“Drive your own knowledge. If you are interested in coding and there are no programs in your school, go find a college class or some other way to gather that knowledge.”
Years in tech industry? 10
Who or what inspired your career in tech? How so?
My father. He helped invent airbag sensors that allowed airbags to be put into cars. As a kid, I used to follow him to work and help him train neural networks.
What’s been your best hack ever?
During my morning runs, I spend time trying to think about the career paths of my employees and the long-term strategies of the projects that I own. It’s hard not to focus on the small details when I’m at work, but when I’m running I don’t get distracted by incoming e-mails or the small things.
What has been your greatest career challenge and how have you handled it?
I wasn’t getting promoted in the first few years even though I was doing more work than when I started out. I was getting good reviews but still was not getting the promotion. Finally, I brought it up to HR. They looked into it, noticed that it was clearly an issue, brought it up to my VP, and got me an off-cycle promotion.
What is your biggest career success to date?
I was nominated by my company and received the Silicon Valley’s YWCA Emerging Leader’s Award last year (2014).
Who are your role models?
My previous director. He had an ability to squash all bickering among managers — not just the ones in his team. He made everyone feel like their opinions were listened to.
If you could go back in time, what’s one tip you’d give your teenage self?
Drive your own knowledge. If you are interested in coding and there are no programs in your school, go find a college class or some other way to gather that knowledge.
What do you do when you’re not kicking butt at work?
Endurance sports. I’ve swum from Alcatraz and the length of the Golden Gate Bridge. I’ve run marathons in Florence, San Diego and New York City. I’ve biked from San Francisco to Los Angeles twice.
Flats, heels or kicks?
Best career advice book?
I read many. I pull out little things from each one. Right now I’m reading The Politics of Promotion: How High Achieving Women Get Ahead and Stay Ahead by Bonnie Marcus.