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向STEM领域的超级妈妈们致敬02:访谈梁戈碧@微软

Celebrating Moms Who Tech: Interview with Gebi Liang @ Microsoft

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Ladies Who Tech以特别项目系列采访拉开了母亲节这个月份的序幕,对处于STEM前沿的、了不起的女性们进行了一对一的访谈。这些杰出女性不仅是她们孩子心中优秀的榜样,同时在职场中以身作则,在担任高级职位的同时倡导在自己所在的领域中提升女性同伴的地位。
在接下来的几周中,我们将关注这些女性的更多振奋人心的职场经历——她们在男性主导的行业中所面临的挑战、她们怎样对工作与家庭保持投入的坚定意志力、机构如何为有着母亲这一身份的员工提供支持(或反例),以及这些女性是如何推动了STEM领域中关于性别平等的讨论。
Ladies Who Tech kicked off Mother's Day month by launching a series of interviews with incredible women who are at the forefront of STEM - science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Not only are these women excellent role models for their children, but they're also leading by example at the workplace, taking on senior-level positions while advocating for the advancement of fellow women in their field.
In the following weeks, we'll be looking at more inspiring career journeys of these women, the challenges they faced in male-dominant industries, their willpower in maintaining a strong commitment to both their families and work, how institutions are providing support to mothers (or the lack of it), and how these women have pushed the conversation on gender equality in STEM disciplines.

专业:从英语到软件工程 From English major to software engineer
本周,我们很荣幸能够与您分享微软SharePoint及Teams中国区总经理梁戈碧的职业生涯。作为一名高级软件工程师,她曾经领导并壮大了多个包括软件产品开发、云计算创新和产品孵化等各种团队。加入微软之前,她在英特尔工作了15年,曾在美国和中国担任多个关键技术与领导职务。 
现如今,她已在微软任职10年,负责管理专注于Microsoft Teams与SharePoint的开发。Microsoft Teams在疫情期间已然成为市场上增长最快的办公协作工具之一;而SharePoint也是一个被广泛使用的文档共享平台。目前,戈碧主要办公地点在微软苏州研发中心,而她21岁的儿子和19岁的女儿在美国攻读本科学位。
除了高级经理的工作外,戈碧还一直领导着所在组织的多元与包容(D&I)委员会,提倡女性的全面发展,在微软及行业内打造更加多元的团队。
戈碧原先就读于英语文学专业,并坚信自己将成为一名英语教师。毕业后,她远渡重洋前往美国进修,但出乎意料的发现打破了她的想法。 
她用流利的英语向Ladies Who Tech叙说这段往事:“我发现几乎每个人的英语水平都比我好多了。在国内的时候,我的英语水平是我的优势;但在美国,完全不是这么回事儿。”
但命运之窗也就此向她打开,她对计算机——一个在当时的美国还是刚兴起的事物,产生了浓厚的兴趣。
戈碧回忆道:“当时,我所学到的最不可思议的事情就是发送邮件。那时还没有用于电子邮件的图形用户界面,全都靠命令行。对我来说,学习如何发送电子邮件是90年代初最酷的事情。”
即使在四年的本科课程中没有读过任何STEM学科,戈碧仍然对技术及其所带来的机会感到很是兴奋,她决定大胆地迈出这一步,拥抱计算机科学。
她说道:“一开始的难度简直超出了我的想象,当时的我完全不知道自己面对的是什么样的挑战。我想那时候的我有着一种天真却无畏的勇敢。在第一门基础语言课程中,我居然只得了一个C的分数。我这辈子都没拿过C这样的成绩!”
戈碧不愿在困难面前放弃,她在下个学期修读了更多的编程语言课程,并学会了严格遵循计算机逻辑。最终,她以极其优异的成绩通过了各项考核。
戈碧相信,任何人都有能力在自己的职业生涯中做出改变,只要Ta能下定决心“坚持下去”。她补充建议道,“找到自己真正的兴趣所在,因为这会在你遇到困境时支撑你走下去。”
This week, we are honored to share the incredible career journey of Gebi Liang, General Manager at Microsoft China. As a highly skilled software engineer herself, Gebi has led and grown teams of software product development, cloud computing innovation and product incubation. Prior to joining Microsoft, Gebi was a 15-year veteran of Intel and held several key technical and leadership roles in the US and China.
