In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re celebrating the powerful, dynamic and creative women of Google. Like generations before them, these women break down barriers and defy expectations at work and in their communities. Over the course of the month, we’ll help you get to know a few of these Google women, and share a bit about who they are and why they inspire us.
First up in our “She Word” series, we’ll hear from Alexandrina Garcia-Verdin (nickname: AGV), a Customer Engineer on the Google Cloud team.
You’re at a dinner party and someone asks what you do. How do you explain your job to them?
I advise small and medium-sized businesses in Latin America and in the U.S. on how to use Google tools to run their business at the lowest cost and highest efficiency. This could mean teaching mom-n-pop organizations why it’s important to have a domain and a website, showing them how to manage inventory using spreadsheets, or helping them improve processes using Google tools (like collecting data using Forms instead of by paper or email).
What makes you proud to be a woman at Google?
I am building a tribe of women who question gender roles, are curious to explore their purpose and what they can offer their community, and have causes that they are passionate about (two of mine are education and how food affects health and disease). I have found this tribe at Google, a company that is full of innovative and self-aware women, and I feel very proud to be surrounded by these women who inspire me.
If you could ask one woman from history a question, who would it be and what would you ask?
My question would be for my personal hero, Mexican revolutionary and painter Frida Kahlo: “You lived during a time when gender roles, racism and social strife were deeply entrenched in your native Mexico. In spite of that, you wore beautiful ornate clothing, you were a political activist and had an open sexuality. What things did you focus on to live your personal truth in such an authentic manner?”
What advice would you give to women starting out in
I have two. One—when setting goals, ask yourself “how can I provide value?” Starting with this question will naturally promote growth both for you and your organization. Two—always ask yourself “how will I measure my impact?” The human mind tends to forget past initiatives quickly, and research has shown that women aren’t as vocal about our merits as our male counterparts. So measuring success (and sharing that success frequently) will help prove your worth.
Are you doing anything special (in or outside of work) to celebrate Women's History Month?
I plan to celebrate women all year long! Back in January, I was proud to participate in the Women’s March in San Francisco (my best friend Cassady Fendlay co-directed the March in Washington). I was extremely moved by how women from all walks of life joined together as a united force of positive change and celebrated their differences. Since then I’ve set the intention to carry this sentiment throughout the year, and keep the conversation going with other women.
How do you spend most of your time outside of work?
I volunteer at a no-kill animal shelter in Oakland, CA and do pro bono work for nonprofits, training them how to use Google tools. I also attend Spanglish poetry and social justice art events in the Bay Area to in support of low-income people who have been evicted from their homes.
What’s the last book you read or show you binged?
I’m reading “Race Talk and the Conspiracy of Silence,” which talks about how most people avoid talking about race because those conversations can be uncomfortable. Race and diversity are important to me, and I believe it is my duty to educate myself on the systems of oppression propagate over generations. The only way we will break them is to have open and safe dialogues.