We recently met Michelle Thatcher via our Three Dames With A Clue Facebook Group.
One day, I got an email from Michelle about networking events she was putting together in Los Angeles. The first thought I had was, “Damn, this dame has gumption.” I asked her if she’d be interested in doing an Authentic Expression, to my delight, she was. As you’ll find out by reading her AE, you’ll see that her POV is from the corporate reinvention perspective and quite a good read.
Please welcome, Dame Michelle Thatcher!
Tell me about you: Your name, pseudonym, where you’re from and what your read is about?
I’m Michelle Thatcher, and I’m from Los Angeles, by way of San Francisco, Chicago, and Dallas. For nearly a decade I’ve been writing about technology for various media outlets; most recently I was an editor at CNET.com, where I developed and wrote hardware and software news and reviews. Currently I’m doing some freelancing in the technology space and developing a site that taps into my passion for food and cooking.
What does being a woman mean to you?
Because of my background I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what it means specifically to be a woman working in the technology field. Up until a few years ago I would have told you that it was a challenge: it sometimes seemed that I needed to prove that I deserved to be here, while male colleagues were immediately accepted into the fold. And it can be isolating to be the only woman on a team, or to look at upper management and see just one woman, if any.
But in the past few years I’ve seen a dramatic change. Generally speaking (and I acknowledge this is a huge generalization), women are communicators and connectors. And a huge slice of the tech world has become about communicating and connecting with people via the Web. So more women are using tech, and participating in the tech community, and moving into entrepreneurial roles so they can develop even better sites and services. It’s exhilarating.
Have you, are you, or will you reinvent yourself and, of course, what does reinventing yourself mean to you?
Several times! People who knew me as a poet and a Latin scholar in high school and college have expressed surprise that I’ve been covering technology for so many years. I had to do some reinventing when I moved to Los Angeles after six years of being thoroughly enmeshed in San Francisco’s culture. And I’m currently in the process of reinventing my professional self, moving away from writing about technology and toward using that technology to reach audiences.
My personality type is change-averse, so these transitional stages can be difficult. I’ve really challenged myself to learn to be comfortable with uncertainty. And the more life changes I go through, the more I learn about my core self–the parts of me that don’t change. That’s comforting, and it gives me confidence for the next reinvention.