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:


#Intel #IntelisHiring #Diversity #iPDCS_SC

So you wanna #LeanIn and be a board member, ladies? Good. Here’s the scoop!

On the topic of increasing diversity in the work place, let’s consider several points on the subject of gender diversity on the board of corporations (private/public).

  • Companies perform better: Companies that have women on their boards performed better than an all-male board, suggesting that mixing genders may temper risky investment moves and increase return on equity. – Bloomberg 2012
  • Companies behave better: Companies that invest in gender diversity at high levels are less likely to fall prey to fraud, corruption, and other scandalous episodes. – ThinkProgress 2014

Should quotas be mandated in the U.S. private boards as they are in other countries?

There seems to be the trend as we see the European Commission considering to impose quotas across the EU (Norway introduced a 40% quota, Germany is 30%, and in Southeast Asia, Malaysia is 30% female directors).

#ExecFocusCircle March 19

#ExecFocusCircle grp discussed Women on Boards of Directors with speaker Katarina Bonde on the legalities, the expectations and why more women need to #LeanIn #WomenLead #Entrepreneurs


Thank you to Petere Miner of MinerConnection for inviting me to join the #ExecFocusCircle #LeanIn grp.

Last night’s topic: Women on Boards of Directors.  Katarina Bonde was our speaker for the evening. Katarina pitched her startup, Glides, to the Forum of Women of Entrepreneurs, and has since founded several tech companies and has served on 15 Boards.  She also owns West Wines in Healdsburg.

Questions asked:

  • Did you find the Boards or did they find you?
  • How did you determine which Boards to serve on?
  • What is the typical remuneration for a role on a Board?
  • What are the educational requirements for being on the Board and what are the liabilities?



Wendy Wallbridge on a mission to re- pave the road to success for women.

Online digital thought leadership comes in many forms to express one’s area of expertise, but it works best when one connects online as well as a HIRL (Hang-Out In Real Life).

A good friend recommended that I attend Wendy Wallbridge‘s book launch for the book titled “Spiraling Upward”.  On a personal note: I’ve been going through several transitions in my life lately, and in truth, often not feeling good about myself which has lead me to deeper exploratory questions of how I want to redefine my professional and personal life. As Wendy spoke of her own personal struggles of health and not aligning her work with her personal values it made me think of Brené Brown’s talk on the power of vulnerability and how real and significant it is bring these (otherwise known as) feminine traits to light.

The “Spiraling Upward” Mini-workshop and book launch party was held March 12, 2015 at the Oshman Family JCC in Palo Alto. I’m really looking forward to sitting down and absorbing this book and working through the exercises. Below is her TEDx Talk on the topic #SpiralUp!

Wendy Wallbridge's new book, Spiraling Upward

Ready for @WendyWallbridge’s #SpiralingUpward: The 5 Co-Creative Powers For Women on the Rise. #womenLead #IAmEnough Work => Love

For women, our own road map to whole-hearted success, is rarely straight and narrow. We women are at a turning point and are ready to birth something new. We want to lead lives that make a difference and that are fulfilled. For many of us that means becoming an entrepreneur of our own life so that it becomes more authentic, meaningful and expansive.

Women are particularly well suited for re-invention. It’s no accident that our bodies are designed to create… Strengths like collaboration, empathy, humility, flexibility, compassion and connectivity are a new competitive advantage.

But the paradox is that after study after study that show greater employment and educational opportunities correspond to decreases of  overall life happiness for women compared to men.



Reluctant thought leader, fear not; This book is for you.

I often meet business leaders who are, more frequent than not, skeptical or weary of digital online media. They tell me their reason for not wanting to start a blog, a LinkedIn profile or a Twitter account; Why would they start one and why engage in forums or LinkedIn groups? In truth it seems more frequent than not they just don’t understand the purpose of having any web presence.

According to Denise Brosseau

Thought leaders are the informed opinion leaders and the go-to people in their field of expertise. They are trusted sources who move and inspire people with innovative ideas; turn ideas into reality, and know and show how to replicate their success.


There are many reasons why it’s important to become a thought leader. A really good start is her book titled: “How To Be A Thought Leader“.

Here’s a brief video I created for the SV Forum Tech Women when we hosted at our event