Currently in her 10th year at Microsoft, she is managing dedicated teams focusing on the development of Microsoft Teams, one of the fastest-growing office collaboration tools in the market (with huge surge due to COVID-19) and SharePoint, which shares and manages content, knowledge, and applications to empower teamwork, quickly finds information, and seamlessly enables collaboration across the organization. She's based in Microsoft's office in Suzhou while her 21-year-old son and 19-year-old daughter are in the US pursuing their undergraduate degrees.
Aside from her day-to-day tasks as a senior manager, Gebi has been leading her organization's Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) board, continuously advocating for female talent development while building and empowering more diverse teams at the software giant and the industry.
Gebi originally majored in English literature, believing she'd become an English teacher. After graduation, she went abroad to the US to further her studies when an unpleasant discovery welcomed her.
"Everyone's English was way better than mine! In China, it was my competitive differentiator. In the US, not so much!" she told Ladies Who Tech – while speaking perfect English.
But a window opened. She developed a keen interest in computers, which has just started to take off in the US.
"One of the most incredible things I've ever learned at the time was sending emails," Gebi recalled. "Back then, there was no graphical user interface for emails, it was all command lines. For me, Learning how to send emails was the coolest thing in the early 90s."
Excited about the technology and the opportunities that it entails, she decided to take a bold step and embrace computer science, despite not having studied any STEM subjects during her four-year undergrad program.
"It was overwhelming at first – I had no idea what I signed up for. I guess I was both naïve and brave," she said. "In one of my first courses in basic language, I got a C. I've never gotten a C in my whole life!"
Unwilling to give up, she took more programming language courses in the following semester and learned to strictly follow the logic of the computer. Eventually, she passed her exams with flying colours.
Gebi believes anyone can make a switch in their career – as long as he/she has the determination to "stick with it".
"You'd want to find something that you are genuinely interested in doing, because that's what's going to motivate you during challenging times," she advised.

边带孩子边开会 Pumping while taking conference calls
戈碧从没考虑过在孩子出生后离开工作岗位。
“我的母亲是一位非常受人尊敬的儿科医生,常常在医院值夜班。但她仍然能够很好地照顾我和我的弟弟”。她说,“所以我想,如果我妈妈能做到,那么我也可以!没有女人应当被迫在职业与孩子中做选择,大部分人应该可以平衡职业和家庭。”
刚当上妈妈的戈碧很感谢英特尔的一流设施——英特尔在俄勒冈州波特兰市的大型园区内为女性员工提供了母婴护理室。
“我非常高兴英特尔提供了护理室,当时在哺乳期,我都能够工作、参加电话会议。” 但是,她同时也指出,那时的产假只有六个星期,而现在微软会为女员工提供四个月的全薪产假。
然而,每位有孩子的职业女性面临的主要问题还有因怀孕而缺席是否会对她们的职业发展产生负面影响。
“根据我所听到的故事,回到工作岗位的新妈妈们总会有着某种恐惧。她们担心自己的绩效考核,害怕被拒绝晋升甚至被解雇。” 戈碧分享道,并补充说明了微软对因为怀孕产生的歧视实行严格的零容忍政策。微软现在还为父亲提供陪产假,帮助新父母分担照顾婴儿的重担。 
她说:“更多的企业应该意识到,他们需要为新妈妈们提供更多的支持。将这些支持变为政策并制度化,添加到企业准则中,这才对那些花时间照顾新生儿的女性公平。”
Gebi never considered leaving her job after the birth of her children.
"My mother was a very well-respected pediatrician and had crazy night shifts at the hospital. But she was still able to take good care of me and my brother," she said. "So, I thought, if my mom could do it, so can I! No woman should be pressured into choosing either one – you can definitely balance your career and motherhood.”
That being said, Gebi was grateful to the fantastic facilities at Intel, where nursing rooms were available for female employees at the chipmaker's massive campus in Portland, Oregon.
