Having just finished Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg - yeah, six years later - has me thinking about the role of power women in my own career.
Before beginning at Intel, I worked at my alma mater in a department that was 75% women where I reported to two intelligent, kind, and badass female PHDs. It was a powerful place to work full of educators making a palpable difference. I felt proud of the work we did and I worked hard to provide the best service to my advisees.
Before that, I was in public education - which is comprised of about 77% women. Again, my mentor was an intelligent and kind badass woman that taught me how to build a strong classroom community around relationships. The community I felt as our 8th grade team collaborated on how to best serve these students both filled me with purpose and confidence. I felt that I had found my calling; 8th graders and the people who teach them are my people.
Given this pattern of strong female guides in my career(s) thus far, when I accepted the position at Intel I was terrified. I've read the stories of women in tech, I knew I was moving into a 73% male company, and I knew that the private sector would have a different culture. I didn't know what any of this would mean for me as an instructional designer on the learning and development team.
I don't know what I did to get so lucky, but I again find myself surrounded by intelligent, kind, bad ass women who are passionate about their work. My manager and partner have been instrumental in making me feel welcome at Intel.
My mentor and partner is endlessly kind, hard working, and patient. She talks me through the history behind high emotion conversations, she discusses new methods and technologies that we can bring to our stakeholders, and she answers my constant questions with happiness.
My direct manager is an all star. She is an advocate for her team, takes interest in the growth of her employees, and has helped me navigate our larger team.
On my first day these two women met me outside my first day orientation session with hugs before we traveled to attend a face to face that brought our global team together. There I was met with a wonderful surprise: every single one of my team mates was welcoming and kind.
At this point, I have been at Intel for 9 months. In addition to these two power women, I have a male mentor who I am incredibly thankful to have on my personal board of directors and I have found another community of powerful women.