Bringing Your Authentic Self to Work

Talk is cheap when it comes to Silicon Valley companies stating that they want to make a difference in the work environment to become more inclusive and diverse, but#Intel is actually doing something. Intel will invest $125 million in businesses led by women and underrepresented minorities and last weekend I was fortunate to be invited to attend Intel’s Professional Development and Leadership seminar.

Time went by quickly as it was delightful and inspiring to chat and network with various groups; Society of Women engineers, #SHPE Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers Silicon Valley, #NBMBA National Black MBA Association , #NSBE  National Society Of Black Engineers were a few of the organizations and individuals that were in attendance. The crowd was diverse and unlike most Meet-Ups in the Valley I was fortunate to meet several small business women entrepreneurs like myself, a financial analyst, engineering product manager and engineers; I even made a new friend, a former Mayor of the City of Mountain View. The energy and vibe that came from networking with like-minded individuals was motivating in itself, but so was Tan’nay Jenkins, Intel’s spunky Sr. Global Business  & HR Partner acting as emcee for the event (she had the crowd cheering and on their feet laughing), it was fun!

Neil Green

Neil Green, Intel’s Director of Strategy & Market Intelligence, Data Center Group: “Bringing Your Authentic Self to Work”

My favorite speaker at the career and leadership seminar was Neil Green, Intel’s Director of Strategy & Market Intelligence, Data Center Group who spoke on “Bringing Your Authentic Self to Work”. Being an immigrant, growing up in the Bronx and being beaten up for his Jamaican accent as a child he quickly felt it was safer to hide or “cover” his roots with a perfect American accent. He spoke on how fear, self-awareness, and his culture acted as inhibitors to his journey of self acceptance. His advice was to unmask and learn to be comfortable with those difference that make you special. Learn to be proud of what you may be masking and figure out what your five strongest values are because it’s those values that you carry with you constantly, at work and  personal life, that will define who you are and set you apart from others.

Mr. Green recommended a book by Kenji Yoshino called, “Covering”; he explained how downplaying and conforming one’s culture for society’s views will include denying your own identity. This will limit your authentic self and your ability to lead. Covering is not mutually exclusive of race, but includes everything that makes each of us unique to offer in any community and work. Green’s candid discussion about how his personal psyche struggled with this concept moved me as it did the entire audience. His generous expression of vulnerability, struck a chord and reminded me of a powerful TED Talk by Brene Brown on how our ability to emphathize shared human experience expresses qualities which great leaders share.

"Get comfortable being uncomfortable!" - Tan'nya Jenkins

“Get comfortable being uncomfortable!” – Tan’nya Jenkins

Intel’s vision is to invest in a diverse employee base that will provide different perspectives and solutions with hope to inspire the rest of  Silicon Valley that diversity does matter.

Intel is hiring: http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/jobs/hiring.html

 

#Intel #IntelisHiring #Diversity #iPDCS_SC

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