Techy, sports-nista, business and magic? Drea Alphonso does it all. This thirty-fly year old techy out of the bay area shares her experiences as a team member on the Black Tech Women organization and a Googler. Check out her story and why the organization was founded below:
Age: 31 (30fly +1)
Title and Company: Head of Partnerships, Black Tech Women (I also work at Google full-time)
Drea: We’re building Black Tech Women as a premier community for black women in the tech space (and those wanting to get into tech) to connect, learn, and develop. Our top goal is to bring black women together to help create opportunities for them to voice their perspectives on tech trends, events, share career wins, and even lessons learned. We’ve grown to over 700 members since launching in March 2017 and we have members located in San Francisco, New York, Atlanta, and even Seoul, South Korea! This year alone, we’re excited to be a top contributor to Women in Tech on Medium – our Black Tech Women members have written some great pieces! We look forward to growing our community.
How did you get started?
Drea: I joined Anndrea Moore (Founder) and Eden Zeilo (Co-Founder) in April as the Head of Partnership for Black Tech Women and was so excited about what they were looking to build, especially being a black woman in tech. Data consistently shows that we are the most underrepresented and underfunded group in tech. One of the major patterns we’re seeing and experiencing is that we quickly leave the tech industry due to lack of support, recognition, and opportunity. Black Tech Women is here as an avenue to address this challenge.
What motivates you?
Drea: Seeing other black women in tech win whether that be in their career or through projects, I am truly motivated by our successes!
Biggest lesson learned so far?
Drea: You own your career. This idea didn’t resonate with me until I was in my career at Google, a few years later it’s made total sense. You can’t leave your career growth and professional development to chance. It’s important to think about how you’re setting yourself up. It starts with thinking about your passions, what’s get you excited, and how to apply that to a 9-5 or your own entrepreneurial endeavors. It also entails making a plan for your next moves, leaning on your network, and getting clear on the goals you have for our career.
Best advice you’ve ever received?
Drea: Building your network with mentors and sponsors. There’s a clear distinction between the two: mentors can help provide thoughtful career advice and guidance while sponsors are people who will advocate for you in the workplace. Having these types individuals in your network will definitely help open new doors and opportunities.
What piece of advice would you give to someone looking to start their own business or advance in their career?
Drea: Do not be afraid or discouraged by the failures you’ll experience (yes, failing will be inevitable) because it’s those moments that can lead to your biggest success.
Also, I’d like to think of myself as a techie by day and a sports-nista by nature. I’m a huge sports fan and recently started contributing to The Sports Fan Journal as a writer focused on the sports and tech lane. It’s been fun working with a great group of young creatives but also combining two things I’m passionate about! http://www.thesportsfanjournal.com/author/alexandrea/
Shining – DJ Khaled ft. Beyonce and Jay-Z
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