Nathalie Crosbie Consulting
Don’t let times when it feels “hard”discourage you. Remember: it’s not you. We all find it hard sometimes.
WHAT DO YOU DO?
Professor, Department of Physics & Astronomy Lead for Equity, Diversity and Community, Faculty of Science University of Manitoba And - Founder, VR:Calm. Winner - Sky Women in Technology Award
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS FIELD?
I studied Interpersonal and Organizational Communications. I chose the tech sector as the place to apply these by focussing on User Experience Design, Product, Strategy, AI and community- and relationship-building. I chose tech and these areas because they're exciting, because they allow us to do work that provides value and meaning for humans, and because tech's power and innovation gives us the ability to reach an incredible number of people and provide more powerful solutions.
HOW DO/DID YOU TACKLE OBSTACLES?
The biggest challenges were frequent feelings of imposter syndome and, once I reached leadership levels, often feeling 'alone' as a woman in leader in tech.
I tackled the imposter syndome in a few ways: First I learned that it's really common and that it's especially common for successful women. So I let myself consider that if I felt it, it might actually mean I was successful rather than that I was a fraud. And reminded myself of all the amazing women whom I knew also feel it even though I know for a fact they are incredible.
I tackled the aloneness, by building and supporting communities of other under-represented groups in tech. I joined and was a director for Lesbians Who Tech Toronto. I helped co-found an LGBTQ ERG at one of the companies I worked for. I helped co-found a community organization for women leaders in tech to share experiences and support each other. And I learned to show up authentically, imperfectly and vulnerably to give myself permission to be supported by others, and to give others permission to do the same.
WHAT DO YOU LOOK AT & THINK, "I WISH YOUNGER ME WOULD HAVE KNOWN THIS WAS POSSIBLE?"
I wish I had realized how much more valuable it is to show up authentically, imperfectly and vulnerably than perfectly-how much more bonding and joyful that is.
And I wish that I had focussed more on work that is aligned with my natural strengths of community-building and empowerment rather than assuming I had to do those only as 'side passions'.
And that I had realized that who you work with and for is the most important decision you will make and affects everything else-if you surround yourself with amazing, positive, collaborative, smart, driven, enthusiastic people, you can't help but accomplish great things.
I'm very happy to say that present me has realized all of these things now and is joyfully living a life aligned with that.
WHY DO YOU LOVE WORKING IN STEM?
I love the incredible, powerful, smart, talented women and women-identified people I've met through this field. Words just can't describe how they've enriched my life-and continue to.
BEST ADVICE FOR NEXT GENERATION?
Don't let times when it feels 'hard' discourage you-whether it's that the subject you are studying feels hard, or the environment feels hard. Remember: It's not YOU. We all find it hard sometimes
Find your tribe.
Give yourself the support you need to succeed.
Follow your bliss. Listen to your inner prompts & pulls-it may sound cheesy but it's so much better than listening to the 'shoulds'. You have incredible wisdom within you. And the more you listen to your inner whispers, the louder and more confidently they will speak to you over time.