Reign FC Legend: Lisa Brummel

The Legends campaign, a partnership between Seattle Reign FC and Avanade, honors women for their extraordinary contributions in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. Prior to the match against FC Kansas City this Saturday, the club will recognize Seattle Storm co-owner and former Microsoft executive Lisa Brummel.

“The Legends campaign really shows the community the breadth and depth of contributions women are making, and have made, in the lives of our citizens and beyond,” said Brummel. “The campaign informs, inspires, and engages people in a special way.”

Brummel was the Executive Vice President of Human Resources at Microsoft from 2005 to 2014, and held a number of management and marketing positions across Microsoft’s consumer, hardware and productivity businesses. During her time with Microsoft, Brummel saw the tech industry grow from its very beginning.

“Computers were not a big part of everyday life until the 80’s, and the advent of the personal computer,” said Brummel. “In addition, there were new discoveries every day with regard to how they would impact people’s lives and what was possible. There were few rules because there was really no basis for rules in such a new industry. As the industry grew then structure happened and rules or guidelines came into place.”

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While in her role as EVP, Brummel saw the workforce double from 61,000 to 128,000. This included an improvement in the percentage of women in Microsoft’s global workforce, going from 24% to 29%.

“During my early days at Microsoft, the hardest part was that there simply weren’t very many of us,” said Brummel. “The number of women who were pursuing STEM careers were few and the number at any one company were even fewer. This meant you had to be prepared to be the ‘minority’ no matter what you did. As time went by there was much progress made in numbers, opportunities, and leadership, but it was a little thin at the very beginning.”

As one of three women on the executive board at Microsoft, Brummel understands the challenges that can be presented to young women looking to break into an industry where they are underrepresented.

“My advice to young girls is to prepare well, aim high, and be courageous,” said Brummel. “You can do so much in this world. Don’t sell yourself short on your dreams.”

Brummel is also a co-owner of the Seattle Storm. Having been closely involved with the Storm, and with the women’s sports community of Seattle, Brummel feels you can’t understate the impact these teams have on the city.

“We are a very progressive community with a great history of successful women’s teams at the collegiate-level and that naturally gets a strong fan base going,” said Brummel. “Our success in professional basketball and soccer has been so important for the community to see that there are opportunities for great female athletes to pursue their sports dreams, to see some amazing role models, and for the city to embrace and support the great diversity for which we are known.”