Women’s History Month – Kelly McGill

Women in Big Data is spotlighting amazing women during Women’s History Month.

Kelly McGill joined Amazon in May 2017 as the single threaded owner of AWS Culture and Inclusion. Kelly has been in tech her entire career, starting on the business side building B2B web sites in the late 1980’s using Netscape Navigator and leading enterprise software implementations (SAP) prior to shifting to HR almost 20 years ago. Prior to joining Amazon, Kelly was Chief People Officer at two start-up companies. Both were high growth/founder-run tech companies, where she focused on helping to drive rapid business growth and executive development. Before her role as Chief People Officer, Kelly spent time in a variety of HR and Talent Acquisition leadership roles at Expedia, Microsoft and T-Mobile. Kelly studied computer information systems at Florida Atlantic University and is a certified network engineer. She holds a PhD in Metaphysics from University of Metaphysical Science in California.

My Journey

My name is Kelly McGill, I am the proud mother of two adult daughters, an Anthropologist focused on historical and current comic books and mythology and a Psychologist that is focused on the Gamer”s user experience.

I am a technologist by training and a philosopher in my heart – which explains my daughters career choices. I’ve spent over 25 years in the technology industry, first as a system integrator and later as an organizational change management expert for the top tech companies and the coolest start-ups on the planet. When I was just starting in tech, I worked in both hardware and software…I created business-to-business web sites that connected small retailers to large manufacturers and enabled small businesses to take advantage of new products and negotiate better deals. Working on site in these locations, I had fun mapping out ways to make retailers more efficient and customer-oriented. This resulted in adding new employee development programs, performance management initiatives, and some of the first computerized labor scheduling programs for hourly workforces. This was at a time when there was no such thing as Wi-Fi, so I was running cable from computer to computer to time clock. It was a lot of fun and was able to drive significant impact to customers, employees, and organizations.

What motivates me…

 This ability to drive impact and help others realize their own success, whether it is a customer being happy with their experience, an employee feeling engaged and proud of their accomplishments, or a business owner or shareholder realizing results, I enjoy seeing the smile on another person’s face when they get the magic buzz of their own success.

What often bothers me is how fear can immobilize people.

You cannot discover new oceans unless you have courage to lose sight of the shore.

Feel the fear and do it anyway.

I believe that as a community we are well positioned to make an important impact to ourselves, each other, and society.

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