12-01-2020 08:58 AM
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We’re highlighting the wonderful contributions of recent award winners recognized by the Society of Women Engineers (SWE). In this series, these women share how Intel supports their careers, offering them flexibility alongside opportunities to create amazing tech.
Mandy Mock, vice president and general manager of Platform Management and Marketing, in the Internet of Things Group, was awarded the Prism Award by the SWE. This award recognizes an individual who has charted their own path throughout their career, providing leadership in technology fields and professional organizations along the way. Read how Mandy has grown her career at Intel, and her advice for women looking to further their career in technology.
Q. Could you tell us about what you do and what a typical day looks like?
A lot of what I do is coordinating among various people and making sure all the pieces of our products are coming together. In my experience, as you go further in management, this is frequently true. It becomes less about the individual work you are doing and more about ensuring everyone is moving in the same direction and everything will come together as expected. Removing roadblocks also becomes a significant activity. I want to be sure everyone is working as effectively as possible.
Q. Did you always know you wanted to work in technology? How did you decide to go into engineering?
From high school I was sure I was going to be an engineer. My father was an engineer and my mother was a financial planner, so a technical career was always in the works for me. I wasn’t sure what type of engineering until I got to college. Carnegie Mellon had a nice program where you got to try out several types of engineering, and computer engineering was by far the most fun. From there, it was natural to come to Intel.
Q. Many women in the tech industry feel that their gender has affected the way they are perceived or treated. Have you felt this and if so, how did you handle it?
Sometimes, I’ve experienced the sense that other people feel like I received special treatment for being a woman. That’s frustrating for me, as I always try to work as hard as I can. I learned a good lesson from working with an Intel team in Russia though. There, sexism was even more rampant than in the U.S., and there were very few women in management. However, the women who were there were very, very good. I told myself it was the same situation for me – the fact that I am here means that I am very good, and I use that to brush off anyone else’s views.
Q. What do you think is the best part of being a woman in the tech industry?
Being a role model for future women in the industry.
Q. Do you notice a lack of women in technology? If so, why do you think that’s the case?
There is actually a decreasing number of women studying science and technology, which is very discouraging. I am trying to encourage a movement called STEM+X, which basically seeks to encourage women from other sciences to include technology as part of their education. For example, biology has very high numbers of women students. If biology majors were to combine that with a minor in CS or data science, you could really increase the number of women who have a technology focus.
Q. Many women in the tech industry consider themselves introverts. Are you an introvert and if so, what is the most difficult thing about being an introvert in the tech industry? How did you overcome it?
I am an introvert. It’s taken me a long time to get comfortable with interacting with people especially at big networking events. But I’ve gradually grown more comfortable with it. The key is focusing on listening. You don’t need to be a skilled conversationalist or do all the talking. People really like to talk about themselves. Come prepared with questions to ask people and really listen to the answers. Just be interested in what they have to say, and they will think you are a brilliant conversationalist!
Q. What advice would you give to a woman considering a career in the tech industry? What do you wish you had known?
The main advice I would give is just not to give up. I think many women get discouraged, but there is more support in the industry today than ever before. Stick with it and see what the rewards can be!
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