Sr. Directors, VPs, SVPs, and Distinguished Engineers Women Would Like to See in their Reporting Chain

Image of a Lion

Mulan – I’ll Make a Man Out of You” orchestral version based on the original from “Mulan” the Original Motion Picture as played by L’Orchestra Cinematique 🎵

I’ve got a few friends (10?!) looking to hire some VPs, SVPs, and DEs.

Specifically they were looking to hire engineering leaders who wouldn’t absolutely tank relationships with diverse employees and do a better job at retaining them, especially in the 11-15 year mark where there is a drop-off.

I decided I’d make a list to help since they so kindly reached out with the right intention – they want to hire more women in leadership. That’s awesome. Thank you for actively trying and instead of rushing someone else through the door.

Please note: These are people I respect and want to call out as amazing individuals.

Generally I would recommend building up relationships with people like this over time – whether they are actually looking is not something I considered – I mostly wanted to make their day 😊.

Many will spend too much energy giving women reasons why they can’t do things or take their already small asks and try to miniaturize them into even smaller more ridiculous asks, tell them to take vacations when they are knowledgeable in their field and bringing up a real business impacting leadership style they see that needs to go. Instead, I’m here to list all of the leaders who get stuff done that had real sponsorship to get where they are today so you can cheat and make it better.

It takes 30 seconds of energy per person to be nice and sponsor their work with respect versus a lifetime of effort to be an a*shole by making women wait, sit in the bleachers, and minify their asks. I know this, so that’s how I lead my life.

Without further wait – here’s the list of awesome diverse leaders that I would have personally reached out to try to hire if I had a VP or an SVP or a DE role I was executive recruiting and knew I had that problem. These are the Galadriel’s of their field[13].

Sr. Directors, VPs, & SVPs (People Managers)

  • Lindsey Fowler: 17+ years at Amazon as an Engineering Leader, now Director of Engineering at Remitly
  • Avida Michaud: 20+ Years, Associate TD for Blizzard, Prev Director of Engineering for Proletariat
  • Ariel Wei: 20+ Years XP, Current Director at Unity for Infrastructure and Site Reliability Engineering
  • Amanda Waite (They/Them): 20+ Years experience, Prev Head of Engineering at Observable and Head of Reliably Advocacy Engineering at Google
  • Nicole Beaulieu: 25+ Years XP, VP of Engineering at Figure
  • Kesha Williams: 25+ Years XP, Current Sr. Director, Enterprise Architecture at Slalom
  • Christina Beatty: 18+ Years at Amazon (11 in an engineering management role)
  • Melissa Eden: 20+ Years XP, Previously Sr. Manager, Unity
  • Annika Sparkles: 20+ Years XP, Currently Director of Platform Engineering at Nordstrom
  • Jennie Lees: 20+ Years Experience, Currently Engineering Manager at Google DeepMind
  • Ashley Hromatko: ~15 Years XP, Expert in FinOps. Prev. VP of Operations for the FinOps Foundation.
  • Elizabeth Moon: 25+ Years XP, Elizabeth used to be in my reporting chain a few years ago and I only met her a few times, but she was always a brilliant individual. Current Managing Director in Google Public Sector. Prev. Director, AWS Solutions Architecture & Customer Success
  • Nicole Perelle: 20+ Years XP, Current VP of Executive Technology Services at Gartner. Prev. WW Head of RevOps at AWS, and former Director at Dell EMC.
  • Francessca Vasquez: Francessca is already a VP at Amazon, but it would be cool to see her promoted to SVP given she’s cloud’s greatest gift so I put her on here just to show that that’s what other women see.
  • Vanessa Hurst: 15+ Years XP, Co-Founder Girl Develop It and prev DoE at Etsy

Sr. Principal & Distinguished Engineers

I included people in this list whose title may not match the above but who are knockout subject matter experts in what they do and have been around the block. Personally I’d like to see the above list get bigger and I think that part of that is taking the below individuals and making sure they get there…

So I’m giving a bonus. Here are a bunch of Architects, Engineers, Cybersecurity Experts, and Engineering Managers at all different kinds of skill levels, some employed and some looking, that are interesting people that you could learn about today, support their work, and generally remember they are there.

This is not a full and complete list at all. I stopped because I’m pregnant and I need to eat lunch.

And last but not least, I’d like to give a shout out to two organizations which I have a lot of respect for and if hiring wasn’t such an absolute nightmare right now in the games industry would like to see more involvement with.

Level Up in Tech: This organization is specifically focusing on leveling up the next general of cloud engineers and is run by the Broadus Palmer. He is personally closing the gap between career transition and also what people are NOT taught in college today with regards to cloud and devops.

The Knowledge House: The Knowledge House trains future innovators on digital skills after secondary education where Daniel Adeyanju is the Director of Partnerships. If you’d like a more individualized consulting solution because you can’t as easily create your own lists, I highly recommend reaching out.

Note: If you were on this list and you prefer not to be on it, or you believe any information in it is inaccurate and would like to see it updated I would be MORE than happy to accommodate your request. If you wish you HAD been on the list reach out to me – I’m always looking to know more of you. And I didn’t include anyone I work with in my day job because I’d like not to get in trouble, but if you are a woman or diverse engineer in engineering who works with me today, I DO think you are awesome!

Header Image by Glen Carrie from Unsplash.

[13] This is the thirteenth clue to the puzzle.