On not being deterred from chasing your passion

June 09, 20151 minute read

Jackie Sturm, VP, Global Supply Chain Management for Intel, was featured recently in the Chicago Tribune with her “lean-in story.” Considering her role combines supply chain and technology – two predominantly male fields – she’s often had the experience of often being “the only woman in the room.”

In the article, Sturm relates an incident early in her career when her team at work was staying late to work out a problem and only two of those on the team were women. One of her male counterparts turned to the women and said, “”Shouldn’t you girls call home?”

Ten years later she was hired by Intel as a senior financial controllers. She says, “Not only was I different in gender but also an outsider to a very tight knit group. It was a double whammy, and combined with having young children at home it was tough. But I decided not to blink because I still wanted to chase my passion, and I thought I could make a difference. I wanted to make Intel stronger as a manufacturing powerhouse and, consequently, help nurture a stronger economy. So I focused on making an impact. I set my priorities based on my passion, made my own tradeoffs (and accepted the implications), used my own business judgment and tried to find the right answers. I decided NOT to ask permission to do what appears to be the right thing. Success soon followed.