Leslie got her electrical engineering degree at Georgia Tech, and moved to Phoenix for a job at Motorola. She has since spent 18 years in the field of semiconductors, and now works at Microchip as a design engineering manager and project lead in 32-bit microprocessor design.
Tell us about your first job in tech. Who did you work for, what was your role, and what excited you about the work you did?
I started as a layout contractor at IBM in North Carolina. I really enjoyed the people and team spirit. However, I quickly made the jump to the semiconductor companies in Phoenix.
If there was point in your childhood when you first became interested in technology, describe that event or experience.
I didn’t particularly become interested in tech until college. I had joined as a civil engineer, but really liked the introduction to electronics course, and knew there would be many more job opportunities.
Who has been the most influential individual or mentor in your education or career and how did this person help advance your role in technology?
Many people, especially other women I have connected with and related to along the way.
What do you love most about working in the tech world?
I feel like it is always changing, and has some positive impact on society.
What do you believe is the biggest hurdle women face in pursuing a career in technology?
Confidence or grit. Sticking it out when you have doubt.
If you could change one thing about your education or career path, what would it be?
I may have done my Master’s later, but hard to tell how that would have changed my path.
If you have ever experienced sexism as a female in technology, and you think others could learn from this experience, please describe what happened and how you responded.
I have had to have tolerance of commentary at times, but I don’t think sexism has ever changed my job direction/opportunities.
Who in the tech field inspires you and why?
Most inspiring – Elon Musk, always is moving forward against the obstacles. But you can learn from everyone.
If you could give advice to other girls in tech, what would it be?
Network. It makes a difference in your happiness where you are, and will definitely affect your future.
For more information on Leslie Dowdy, connect with her on LinkedIn.
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