How the U.S. women’s national soccer team inspires me as a woman in tech
- Posted on July 19, 2019
- Estimated reading time 3 minutes
What a thrilling summer for fans of the U.S. women’s national soccer team! I haven’t played soccer myself since the days of little league and after-game snack orange slices, but the lessons I learned as a kid – how to be part of a team and how to be a good sport – stick with me now, even in my professional career.
In the championship match, I couldn’t help but notice that in addition to working well as a team, every one of the U.S. players knew where they needed to be without being directed. Everyone had complete awareness of their part in the greater whole of the team. It can be challenging to focus on the engagement at hand while also knowing what’s going on multiple levels outside that task, but it’s crucial to everyone working efficiently and having the maximum effect.
What does watching these world-class athletes have to do with the work I do at Avanade? (Besides the fact that Avanade sponsors the Reign FC Legends program*, and World Cup star Megan Rapinoe is the captain of Reign FC professional women’s team.) Awareness is just as important in our roles, and it’s something that everyone can always improve on. We focus on having and asserting knowledge as consultants, but understanding what's going on around you – above your grade and below – is supremely helpful in evaluating where you need to be: at the point of maximum effectiveness.
Avanade’s reporting structure supports these concepts by having multiple positions of oversight. Career advisers support consultants in their career development and navigating “the system,” while talent community leads help find right role for clients as well as consultants. The internal social tools support engagement on topics from specific technologies to employee resource groups. With all of this in place, there’s no reason for any of us to be in a silo, unaware or what’s going on or where we can make the biggest impact.
Of course, this particular U.S. women’s team was particularly fun to watch because they were confident in their abilities and celebrated their success, sometimes even in the face of criticism. We all have different opinions on what is appropriate behavior for athletes on the field – some are stoic and impassive, while others engage in zany acrobatics and enthusiastic group hugs – but I don’t find it helpful to view these behaviors through different lenses depending on gender.
As I watched these women play and celebrate, I thought, “Wow, these are warriors.” They’re the kind of women who inspire young girls and boys not just on the soccer field, but even years later in their careers as consultants.
*Avanade sponsors the Reign Legends program, honoring local women in recognition of their extraordinary contribution to our community and beyond. Learn more about the Reign FC Legends campaign sponsored by Avanade.