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North American o9’ers hosted a virtual panel with Girls Inc, an organization that empowers and coaches young women through mentorship and programming. As part of the introductions, the high school girls shared their goals, which included helping people, breaking into the STEM field, getting a job at NASA, and finishing college. From there, the o9 team dove in to share their personal stories to help the girls envision the art of the possible for their lives.

Seven female o9’ers from different functions (Client Management, Education Services, Product Marketing, Delivery, Client Success, and Alliances) shared their career experiences in STEM fields with the attendees. They talked about their educational journeys, their career paths, work-life balance,  and the best career advice they’ve received.

Amanda Root, Senior Delivery Manager at o9 Solutions, urged the girls to dabble in everything from art to writing to theater classes. She noted that she had career goals of being an orthopedic surgeon and a graphic designer but ended up in the STEM field and never looked back.

Alison Crawford, Director of Global Product Marketing, told the girls, “If you see a job that interests you, go for it, even if you don’t have 100% of the requirements listed. Your male counterparts will apply when they only have 60% of that list, so if you’re interested, even if you’re unsure you’re ready, trust that you can do it and go for it. ”

All of the women acknowledged that STEM is still very male-dominated, and that presents unique challenges for women to gain visibility and have ideas respected. Luisa Hernandez, Education Technologist, urged the girls to have confidence even though they will often be in the minority by gender or ethnicity. Their faith can be bolstered if they come to every meeting prepared with facts. Over time, even working in a field that has historically sidelined women, you become known as calm and a source of valuable information, allowing you to succeed regardless of gender.

The reception and outcome of this event were decidedly positive and left all attendees with an overwhelming feeling of camaraderie and some actionable advice to take forward throughout their careers.

This mentoring panel and other social responsibility initiatives embody o9’s core values. The entire team is excited to continue investing in global communities to elevate personal and supply chain performance worldwide.  Follow us on LinkedIn to learn more about o9s activities and how to engage.

Melody Ng

Melody is busy crunching numbers in Excel and rearranging text boxes in PowerPoint, while also finding time to organize events that allow o9 employees give back to the community.