Reign FC Legend: Mary Snapp
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 the North Carolina Courage this Sunday, the club will recognize Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Philanthropies.
In her role, Snapp gives her time and energy to local and national nonprofits, and she also has a passion for inspiring girls to pursue STEM careers. We sat down with Snapp to discuss the Legends campaign, her work, and more.
Seattle Reign FC: What kind of role do you think the Legends campaign plays in the community?
Mary Snapp: The Legends campaign has honored local nonprofit and business leaders, athletes, scientists, our Deputy Police Chief, Senators, all women who are making significant contributions in every corner of our community. By recognizing these contributions, I believe the Legends campaign inspires young people to know that they, too, can make a difference, pursue their passions, and become our future leaders.
SRFC: You’ve been with Microsoft for over 25 years, how did you get involved in your current field of work?
Snapp: I have always been passionate about helping others. Regardless of the industry and profession I chose, I knew serving the greater good would be central to my work in and out of the office.
When I started my journey at Microsoft, for example, I was also volunteering as a Guardian Ad Litem representing the voices of abused and neglected children in King County courts. Since then, whether volunteering for foster care organizations, serving on the board of the YWCA, or just rolling up my sleeves and joining a volunteer movement in the community, my passion has always been rooted in community service.
To that end, I feel fortunate to be able come to work every day to help Microsoft fulfill its mission of empowering every person and organization to achieve more through the work of Microsoft Philanthropies.
SRFC: What’s been an inspiring moment in your work with Microsoft Philanthropies?
Snapp: In March, I visited a refugee camp in Greece where we’re working with nonprofit partners to provide educational opportunities and skills training to young people. While there, I met a young woman, Aminah, who is 15 or 16 years old. She was already a natural leader, inspiring her peers to open up and talk to us about some of their challenges living in the camp and their hopes for the future. I was so moved by her resilience — despite incredible hardship, she continues to endure.
Aminah has a lot in common with young people who grow up in challenging circumstances here in the U.S. Even though they live a world away, I’ve recognized Aminah’s story in the stories of youth I’ve met who are involved in programs we support with the Boys & Girls Club and Year Up. These young people are strong and always striving, and I know they will go on to change the world for the better.
I’ve also been deeply inspired by the work we’re doing to increase access to computer science education and digital skills. Last year, for example, I stood with Rhode Island’s Governor Gina Raimondo to support her commitment to bring computer science education to all students in her state.
Skills learned through computer science — including critical thinking, inventing, and tinkering — build incredible confidence and creativity. It’s why we invest so deeply in computer science and digital skills initiatives, to set up the next generation of leaders for success in a rapidly evolving economy where these skills are in high demand.
SRFC: Aside from your work with Microsoft, you’re very passionate about encouraging young girls to pursue careers in the STEM fields. What advice would you give to young girls chasing their dreams in an industry where they may be underrepresented?
Snapp: I joined Microsoft almost 30 years ago as the company’s first female attorney. It was an incredible opportunity, and I also admit, it was a bit lonely at times. So, I know firsthand that we all benefit when women are fully represented in any given field. With that experience, my advice is to never give up, to keep pursuing your dreams, and to have confidence that you can achieve anything you set your mind to.
We also know from research that when young girls see female role models who have blazed trails ahead of them, they believe they can achieve their dreams. That’s another reason why the Legends campaign is so important for our community, as it shows young girls there are no limits to what they can achieve.
To learn more about the Legends campaign and read about past recipients, visit reignfc.com/legends.