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 personal career experiences in the STEM field with the attendees. They talked about their educational journeys, how their career paths have evolved over time, 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 and 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 are going to 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 in spite of the fact that they will oftentimes be in the minority, whether by gender or ethnicity, and their confidence can be bolstered if they come to every meeting prepared with facts. Over time, even when working in a field that has historically sidelined women, you become known as unflappable and a source of valuable information allowing you to succeed regardless of gender.
The reception and outcome of this event was decidedly positive and left all attendees with both an overwhelming feeling of camaraderie and some actionable advice to take forward throughout their careers.
This mentoring panel, along with other social responsibility initiatives, is an embodiment of o9’s core values and the entire team is excited to continue investing in global communities to elevate personal as well as supply chain performance around the world. To learn more about o9s activities and how to engage follow us on LinkedIn.