This blog was posted on behalf of Pia Wilson-Body. Pia is the Executive Director of the Intel Foundation and the Director of the Corporate Affairs Group at Intel- Greater Americas. The Intel Foundation award grants focused on increasing opportunities for girls, women, and under-represented minorities, and supports the philanthropic efforts of Intel’s employees in education, local communities, and disaster relief.
When I was asked to pen a blog for this year’s International Day of the Girl, I was both humbled and excited. After accepting the invitation, my mind began to race. I knew I wanted to share something about my personal experience and decided to start by asking others for their perspectives. I wanted to know how they saw me versus how I saw myself. The responses I received were interesting:
- Pia is that girl who thought she could, so she did, inspiring others along the way.
- Pia is that girl who will make sure your voice is heard and that you have a seat at the table.
- Pia is the girl that is confident, not cocky, talented yet humble, and knows how to keep it real.
- Pia knows what to say when you need it said, yet she is graceful and always grateful.
This exercise not only energized me, but also made me reflect on the experiences that helped me to be the girl, and now the woman, that others perceive me to be. Like anyone, I have faced my share of challenges. I now understand how those experiences helped to shape who I am today.
I remember in grade-school, my teacher encouraged me to run for student council. I was hesitant at first, but my teacher gave me the confidence I needed to just go for it, and I became the fourth-grade class representative! This experience taught me to have courage and take on new opportunities even if I was scared.
When I joined the workforce, I was fortunate to have an incredible manager who saw potential in me when I did not see it in myself. This HR Vice President came to me and said, “Pia, we are reorganizing HR and I would like for you to consider managing our Performance & Talent team.” While I was proud of the offer, my inside voice was saying ‘what the fiddle-sticks?’ but I took the challenge anyway. When seeds of fear and doubt started to settle in my stomach, I realized I had to work through it. I signed up for courses and learned as much as I could while simultaneously networking with internal and external HR titans who coached me along the way. The first year was rocky, but I succeeded in the role and went on to take on a larger position shortly thereafter. Having someone believe in your abilities and give you an opportunity to showcase your talent is half the battle. The other half is pushing aside self-doubt and jumping in to learn and take action.
International Day of the Girl is helping to, “galvanize worldwide enthusiasm for goals to better girls’ lives, providing an opportunity for them to show leadership and reach their full potential.” The world is a big, and often intimidating, place. It is our responsibility to show girls that they have a large role to play in it. I challenge you, for the month of October, to volunteer and do something to benefit the life of a girl.
If it helps, borrow with pride the personal lessons that I have shared with you today. You never know the impact you may have on another’s life journey.
Want to hear more about what Intel is doing for Women and Girls? Click here!