This much I know: The tech supremo

KC Wu, senior vice president, operations architecture, Cisco speaks exclusively to ahead of her appearance at the GLAM2016 event for training young girls in tech leadership

Being able to inspire young girls is important. I grew up in a traditional educational system where it was very structured. I learned quickly, however, that no matter your dream, you have the power to live it. I want to inspire new thinking, and create new inspirations and dreams for our girls growing up today.

The challenge of being a women leader is all in your head. Business can be a lonely place for a female leader, but you need to look at it as an opportunity. I was one of two women in my course path at grad school. I learned how to navigate the situation from someone who had no fear – she was a free spirit. It’s great if you can find one or two people who inspire courage like she did.

The man who hired me out of grad school didn’t care if I was a man or woman. I hold a mathematical, chemistry and industrial engineering degree and clearly had the skills to do the job. Most people nowadays focus on your skills and not your gender.

Diversity of thought is important in business. Women bring a different kind of thinking to a company. Female leaders have a tendency to first want to form a community and to bring people together. Diverse communities drive innovation.

Digitalization drives gender equalization. Tech is cool. The whole world is changing. For young girls growing up today, tech isn’t geeky; it’s just part of life. Girls can be whoever they want to be.

The next big thing is the internet of things, and it will affect and change our lifestyle. The medical industry will be disrupted. Education will change. Every job on the spectrum will be transformed. Humans are becoming more and more connected. Interactions are more personalized, more customized, and we have more choices. This connectedness will change behaviours as well as economic, political, and social dynamics. Access to everything is becoming ubiquitous, making the future so intriguing!

To succeed you need to constantly learn, and constantly adapt to different roles or opportunities. Jump in and take on new challenges or learn new skills.  It’s not tangible. But it’s important.