How Dorothy Li created a trailblazing career at Amazon

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Dorothy Li ● Vice President, AWS BI and Analytic Services ● Amazon

Today, we know Amazon as a tech giant, but how did they get there? They got there with the help of seasoned innovators like Dorothy Li. When Dorothy first heard about Amazon from a friend in the late 90’s, it was merely an “online bookseller.” Little did she know, she would end up helping it develop into one of the Big Four technology companies.

Dorothy was always interested in math and science. Watching friends in high school who were experimenting with computer graphics, Dorothy was inspired by the beautiful things you could make with computer programming. This motivated her to leave her home country of China and pursue her Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science at Brigham Young University. While exploring Computer Science, she realized what a rewarding career choice it was. …


How Lesley Bishop leveraged her counselling skills to become a Scrum Master

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Lesley Bishop ● Project Manager Scrum Master ● Charles Schwab

Had you asked Lesley Bishop ten years ago what she would be doing now, she wouldn’t have said working as a Scrum Master. Until two years ago, she didn’t even really know what a Scrum Master was. Lesley had always thought she’d pursue a career in counselling. Aftering getting a Bachelor’s in Psychology from Iowa State and Masters in Counselling Psychology from University of Colorado — Denver, she went into career counselling for higher education.

Mentoring has been the foundation of Lesley’s career, so it was only right that mentoring led her to where she is today. While working in higher education, she mentored students on their career goals and academic plans, and met her own mentors along the way. One of her mentors helped her make the dramatic pivot from counselling to tech. After seeing Lesley’s interpersonal skills shine, her mentor suggested she consider applying those skills and taking a certification in Scrum. …


How Sanjana Paul is Applying Tech to Protect Our Environment

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Sanjana Paul ● Executive Director ● The Earth Hacks Foundation

Sanjana Paul has always been drawn to STEM. Even from a young age, she was interested in being a scientist and as she got older, she realized her true passion was in climate research. Starting college, Sanjana realized the confluences of all her interests converged around physics and math. She decided to get her Bachelor’s in Physics and Electrical Engineering to get a strong foundation for all of her other STEM pursuits.

“I thought nothing is going to matter if we don’t have a planet for it to matter on and we’re in a climate crisis. So I knew I needed to do environmental work and I realized that it’s not a one size fits all. We all have a role to play. …


Mariah Lichtenstern’s Incredible Journey

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Mariah Lichtenstern ● Founding Partner and Managing Director ● DiverseCity Ventures

“My life is an open book,” says Mariah, as we commence our conversation. “Feel free to ask me anything.” With breathtaking authenticity, candor and transparency, Mariah takes us through the incredible journey that has been her life.

I was raised in a very loving home environment, but my mom became disabled when I was eight.” she begins. “She and my step-father divorced when I was ten and I went into foster care at 14, where I met the paternal side of my family for the first time. My father was paraplegic, so I was fostered by my adult siblings. …


How Alekhya Pochiraju is Promoting Inclusive Medical Research

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Alekhya Pochiraju ● Biomarker Operations Manager ● Genentech

When we talk about technology and engineering, we don’t always think of medicine, but Alekhya Pochiragu is merging the two worlds. With her work in clinical biomarker operations, she is helping create essential medicine through the marriage of biology and technology.

When Alekhya Pochiragu started college, she was excited to explore the development process of drugs. Alekhya did her undergraduate in Biotechnology at BMS College of Engineering. She jumped into bench research (also called basic research or bench science) to understand how drugs were developed. During her bench research, she realized that, though she was passionate about medicine, she wasn’t going to be able to make the immediate impact she hoped from this work. …


Puerto Rican Public School Student Becomes Rising Technological Star

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Karelys López Rivera ● GHC 2020 Student Scholar | Software Engineer Intern ● J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.

