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Cindy Gross

Founder & CEO, Befriending Dragons

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No matter what your passion is, you can dive into it with a STEM career.

WHAT DO YOU DO?

I nurture equitable tech cultures where everyone thrives and belongs. This starts with a foundation of anti-bullying, anti-harassment, anti-racism, and anti-sexism that goes beyond most current Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion programs to retain a wider variety of tech employees.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS FIELD?

I first got into tech because I loved both the logic of it & the magic of turning my thoughts & will into something useful. After over 2 decades working directly with tech, I realized that my attention had shifted to interpersonal relationships in the tech world. Now I influence who and what we value as humans interacting with tech, and how that impacts the products we create.

WHAT DO YOU LOOK AT & THINK, "I WISH YOUNGER ME WOULD HAVE KNOWN THIS WAS POSSIBLE?"

I'm really good at "ask me anything" meetings with anyone from the CEO to the hands-on implementers. I'm also a great a public speaker. Much younger me was terrified of public speaking and it took me too many years to give it a try.

WHY DO YOU LOVE WORKING IN STEM?

There's always something new to learn, something interesting, something to care about, some way I can make a difference.

BEST ADVICE FOR NEXT GENERATION?

Everything has a STEM connection. No matter what your passion is, you can dive into it with a STEM career. You can make what you care about accessible, automate the hard or boring parts, nurture positive change, bring new people in, or change perceptions.

INSPO / FUN FACT

“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” – Maya Angelou