"I was extremely happy about the nursing rooms at Intel. I was pumping away while taking conference calls," she said. However, she did note that maternity leave was only six weeks back then, compared to four months with full-time pay at Microsoft now. 
Yet, a major concern faced by every working woman with a baby on the way is whether taking a pregnancy-related absence would hurt their careers.
"Based on stories I hear, there's always a certain fear among new mothers who are coming back to work. They are worried about their performance appraisals, scared of being denied promotions or even termination," Gebi said, adding that Microsoft has a strict zero-tolerance policy on pregnancy discrimination. And now Microsoft also offers paternity leave for dads. This not only helps the parents to share the load of caring for newborns but also levels the playing field between moms and dads.
"More companies should realize they need to provide more support to new moms," she said. "Institutionalize these policies and put it in the company guidelines – it's only fair to women who are taking the time to take care of their newborns.”

高科技领域的性别失衡和偏见 Gender disparity and bias in high-tech
“在这个领域,我们离应该到达的目标还很遥远。中美两国都存在一个事实,高科技领域仍然是男性在主导。”戈碧说道。
她提出:“中国有句口号:‘妇女能顶半边天’,但为何我们在职场中却看不到这样的景象?”
科技领域缺乏多元化不是最近才有的现象。多年来,这一直是科技企业面临的重大而持续的挑战。
麦肯锡2018年的一份报告显示,在美国,女性仅占计算机与信息科学学士学位获得者的19%,计算机行业从业人员总数的26%。
戈碧说:“许多会议上我都是与会者当中唯一的女性。对于许多高科技企业而言,这是事实——无论企业规模大小,跨国或本地企业都逃不出这个现象。”
“许多企业都在尝试解决这个问题。我们必须朝着正确的方向持续不断地前进。微软一直在这方面持续努力,我所在部门也在努力实现这一目标。”她补充道。
去年11月,微软发布了迄今为止有关多元化和包容性最全面的报告,该报告指出其女性员工总数已占总人数的27.6%,比上一年提高了1.1个百分点。在技术职位上,女性代表增加了1.4个百分点,达到21.4%。
随着各类企业的技术能力快速增长(据信未来15年对高级IT和编程技能的需求将增长90%),同时面对预期中的技术技能短缺,科技行业需要寻找出路——通过培养和吸引更多人才(尤其是女性)来扩大人才库。
同时,有趣的是,根据人才创新中心(Center for Talent Innovation)的一份报告,女性离开科技行业的比例是男性的两倍以上,而这并不是家庭原因造成的。该报告明确地指出,“工作条件、难以接触关键且有创意的项目以及职业陷入僵局的感觉”是女性离职的主要原因。另一个主要因素是来自上级主管的“排挤“。
不友好的工作环境的某些方面可以归因于无意识的偏见,而偏见又导致女性工程师的流失。戈碧指出,女性在会议上的被打断的频率远高于男性。尽管担任同样的技术职务,女性也更容易被分配写会议纪要等事务性工作。
“还有一个很经典且不断重复的场景:一旦我和男性同事一同去见顾客,人们总会默认他是我的上司。”戈碧说道。
尽管这些例子可能不是职场性别歧视中最触目惊心的案例,但它们仍然清楚地提醒我们,从事科技行业的女性时刻被逼迫着“证明自己的价值”,否则就会有不被尊重或认同的风险。
"As a sector, we are still nowhere near we should be. One fact remains true in both China and US – the high-tech field is still very much male-dominated," Gebi said.
"We have a saying in Chinese that women 'hold up half the sky'. So how come that's not reflected in the workplace?" she added. 
The lack of diversity in the tech sector is not a recent phenomenon; it has been a significant and consistent challenge for tech companies for many years.
In the US, women comprise just 19 per cent of bachelor's computer and information science degree recipients, and 26 per cent of the computing workforce, according to a McKinsey 2018 report.
"It's very common that I'm the only woman in meetings. This is true for many high-tech companies regardless of the size of the firm – multinational or local," Gebi said.
"A lot of companies are trying to fix that, but we, as a sector, are still way, way behind. However, we've got to move consistently and persistently in the right direction. It's something that Microsoft is working very hard to do and something I am working very hard to achieve in my own department," she added.
