POSSIBLE Presents: INSPIRED BY Susie Lee - Embracing the Awkwardness
In our industry, we are fortunate enough to have the opportunity to express our values, perspectives, and personalities through our creative work. But it’s easy to become overwhelmed with a mountain of emails, deadlines, and back-to-back meetings that can muffle our process.
In Seattle, we’ve found it liberating to take a deep breath and be reminded of the bigger picture. What drives our creativity? Where do we draw inspiration? What moves us forward? POSSIBLE realizes our most ground-breaking work is deeply rooted in answering these questions. In order to awaken our creative senses, POSSIBLE hosts a quarterly presentation called “INSPIRED BY.” We bring in a professional from outside of our industry – musicians, artists, entrepreneurs, architects – and ask them one simple but complex question: What inspires you?
We kicked off our 2016 series with Susie Lee – the CEO and co-founder of Siren. In addition to being a rock star in the tech industry, Susie is also a visual artist and a graduate of Yale, Columbia, and UW in molecular biophysics and biochemistry, science education, and fine arts, respectively.
We invited Susie to our office to hear about her journey in the tech industry, and the importance of creating a safe work environment for people to discuss ways to increase gender and racial diversity in the workplace.
Susie inspired us to spark awkward and difficult conversations regarding diversity in the workplace, “When you hit something that’s tone deaf, it doesn’t resonate. When you really talk about these difficult conversations, you’re going to find relevant ideas and these relevant ideas will absolutely resonate. I can tell you from a professional level, that’s where your clients will be like ‘Yes, that’s the thing that we want to say.’”
In the end, Susie highlighted the importance of strengthening our community, “As an artist, I really care deeply about the health of the community. If you can embrace the awkwardness, I think you become citizens through these conversations. Embracing awkwardness is like a civic call to action, it’s a way to really improve not only the places that you work, but the neighborhoods around you, and the groups you’re actually in.”
If you’re interested in learning more about Susie and her forward thinking company, visit her website at Siren.mobi