Her Spark asks Deandra Hill, Secretary of Her Spark's Board of Directors, Five Questions. Here’s what she had to say!
Q1: Who is your favorite female role model and why?
I have been lucky to have been surrounded by many nurturing and empowering women, both personally and professionally. In my professional life, Coretta Sharpless, principal at Northside Elementary, encouraged me to find my voice and my place while I worked under her. When I struggle with how to approach or show up to a situation, I ask myself, “What would Coretta say?”
Q2: What are you reading right now? Or what’s next on your reading list?
I’m always reading multiple books at a time. I'm currently reading High on the Hog by Jessica B. Harris, The Prophets by Robert Jones, The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson, New World Sourdough by Bryan Ford, and Planting in a Post-Wild World by Thomas Ranier.
Q3: What’s the best career or academic advice you ever received?
True collaboration is like improv. Instead of saying “No, but...” to someone’s idea, try “Yes, and....” Another handy phrase when trying to understand someone’s point of view is “Tell me more.” (Thanks, Coretta)
Q4: Her Spark's mission is to equip girls with the STEM skills and opportunities to succeed in the careers of tomorrow - dedicated to solving gender disparity in computer science, engineering and technology careers. What does the Her Spark mission mean to you?
Equity is at the heart of everything I do. I have tasked myself to be an agent of change. I have known both what it is like to be the only person who looks like me in a room. I have also had the opposite experience, where I felt seen and understood and not alone. I hope to help in my little slice of the world by providing opportunities and community so that more and more girls and women are encouraged to enter and remain in science and technology— where they are not the only women in the room. And even if they are the only one, I want to provide them skills and tools so their voices can be heard.
Q5: What is your favorite part of Summer Summit? If you haven’t attended before, what are you looking forward to the most?
Her Spark is able to tap into a network of interesting and capable women in science and science-related fields. The speakers have so much passion for what they do. I even sat in on panels last year right after I was on maternity leave because I was excited to listen to the speakers.
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About Her Spark
Founded in 2017 by professional women and business leaders, Her Spark is dedicated to solving gender disparity in computer science, engineering and technology careers. Her Spark’s mission is to equip girls with the skills and opportunities to succeed in the careers of tomorrow. For more information, to learn ways to get involved or to make a donation, please visit HerSpark.org.