Nancy Douyon
Geek of the Week: Nancy Douyon

Nancy Douyon

Global User Experience Lead

Google

“Every day, affirm yourself by saying out loud, ‘I am good. I am smart. I am able. I am capable. I am doing the best I can.'”

Occupation  Global User Experience Lead at Google

Years in industry  18 years 

Who or what inspired your career in tech? How so? 
Myself. When I first got in front of a computer at age 11. I didn’t know it was called tech but I knew I wanted to bring creative thoughts in my head to life on the screen.

What’s been your best hack ever?
Check all the doors. I see my professional life as a chess game. Every rejection means there’s a piece of the puzzle I’m missing and so I look deeper for secret back doors. I find where there is a will, there is always a way, even if that way involves a little detour.

What has been your greatest career challenge and how have you handled it?
Being told I was too much. It should have made me want to shut down. But I moved through it. I found myself standing on the other side much stronger and aware of my brilliance. I was motivated to press forward because I knew that I was enough. I understood that some people don’t know how to approach the wholeness that I bring, but that’s their problem to deal with.

What is your biggest career success to date?
After I received a platinum award for my work at Google, I started to get invited to speak as a tech expert at multiple conferences and even the White House! The Platinum award recognizes Googlers whose contributions have strategic and long-term impact to the organization. They not only drive the global business but also the Google culture. My leadership and initiative make the business and its users thrive, and, as a result, people outside the company started to recognize this. It’s so exciting to have your opinion respected by so many stars, and they’ve made it a point to make me feel like a star as well.

This is so significant because it made me finally shake off chains from the past I was holding on to. Growing up, I had a lot of trials including living in multiple foster homes. I constantly had messages that made me feel like a lost cause. To realize that you are not limited by your past experience made me feel lighter and further empowered.

What are the top 3 pieces of advice you would give to women who are starting out in the tech industry? 
1) Research says it’s about your “perceived” ability….Every day, affirm yourself by saying outloud, “I am good. I am smart. I am able. I am capable. I am doing the best I can.”  2) It’s okay to take care of yourself. 3) You’re not too much.

Who are your role models?
I don’t have a role model. I strive to be my own authentic self while appreciating others for their talents and gifts. There are a few folks that definitely standout who I admire but mostly because they strive to be unconditionally true to their own purpose.

If you could go back in time, what’s one tip you’d give your teenage self?
Don’t believe that it can’t get better. It gets better.

What do you do when you’re not kicking butt at work?
Throw events that connect community. I love bringing people together in a space where they can be their authentic selves.

Flats, heels or kicks?
Kicks are super comfortable, but when I am in Boss lady mode, I bring out the heels.

Best career advice book? 
The Alchemist 😉

Who are the women in tech that you most admire and why?
Megan Smith (CTO of the United States). She managed to be herself and be okay with herself in order to be her best self. Something we should all aspire to.

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