brand new office last year, what is your favorite part about the new space? Favorite room (we hear there’s a speakeasy…)? 

Whitney: My favourite room is definitely the infamous speakeasy inside the library area! I mean who doesn’t love a hidden door that leads into a space with modernized goth antique decor? It’s a great last minute meeting spot when all the other rooms are taken. My favourite part about the new office is the variety of working areas to cater to everyone’s different styles and working needs in order to comfortably bring everyone together. It also feels like you’re walking into a Pinterest board wherever you go.

Tricia: Everyday I come into the office and pinch myself for how lucky I feel to work in such an inspiring environment and what might be one of the coolest offices in the city (not to brag…)! My favourite area of the office would have to be our jungle garden. Working in downtown Toronto, it’s hard to get access to nature on a regular basis, and this garden oasis is one I can get lost working in for hours. It helps me feel grounded and inspired! Overall, our office was designed around different trends we’ve seen on Pinterest, and our design team did a fantastic job creating different nooks and areas you can work solo or collaborate with your teams.

Being we’re the inspiration engine, what inspires you? 

Whitney: I find inspiration from exploring and traveling both locally and around the world. Growing up in a diverse and multicultural city has allowed me to be very curious about all different kinds of activities, foods and traditions. I enjoy finding unique experiences during my travels that may not be trendy and discovering ways to share or apply that to my lifestyle.

Tricia: Oh, so many things! Similar to Whitney, food and travel have always inspired me in a variety of ways. I’m inspired by people who are trying to be the best version of themselves every day and those who reach for excellence in everything they do. I’m inspired by women from all backgrounds who are leading the charge in creating a more equitable future. I’ve always loved home decor and interior design and how it makes you feel. Nature has always grounded me and showed me how truly magical our planet is. I truly believe you can find inspiration in almost anything. 

What are your hobbies and/or interests outside of work? 

Whitney: I’ve got a creative side that balances out my techy side, and I feed into that through playing video games, dancing and toy building. I also love event planning, so I’ll find ways to celebrate with a themed party or coordinate Harajuku fashion meets. I’m also a car enthusiast, so I’ll go to car meets and track events when available. I have a lot of interests to keep things exciting!

Tricia: Health and wellness has always been a huge part of my life and wanting to help people feel better which is why I became a SPINCO instructor and work at Othership, a social bathhouse focused on building emotional wellness! In the last six months, I’ve also dove into breathwork and ice baths which have changed the way I feel mentally and emotionally. Alongside this, healthy cooking and nutrition excites me, and I am a huge matcha nerd. I’m also a big personal development junkie and spend a lot of time reading, watching Masterclass and journaling. And of course… travel and trying new food!

At the end of an interview, we always ask Pinployees this question. What are you currently Pinning? 

Whitney: I pin things that are related to my hobbies, mostly video game wallpapers, car aesthetics, Japanese fashion and themed party decor. I would love to see more Pinner inspirations around tech and engineering topics in the future!

Tricia: This is always changing based on where I’m at in my journey! Recently, I’ve been Pinning a lot of motivational quotes, interesting journal questions, healthy delicious bowls and soup recipes.

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