Last November, Microsoft published its most comprehensive report yet on diversity and inclusion, reporting that 27.6 per cent of its overall workforce is now female, up 1.1 points over the previous year. In tech roles, representation increased 1.4 points to 21.4 per cent. 
As companies of all types rapidly grow their technical capabilities – demand for advanced IT and programming skills is said to grow by as much as 90 per cent over the next 15 years – while facing an expected tech skills shortage, the tech sector needs to find ways to expand its talent pool by investing in and attracting underutilized talent, particularly women.
At the same time, it is interesting to note that women leave the tech sector at more than twice the rate men do, and it's not due to motherhood or family reasons, according to a report by the Center for Talent Innovation. Rather, the report cites "workplace conditions, a lack of access to key creative roles, and a sense of feeling stalled in one's career" as main reasons why women leave. One other major factor was "undermining behaviour from managers".
Certain aspects of an unfriendly work environment has been attributed to unconscious bias, which in turn causes the attrition of female engineers. Gebi observed that female colleagues tend to be interrupted in meetings more often than men and also tend to assigned to taking meeting minutes despite holding an equally technical position.
"A classic incident that keeps recurring is when I visit my customers with my male colleague, it would be automatically assumed that he was my boss," Gebi said.
Although these examples might not be the most devastating of stories of gender discrimination in the office, they still served as a clear reminder that women working in tech are constantly forced to "prove themselves" or risk being dismissed and disrespected.

多元化与包容性拥护者 A Diversity and Inclusive Champion
由人们某些潜在意识和自然倾向而导致的无意识偏见是一个长期存在的问题。企业正逐渐注意到它所带来的负面影响并通过必要的培训,以消减其对多元化的影响。
戈碧表示,微软将无意识偏见的识别与相关培训作为D&I工作的首要之一。
每位员工都必须接受培训,这将帮助大家意识到他们日常持有的偏见。微软要求员工们在接受培训后写下他们的D&I承诺书以此切实改善他们的行为。
戈碧解释道:“每个人都有着个性化的D&I优先级,这取决于你个人在D&I旅程上走到了哪一步:发展能力、做出行动、产生影响。”
“通过我们的努力,人们现在更加了解自己的行为。这个培训项目非常成功的创造了一个更具包容性的工作场所。” 她说道,“现在开会时,我常能看到女性同事更加主动地参与到对话中,且其他同事会积极征求她们的想法。”
正如公认的包容性策略师与多元化专家Verna Myers比喻说:“多元化是你被邀请出席这个party;包容性是你被邀请到舞池跳舞。”
在这方面,戈碧一直是D&I的真正拥护者,也是将D&I融入到工作环境的积极推动者,并确保包容性是她决策的核心。她在这方面的付出之多以至让人忘了这并不是她的本职工作。她一直以来积极支持和参与微软各类有关女性群体的活动,参与主办公司的年度D&I大会,主持面向高中女生的DigiGirlz Day活动(为高中女生提供科技相关职业介绍)、并身体力行打造了一支来自多个国家和拥有不同背景的多元化团队。 
职场之外,她经常会被邀请到各种STEM会议和活动上发表演说,其中她在美国商会2018年年度We for She会议上发表的主题演讲给人们留下了极为深刻的印象。
“我对D&I充满热情,因为我们离目标的距离还是太远了!”戈碧简单地表明了她的立场。“只有当我们拥有多元化的工作环境时,才能拥有一个有趣的工作环境。如果每个人都一模一样,我无法想象会多么无聊。当具有不同背景、文化和经验的人们聚在一起时,多元化将真正促进思想的冲撞和创新的融合。”
“从商业角度来看,如果你的企业没有多元化的员工团队,又如何能服务多样化的客户呢?”她说。
在工作场所建立问责文化同样重要,甚至更为重要。戈碧说,提出问题并制定年度具体计划只是第一步。从每次对话和每一次互动开始,我们都必须对彼此的所作所为担负起责任,以树立我们的D&I文化。
在领导D&I工作方面,她认为,“首先要在组建D&I工作委员会时就要确保加入委员会的人都对此抱有热情。然后大家互相支持彼,并负起责任执行这些计划,这是至关重要的。”
“然而,一切的一切,最终都取决于能够推动对话前进的人。企业可以为员工提供最好的工具与资源,但是激励D&I发声者的是他们的决心与信念——因为这并不是他们的日常工作。” 但她补充道,在微软,D&I目标也被包括在内每位员工的绩效评估中,由此直接激励着高层领导。
“我一直在告诉自己和委员会成员:我们必须相信自己所做的一切。” 戈碧说,“我们只要坚持下去。不要放弃——我们一定会看到结果。”
Unconscious bias, shaped by years of internalized experiences and our natural tendency to categorize, is a real and continuous problem. Its negative effects on businesses are slowly emerging, prompting companies to quickly implement mandatory trainings as a solution to their diversity deficit.
