As a data-centric company with team members based across the world — from Silicon Valley to the United Kingdom and Singapore — Seagate Technology understand the value added when diverse individuals come together. This emphasis on blending diverse people and backgrounds is made all the clearer when looking at the way Seagate’s Core Teams function.
At Seagate Technology, Core Teams sit at the heart of the product development process. Composed of diverse, cross-functional members, they drive the end-to-end development process under the direction of Core Team Leads like Angie Culbert. Based in Minnesota, Culbert is responsible for achieving program goals, resolving cross-functional conflicts, and ensuring her team is grounded in a culture of trust and support.
Recently, Culbert shared with Fairygodboss what a typical day in her work life looks like, how Seagate is fostering diversity, and her No. 1 piece of advice to other female leaders in tech.
As a company committed to fostering inclusion, Seagate supports the development and growth of Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) — from groups dedicated to veterans and LGBTQ employees, to young professionals and interfaith communities. In addition to your “day job,” you’re also a leader of your local women’s ERG. What inspired you to take on this additional role?
The connections I have made with individuals from all divisions at Seagate, who share the desire to be part of something special, has broadened my perspective. I am able to take what I have gained from participating in the women’s ERG into all aspects of my role at Seagate — and into my personal life, as well. Seagate ERGs are employee-led and provide many benefits to members, including promotion of diversity, employee development and support, networking, and leadership opportunities. These all contribute to an inclusive culture at Seagate.
From executive visibility to professional development, becoming an ERG leader has a number of measurable benefits that help Seagate employees in their “day jobs.” How has your involvement in an ERG supported you as a Core Team Lead?
My ERG’s mission includes supporting women's opportunities, successes, and advancement. This keeps me grounded and promotes leading with authenticity, which is very important to me and a key factor in fostering inclusivity among the Core Team.
As a Core Team Lead, how do you practice and promote inclusion?
I am extremely fortunate to be part of a diverse Core Team at Seagate. That in and of itself gives our team an advantage. Diversity has a direct impact on high-performing teams. My goal is to create a sense of belonging for everyone on the Core Team. We kicked off our program with a Core Team chartering session, where each team member shared his or her own strengths with the team. This process ensures that everyone feels valued, which is a catalyst for engagement and collaboration. The more individual team members feel connected to each other, the more creative and vulnerable they allow themselves to be, which allows for great brainstorming and better decision making all around.
It’s no secret that there is gender imbalance among technical and leadership roles. What advice do you have for other women who aspire to lead within their own teams and organizations?
Look for opportunities to participate in a team. Once you’re a part of the team, it's important to get to know each team member and listen to their concerns and ideas. Most importantly, be open and transparent; authentic leadership emphasizes trust, openness, and positivity — all key elements to creating an inclusive work environment.
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