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?