Diversity Woman Magazine

WIN 2018

Leadership and Executive Development for women of all races, cultures and backgrounds

Issue link: http://diversitywoman.epubxp.com/i/927951

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Page 17 of 51

16 D I V E R S I T Y W O M A N W i n t e r 2 0 1 8 d i v e r s i t y w o m a n . c o m We Mean Business > respect to leveraging our data to help cities resolve the skills gap. We've built the world's first Economic Graph, which aggregates jobs data. I spend a lot of time managing our gov- ernment efforts to help organizations use data for good. For example, we explore using data like ours for investing in the workforce: providing access to jobs, investigating the skills related to supply and demand by local- ity, and explaining how, through partnering with companies like ours, governments can fill some of the gaps that exist in other data sets. Our goal is to disseminate complemen- tary information that provides transparency into workforce systems, and optimize work- force development across the board. DW: Your path seems well planned. How did it come about? NI: All my jobs came from applications. I did go to the library before LinkedIn ex- isted and researched places where I wanted to work. But there's something else. When I was at Columbia, I worked hard to meet the executive director of a prominent hu- man rights organization that I wanted to work for. I spent months trying to get on his calendar. When I finally met with him, I said, "Your job as executive director of this phenomenal organization with a global impact is a dream job. How did you get there?" And he said, "You're not going to like this, but it was serendipitous." I remember choking up and holding back tears because I couldn't believe I wait- ed months to hear the secret. Every time I'm asked this question, I'm reminded of how serendipitous my path has been, too, accompanied by two core values—educa- tion and opportunity. ey've influenced each of my decisions. DW: What are your challenges at LinkedIn? NI: One of our main challenges is combat- ing the presumption that we're a network for professionals only. We're well beyond that and are working hard to expand op- portunities for everyone—the welder in Denver, the plumber in the Bronx, the statistician, as well as the manufacturing IT czar. We want everyone on LinkedIn so we can help connect them to their best opportunity. DW: What are you most proud of in your career? NI: at I've taken risks where others perhaps thought the opportunity may not have been the best one, or that I've stepped away from what was expected. For instance, taking a leave of absence from my job on the Hill to work for free at the Constitutional Court in South Africa was one of the best things I've ever done. I learned about the systems and the process- es applicable to our own democracy, and about other countries' systems on which South Africa modeled their constitution. DW: What are some challenges women today face in moving into the upper echelons of leadership? How can those challenges be addressed? NI: One challenge is the pay gap for the same roles as men, which I've experi- enced in some former positions. Part of the problem is that many men tend to think of women narrowly, such as in their role as caregivers. Another challenge is overall gender bias. Our team works hard to address these from the company per- spective of how we can support our em- ployees, including developing new sup- port mechanisms. For example, we have a Women in Technology group where female engineers get together with other women across the company to discuss best practices and how we can empower them. I suggest women look for groups like this for networking and all they can offer when seeking higher positions. DW: What LinkedIn features should women be using more? NI: We'd like to see women listing additional skills in their profile. Women include 11 percent fewer skills than men, and list fewer occupations and experience levels. Includ- ing more skills means you'll likely have up to 17 times more profile views by recruit- ers, other employers, or potential peers. It not only empowers women—it results in a higher level of employment across the board for them. Listing more skills also results in greater connectivity for women because ide- ally it connects them to individuals in their network with comparable skills. e LinkedIn salary tool can also be a re- source for women relative to a pay increase. Studies have shown that women are more likely to be uncomfortable with salary dis- cussions, and the tool provides visibility into what an average individual in a particular ca- reer and occupation makes, by industry. DW: How does one find not just a job, but a meaningful career that they love? NI: By finding that thing you're most pas- sionate about. I knew at a young age I was passionate about expanding opportunity for those who didn't have a seat at the table, or didn't have access. If you find what keeps you up at night or wakes you up early in the morn- ing, you will naturally find a network where you're able to express yourself. Our goal is to create a world where we can help every individual not only under- stand what their passion is, but to connect to it. Even if you haven't identified your passion, we want you to connect with peo- ple who can help guide you to the answer, to an educational institution, internship, apprenticeship, or job opportunity that will bring you a step closer to an expression of yourself and your core values. DW Pat Olson writes the Workspace column for e New York Times. Women include 11 percent fewer skills [on LinkedIn] than men, and list fewer occupations and experience levels. Including more skills means you'll likely have up to 17 times more profile views.

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