As part of our new Women We Celebrate speaker series, SnapLogic recently welcomed Guissu Raafat, Head of HR at Instacart, to speak to our women’s affinity group. The SnapLogic Women We Celebrate speaker series is a Q&A chat with accomplished women in Silicon Valley who share their career journeys and provide professional and personal encouragement and inspiration to our female employees. With women representing 30 percent of SnapLogic’s workforce, these talks are well attended.
Guissu, our second guest speaker, shared her career path starting as an attorney at a prominent Bay Area employment and labor law firm and then finding her way to in-house employment counsel for Visa and then Instacart. When presented with an unexpected opportunity to become interim Head of HR at Instacart in addition to keeping her day job as the company’s employment counsel, Guissu jumped at the chance despite having a newborn at home. While admitting that this move sounded a little crazy considering she already had a very full plate, Guissu was passionate about employee experience and culture and cited this as an example of her openness to continuous learning, trying something new, and not letting fear of the unknown or failure hold her back from attaining her long-term career goals.
Other pearls of wisdom from Guissu included the very simple but powerful message: “you do YOU.” What does this mean exactly? It means making career decisions that work for you whether that’s to turn up the heat on your career or to take your foot off the gas for a season in your life to focus on personal priorities. Women need to make a commitment to becoming a stronger, more supportive community for each other as we are all navigating our career journeys with many unique, complex, and deeply personal factors at play. In this 24/7, “more is better” working environment, there’s certainly enough pressure and expectations on our collective plates to conform to the current standard of what it means to be successful as a working woman in today’s world and trying to have it all. Let’s give each other a break and become the collective scaffolding that holds each other up.
Guissu reminded us that women – by redefining the rules around how we get our work done – have been at the forefront in demanding that companies become more flexible. We now owe it to each other and to future generations of women to stop being apologetic or judgmental of the choices we make around what we do and when we do it, whether it’s choosing to raise children and working, taking some time in between roles to … insert whatever it is for you here. We should wear these choices with pride knowing that we are making the best decisions for ourselves, whatever that looks like.
Want to be a trailblazer and the next Sheryl Sandberg? Go for it and we’re here to cheer you on. Want to be an awesome “rockstar” (as defined in Kim Scott’s book, Radical Candor, for those amazing individuals on every team who are happy where they are and are the foundational “rocks” for their colleagues)? Make it happen and don’t apologize. You do YOU and live by your own blueprint of what success looks.
Let’s make every woman we work with a Woman We Celebrate.
Thanks for the inspiration, Guissu!