Seven Questions with Google’s Regina Hoshimi
Welcome back to our Women in Tech blog series! As you may know, Aragon is gearing up for its second annual Women in Technology (WIT) Awards, so we are highlighting the extensive contributions of last year’s winners.
This week’s interview with Regina Hoshimi, Head of Global Influencer Relations at Google, discusses life as a working mom, Regina’s favorite time-saving tips, and wisdom from Tupac.
1. Please describe yourself in three words.
Connector, Assiduous, Tupac.
2. What do you find most interesting about the technology field in which you work?
As Head of Influencer Relations at Google Cloud, I have the opportunity to interface with our users and see how the cloud is transforming their businesses and industries. It’s incredible to witness the pace of change as a result of extracting meaningful insights from a Yottabyte world and revolutionary new utilizations of AI and machine learning. These technologies provide accessibility and opportunity for businesses and individuals where none was available before. I get to sit in between technology and the human experience, to tell stories about how these people from all walks of life can now connect through borderless experiences, and aggregate global thinking and talents to solve problems faster.
I always make it a point to be in roles where I have a close ear to the market as I get energy from engaging diverse groups. There is so much value to take from the perspectives of customers and industry pundits, and I’ve always believed that harnessing these perspectives and reference points leads to better business decisions.
3. How do you find work-life balance, or what do you enjoy outside of work?
Imagine you are giving advice to your closest friend. How would you guide them to draw boundaries? When you look back on your life, what will you define yourself by? Surely not the number of emails you cranked through at 2am…
I would say that working in an environment where you can bring your whole self to work helps with feeling more balanced overall. You also have to be honest with yourself on where you need to draw boundaries and protect your time so that you can recharge and put your best self forward. Do one thing just for you each week. For me, it’s being active. I try to hit the tennis courts or redwood trails for fresh air.
For people managers, I think it’s important to let your team get work done when they can (I realize this is very role-dependent). I have some local team members who do their best work really early in the day or late at night, and that’s okay given we are on a truly global cadence. I make sure to be prescriptive about the goals we are driving toward, but it’s important to me that I empower every member of my team with the freedom to be the CEO of their own business. Sure enough, they find a way to hit or surpass expectations. I also give my team wellness days or afternoons off after we complete big projects, marquee events, or heavy work travel. They appreciate that I respect their need for self time.
As a new mom, I have a newfound appreciation for working moms and I’m still learning to balance life overall. I share my candid experiences with other women who are looking to build a family so they see different challenges some families face, but everyone will find ways of doing things that fit specifically for them. No judgment here. If you get food delivered every night because that gives you extra time with your baby, I say good for you!
A few of my favorite time-saving tricks:
- Smoothies for the win. You can put your greens, proteins, and vitamins all in there for a meal on the go.
- Dry shampoo (unscented) can save the day.
- Find a gym or personal trainer that will do 30-minute sessions with you. Go hard in those 30 minutes.
- When there’s no time to choose the perfect outfit, monochrome is sleek and an easy option.
- Pearl earrings make any casual outfit a bit more polished and intentional.
4. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career and how did you overcome it?
As a young, petite, fashion-forward, minority woman in tech, I have been subject to flawed assumptions throughout the years. And although my shoe collection rivals those of the greats, there’s so much more on my mind that I prefer to discuss. I tend to have a strong gut read on situations and people and have learned to turn their misjudgments about me to my advantage. (Come chat with me for more here.)
I used to feel disappointed that I was not accepted into the old boys’ club and tried my best to fit in; I still face this at different events and gatherings. However, I now recognize that my greatest career wins have come when I brought my unique perspective and authentic creativity to the table. When I look at the great leaders of the world that I admire, it’s hard to imagine them trying to fit into the status quo. I am fortunate enough to have found mentors that recognize my strengths and help me develop them. Not everyone is going to understand you, so you have to learn to be comfortable with yourself in any situation and proceed with taking care of business.
5. Are there enough opportunities for women in tech? How would you assess the progress women have made in the tech industry?
Most of the women I know who are currently in the tech industry will always find a way to create the path to new opportunity.
For the next generation of tech women, change needs to happen with transparency and training. There are many career paths—hard and soft skills that are valued within tech—that are not visible or understood by those outside of the industry. More visibility about what to expect in evolving industries and professional landscapes can help women better prepare for success and take control of their careers.
Diversity of ideas and backgrounds leads to greater innovation and progress, and I’m glad to see the increasing industry awareness in tech workforces. I would like to see companies continue to explore new recruiting avenues and be even more attentive to inherent biases that impact their hiring processes. Casting the widest net for the best candidates regardless of sexual orientation or heritage will drive greater innovation and benefit tech overall.
6. What are some things you think should be addressed on macro, peer, and educational levels to encourage women to feel empowered in the tech industry?
We need to empower young women to know their worth and teach them how to reach their potential. Last year, female full-time workers made only 80.5 cents for every dollar earned by men, a gender wage gap of 20%. That is a hefty sum over the lifetime of a career, and it’s up to us to help women of future generations understand pay equity and give them the tools to address inequities.
We can work together to collectively teach more young women these skills and help them build their confidence to handle any and every situation with strength and grace. From sharing interviewing and negotiation tactics to best practices for conflict management and resolution, educating the next generation of leaders is a shared responsibility and it’s important that we make this type of education accessible to all.
Women in the senior ranks hold a wealth of insight. I ask that we all remember the peaks and troughs of our own journeys and lean into empathy and mentorship. We can help build up the community by sharing our experiences and creating room for all women to be successful.
7. Please provide a WIT call to action.
Realness is inspiring, and we should promote taking calculated risks because it is way more fulfilling. So, remember to share your failures. The right minds will listen and learn from these experiences and appreciate the opportunity to take that carpool lane past heavy traffic.
“I’m not saying I’m gonna change the world, but I guarantee that I will spark the brain that will change the world.” – Tupac