What would you say has helped make you successful in your role at SpotX?
Emily: What has helped make me successful is viewing people as people first, regardless of age, gender, race, sexual orientation, etc. I believe each person has unique views and experiences that contribute to the success of the company, and cannot be defined (whether in a positive or negative light) in such a narrow way as gender. Seeing people as unique and complex individuals sheds light on new ways of thinking and innovative ways of achieving whatever the task at hand is.
How do you stay connected with your teammates both at SpotX HQ and remotely around the globe?
Emily: We stay connected by having weekly team meetings as well as using Slack — both for direct messaging each other and also creating channels for our team. Every now and then we go out and do some team building as well!
What advice would you give to other young female in technology?
Emily: Too many people try to tell us what it is to be a young female in tech — both men and women! The advice I have for young women either in engineering or thinking about going into it is to remember that you are a complex individual that cannot be defined by the color of your skin or your gender — you are more than that and that’s what makes you incredible. Remember that you will more than likely be outnumbered and people are going to try and form groups, don’t get so involved in feeling like a victim that you stop seeing people as people. You want to be judged on your own merits and actions so don’t forget to not generalize others. The golden rule works both ways.
What do you think can/should be done to encourage more women to pursue STEM careers?
Emily: I think having more women (alongside men!) mentoring these younger women is crucial in building the idea that both men and women can pursue STEM careers and be successful. This doesn’t just go for gender, I think the more diversity coming down from their leaders the better, because attitude comes from the top down. I also believe in creating more inclusive spaces — It’s really easy to create a women’s support group that facilitates only women! Instead, we should be creating more spaces for people to feel supported by everyone — both men AND women.
Why is it so important to recruit and retain females in technology leadership positions and engineering?
Emily: I think it’s important to recruit and retain diversity amongst engineering — not just with women. With many tasks there often isn’t only one way to solve something. When you get a group of complex and diverse individuals with different experiences and ways of thinking in a room together, different ways of approaching the problem or task are created that would have never been there before.