Ask Ajna is the brainchild of two human resources professionals who were frustrated with the dysfunctional systems within corporate America and questioned why, after so many years, there continued to be significant disparities in opportunity and pay. They wanted to create a resource to help professional women find their power and their voices through shared experience and practical knowledge in a convenient and engaging way. Together, founders Marian Cartwright and Jae Lynn Rangel bring to Ask Ajna nearly 50 years of experience working for companies of varying size and industry sector. Their motivating force? “I’d loved to have known 20 years ago, what I know today.” Thus, Ask Ajna was born.
Ajna is named after the sixth chakra — called the ‘third eye’ — which is considered by many to be the conscience or center of intuition and wisdom. The term ‘ajna’ is often translated as ‘command’ or ‘summoning’ and represents balance — equal balance of male and female — similar to the yin-yang.
Ask Ajna is the woman who has found her authentic voice (the conscience or wisdom), harnessed her power to ask for what she wants (the command or summoning) and who uses both to gain true equality (the yin-yang balance)!
Jae Lynn has more than 20 years of experience working and consulting in industries such as retail, ecommerce, financial services, telecommunications and high-tech. The majority of Jae Lynn’s career has been in senior human resources executive roles for such companies as Alliance Data, Travelocity and Sabre Holdings Corporation.
Jae Lynn’s broad HR experience includes leading the due diligence and integration for multiple mergers and acquisitions, including a multi-billion dollar take private transaction; establishing a global compensation and reward structure spanning 47 countries; introducing market leading technologies for compensation management, talent development and HR systems; development of innovative pay for performance rewards programs; and establishment of job-based competency and leadership models. She also led the Diversity Council, Women’s Leadership Council and was executive sponsor for the Working Mothers ERG at Sabre Holdings. Throughout her career, Jae Lynn spent much of her time in board rooms designing compensation packages and succession plans for corporate boards of directors and C-suite executives, all predominantly male. Over the years, she began to question the organizational systems and cultures within corporations which contribute to the disparity of pay and opportunity between men and women. As a result of her experiences, Jae Lynn has become a passionate advocate for the advancement of and equitable pay for women; and for advancements in education. Her partnership in 2012 with Marian Cartwright to found Ajna Inc. was a culmination of these passions, combined with a strong desire to share her experience climbing the corporate ladder, where Jae Lynn was frequently the only woman at the table.
Jae Lynn holds a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing from the University of Georgia, an MBA in Financial Services and Master of Management in Human Resource Management from the University of Dallas. She is a Certified Compensation Professional and received certification as a Senior Professional in Human Resources from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). Jae Lynn serves as member and Finance Committee Chair for the Board of Directors of The Clariden School in Southlake, TX. She is most proud of her extraordinary “tween” daughter who attends private school in Carrollton, TX. Jae Lynn is actively involved in her daughter’s school and many extracurricular activities. Jae Lynn’s speaking engagements include the Compensation Roundtable of the Corporate Executive Board in 2008, the 2006 NASPP National Conference, the 2006 Total Rewards Conference, the North Texas Compensation Association, speaker for Knowledge Infusion at the 2011 HR Technology Conference, and the Dallas/Ft. Worth International HR Roundtable in 2013. As one who is a true “conceptor” and who’s never shy about speaking her mind, Jae Lynn’s favorite quote is from Steve Jobs: “Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”
Marian co-founded Ajna Inc, a company dedicated to helping women close the gender gap in the workplace, in 2012. As a human resources executive, Marian specialized in compensation and saw firsthand how big the pay gap can be between males and females within the same job.
Prior to co-founding Ajna Inc, Marian was the Director of Corporate Compensation at Alliance Data in Plano, Texas. She lead a team of compensation professional, with a focus on the 2020 workforce. Her work there included total reward analysis and implementing an enterprise wide job classification system. Marian’s responsibilities include executive compensation, equity design and administration, and enterprise wide wage and hour governance.
Before joining Alliance Data in 2008. Marian was the Senior Manager of Global Compensation at Perot Systems. Starting in 2001 as a Senior Compensation Specialist, Marian was instrumental in bringing creative ideas to various compensation programs at Perot. In 2002 she assumed the role of Senior Manager and lead the global compensation effort for the organization as they entered new markets in Asia and Mexico.
Most of Marian’s industry experience has been in technology. She has worked with such industry leaders as AT&T Wireless, Mentor/Ethicon, Sabre Holdings, Travelocity, and imc2. In each organization Marian brought creative solutions to problems and was viewed by her leaders as the expert in compensation.
Marian has a degree in Human Resources Development from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, TX. Her path to that degree spanned multiple years, seven colleges/universities, four states, three majors, and two husbands. She earned her degree as she worked full time, raised her family, and volunteered for various non-profit organizations.
Marian lives with her husband, Roger, and son Graham in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. She was very involved in the independent private school, Clariden, her son attended from kindergarten through 12th grade. She served as VP, Secretary, and headed the finance committee during her 6 years on the school’s Board of Directors. She also is an accomplished musician (college major #1) and has volunteered with several music ensembles around Dallas.