I had the option to go to college locally in Jamaica, but knew that going to school in the U.S. would give me more career options. I studied engineering, an academic area traditionally dominated by men. While in school, I interned for three years with Bell Atlantic (now Verizon) in their science and technology lab. They offered me a job when I graduated, but I turned it down, thinking I wouldn’t have the same opportunities as my male counterparts in the organization.
I opted to take a position with a more liberal French company. A few years later, I made re-entry into Bell Atlantic due to an acquisition. At that time, there was a fair amount of women represented in the technical field that were doing well. Throughout my career, I’ve had both male and female mentors in and outside of the business that have helped me to frame what’s required to navigate through a male-dominated field such as engineering.
My experiences over the years have helped me to grow within the organization. I’m now president of Verizon Telecom’s New England region, overseeing 4,000 employees who deliver excellent customer service to consumers and businesses in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
I recognize that I am where I am today as a result of people reaching out and guiding me—I’ve been fortunate throughout my career, and that’s why it’s so important for me to be able to give back. I’m incredibly passionate about youth enrichment and development. Programs that enable children with the right tools set them up for future success. In 2009, my husband and I launched The Global Venture Foundation in the Caribbean, intended to inspire, develop and enable youth leadership through a combination of structured athletic and academic programs.
The foundation has a variety of elements, including youth mentoring, summer programs based in the U.S. and student athlete college placement assistance and funding. Having recently moved to the greater Boston area, I am looking forward to establishing roots in the community that will complement the vision of our foundation and allow me to continue touching the lives of youth.