Microsoft places unconscious-bias identification and training front and centre at its D&I efforts and takes a very systematic approach in tackling them, according to Gebi. 
Every employee is required to go through the training, which will help the person be aware of the types of biases they carry. After that, workers are required to write down their D&I commitment to improve their practice. 
"Each person will have a personalized D&I core priority based on where you are in D&I Journey which includes three parts: developing capabilities; making it real; making an impact," Gebi explained.
"Through our efforts, people are definitely much more aware of their own behaviour and this training has created a much more inclusive workplace," she said. "Now I see female colleagues being addressed directly in meetings and their opinions were proactively sought.”
As nationally recognized inclusion strategist and diversity expert Verna Myers said: "Diversity is being invited to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance.”
In that regard, Gebi has been a true champion of D&I, leading the transformation of her workplace and ensuring inclusivity is at the core of her decision-making, so much so that you'd forget this isn't her main role. She has hosted & supported countless events for Microsoft's female resource groups, keynoted at DigiGirlz Day event (which provides high school girls an introduction to a career in technology), helped to organize the company's annual inclusion conference, as well as making sure she is constantly building a diverse team.
Outside of her work, she has been invited to speak at panels and STEM conferences frequently, including the memorable keynote she delivered at American Chamber of Commerce's annual We for She Conference in 2018. 
"I'm passionate about D&I because we're not there yet!" Gebi simply stated. "Only when we have a diverse work environment can we have an interesting work environment. I can't imagine how boring the workplace would be if everyone were the same. When people of different background, culture and experiences come together, it truly fosters a melting pot of ideas and innovation.”
"From a business perspective, if you don't have a diverse workforce in your own company, how can you expect your products and services to be as diverse as the populations that are being served?" she said.
Building a culture of accountability at the workplace is equally important, if not more. Singling out issues and putting together a concrete plan for the year is only the first step of the process, Gebi said. We need to hold each other accountable to land our D&I culture starting with every conversation and every interaction.  
In terms of leading D&I effort, “It's essential to identify the passionate individuals when you form a D&I committee, then, for the rest of the year, you support each other and hold each other accountable in executing these initiatives one by one," she said.
"In the end, it's the people who can drive the conversation forward. Companies can provide employees with the best tools and resources, but it's the determination and conviction in the belief that motivates the activists, since it's not their day-to-day job," she said, adding that at Microsoft, D&I targets are included in each worker's performance review and directly creates incentive for top level leaders. 
"I've always been telling myself and my committee members: You have to believe in what you are doing," Gebi said. "We must remain persistent. Don't give up – you will definitely see results.”

Ladies Who Tech相信教育是赋权女性的引擎,也是女性未来独立的基础。我们希望,通过研讨会、年度大会与各种活动将妇女纳入STEM话题中,激励更多企业与组织制定更多面向女性与母亲们的更具包容性的政策。让我们在这个充满着爱的日子里,以及生活中的每一天,向了不起的母亲们表示敬意,为她们的力量、勇气和耐心喝彩!
At Ladies Who Tech, we believe education is an engine to women's empowerment and the foundation for a future of independence. We hope that through connecting women in STEM through workshops, conventions and events, companies and organizations will leave inspired to enact changes that are more inclusive of women and mothers. Once again, a big salute to our incredible mothers for their strength, courage and patience in this special month, and every day!

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