When Karelys received her university acceptance letter, she anticipated a scene similar to ‘the ones in the movies, where everyone’s happily screaming and excited.’ However, the reception she received was very different. “My family couldn’t understand why I didn’t want to stay at home and get a regular job.” After shedding a few tears of disappointment, Karelys moved on. However, it wasn’t until she connected with friends who had also received acceptance letters that she felt validated in celebrating her accomplishment.

Karelys’ story begins as a young girl growing up in Puerto Rico. Her aunt gave her a floppy disk containing games and puzzles involving math, science and logic. Karelys recollects playing on it ‘until the day it broke.’ …


How Amanda Hua Advocates for Gender Balance in Technology

Amanda Hua ● Director of Digital Commerce ● Rivian
Amanda Hua ● Director of Digital Commerce ● Rivian
Amanda Hua ● Director of Digital Commerce ● Rivian

When Amanda was a little girl growing up in Shanghai, China, her father’s work fascinated her. “I thought he was super smart,” she fondly recollects. His profession involved mapping space shuttle trajectories. He was gifted at math and science. Since both of Amanda’s parents were scientists, STEM subjects “felt natural and came naturally to me.”

Amanda recalls being very athletic as a child. This occasionally caused her some problems.

“I remember being in class and not focusing on what the teacher was saying because I was so obsessed with the upcoming final volleyball tournament,” she confesses. …


How Kim Holmes Found Self-Discovery At Discover

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Kim Holmes ● Strategy Consultant, Program Manager, Speaker, DEI Champion, Innovation Mentor

In 1998, Kim Holmes was the IT liaison for her company’s acquisition of a state-run Czechoslovakian insurance company. “I didn’t have a lot of formal experience,” she acknowledges. In terms of tenure, Kim was the youngest member of the team.

What she did have was the CIO’s’s trust and confidence. “I’m pretty good at learning on the fly.”

Kim’s team landed in Czechoslovakia and began traversing the landscape to understand what was required to complete the deal. Kim quickly realized that there was a vast chasm between expectations and reality. The expectations were that a few desktop computers would be sufficient to get operations up and running. Kim educated her team with the awareness that some things go beyond desktop hardware. The standard QWERTY keyboards were not compatible with the Czech language and needed to be replaced since the employees in the new office were not native English speakers. The Czech team’s way of doing business was also very different. They were using carbon paper to manually create copies of documents. The level of integration into using email and photocopiers was quite intensive. Kim prepared a budget which, as she phrased it, ‘had multiple commas.’ …


How Kathy Pham is creating a world where technology isn’t about the product, it’s about the user

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Kathy Pham ● Computer Scientist and Product Leader, Mozilla and Harvard ● Former US Digital Service at the White House, Google, IBM

When we last talked to Kathy Pham in 2016, she was merging her passion for technology and healthcare while working at the United States Digital Service (USDS). Today, Kathy continues to make the world of tech a better place than where she found it. Kathy feels that working for USDS allowed her to truly reflect on the importance of intersectionality and user experience. Her life, as the daughter of Vietnamese refugees, as a tech professional, and as someone whose mother had been affected by cancer, allowed her to consider the United States health and technology initiatives from a unique perspective.

“[Working at the United States Digital Service] was what it really meant to bring your whole self to work. …


A Sector-Spanning STEM Legacy

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Quincy Brown ● Co-Founder of blackcomputeHER.org & Director of Engagement and Research ● AnitaB.org

Quincy was at a crossroads. She had just achieved tenure, the golden crown of the ivory tower. Was she really going to walk away from the halls of academia to forge a new path in the government and non-profit sectors? It would require a significant amount of self-reflection, self-awareness, self-care and guidance from the sisterhood. Fortunately, these assets have been plentiful in Quincy’s sphere.

Quincy had always set a high bar for herself. She just hadn’t been aware of it until she graduated from high school and realized that not everyone had experienced the same opportunities she had. Since the second grade, Quincy was part of an academic program for students who excelled in math and science. …

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Wogrammer

An AnitaB.org program celebrating diverse women in tech

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