If you’ve never heard of Marissa Mayer, one of Google’s senior executives (one of few women exectutives in tech), allow me to fill you in:
- According to Wikipedia, Mayer was born in 1975
- She graduated from Stanford University
- She joined Google in 1999, when the company had under 20 employees (talk about the right place at the right time!)
- Mayer became the first female engineer hired by Google
- Over 10 years later, Marissa is a Google Executive with her official title being; Vice President of Location and Local Services, and is frequently the warm, public face of the tech Goliath
To me personally, this short synopsis is extremely inspiring.
Although few women (and men for that matter), are even close to as brilliant as Mayer (@marissamayer) clearly is (she Majored in “Symbolic Systems” at Stanford), her brilliance only adds to the element of encouragement her story gives out.
In a recent Huffington Post article on Mayer, Bianca Bosker writes; “there was not a single other female engineer — Mayer would become Google’s first”. Now despite this in itself being a bold and courageous decision for Mayer to make (she reportedly had 14 job offers at the time she went with Google), by isolating Mayer as the only female engineer in Google, we largely miss the point.
Mayer decided to become a female engineer.
In the tech world as a whole there is a TREMENDOUS scarcity of female engineers, and its more than accurate to call that job sector male dominated. Then look at the fact that Mayer became a female engineer back in 1999, when there were even less women in technology.
Perhaps Mayer’s willingness was in part because “Mayer…calls herself a “proud geek””!
Personally, I’m proud just to call myself a geek, because Mayer is an archetype; a unique woman who paved the way for women interested in technology.
My favorite quote from the article is:
“I wanted to work at Google because I felt utterly unprepared to work at a search engine”
This type of daring is what Mayer is all about. It’s a loud call to women everywhere to not only challenge the boundaries we see plainly in the workplace, but even more so, to challenge our own capacities.
It is vital that we perpetually put ourselves in situations which we are actually, “unprepared” for. By doing this, we will be able to truly harness our personal potential and strive to succeed!