There was a time when picking a woman of influence in the technology & business sphere to whom I look for inspiration would have been more simple – mostly because the numbers were so few.
As I sat down this morning to pen this post I found myself flummoxed. Who to name as my inspiration? I found myself grinning as I began to run through the increasingly impressive list of women with whom I’ve become acquainted professionally in the last year, and realize that each and every one of them carries a special place in my heart in terms of ways in which they inspire me.
For the exercise of the Ada Lovelace pledge, however, the mandate is to pick one.
A few names percolated to the fore (many of whom I opted to feature as part of another post I wrote today for Technically Women), but one kept popping to the front – Dr. Genevieve Bell.
My first meeting with Genevieve came as part of my participation in the Intel Insider program. One of the great things about that program is that they offer the Insiders access to some of the big brains in the company. We’d gathered at a wine bar near the Financial District of San Francisco told we were to meet an Intel Fellow who works with the company’s Digital Home Group.
I was prepared to meet a typical Silicon Valley engineer.
I could not have been more wrong.
To describe Genevieve as a force of nature begins to do her more justice. Feisty and opinionated it was merely moments into our meeting that it was pretty clear this Australia native is someone who pushes the envelope and, when necessary, rips the envelope up and fashions a new one.
As the Director of User Experience Genevieve spends much of her time traveling the world, engaging with people from all walks of life, researching and evaluating the way in which they’re using technology. Wending her way through the sociological and anthropological aspects of technology, Genevieve then brings this knowledge to Intel helping the company more effectively and efficiently create products that … well … that people actually find useful.
It was no surprise to me when Fast Company named her as one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business . That she blends a deep understanding of human behavior and sociology with the intricacies of technology and product development, and does so in a manner that is approachable and easy to understand, begins to explain the deep respect I have for her. That she does all these things with tongue welded firmly in cheek and a mischievous glint in her eye … well, that just nails it.