It’s Her Self: Evaine – Facebook Life
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It’s Her Self: Evaine – Facebook Life

In my life, I’ve been
a rocket scientist, I’ve been an Air Force instructor pilot, I’ve been in IT but honestly I’ve not been myself at work
until coming to Facebook. (slow music) My name is Evaine. I’m an operations program
manager at Facebook for infrastructure data centers. I couldn’t afford to go to college so it was either student
loans or scholarships and at one of the college
fairs in high school, found out about the Air Force Academy where they pay you to go to college, in addition to having
a fantastic degree program and all the sports that I wanted. The full policy for the military
is don’t ask, don’t tell, don’t pursue, don’t harass. If I told anybody I was a lesbian, I would have been forced
out of the military. However, they’re also not supposed to ask but there’s a lot more pressure, I think, to appear straight. Over time, you know,
somebody gave me the advice just to treat it as an acting role and so I never let anybody in and that’s one of the things
the military’s known for. You’re supposed to be able to
bond, have that second family, have that comradeship. For me, it was the moment I left work. I didn’t really want to see them because I wanted to
basically go and be gay. The longer you do that, the harder it is to feel that line, to remember what that was like, to remember what you were beforehand. Finding my way into Facebook
was actually more accidental. I went to a career conference that was targeted for Academy graduates. But before going to the event, I had a couple of companies
that asked to interview me. One of the interview
invites was from Facebook and that’s where I learned
about how our data centers are powered by sustainable energy. The scale at which the
data centers operate, the fact that we’ve
got hundred gig connections that go down to rack level. I was blown away and so I was hooked. So I started my role at Facebook and honestly, it felt
like a dream come true. I was committed to put
in every effort I needed and it didn’t go well. The harder I tried, it
seemed like the worse it got. I had some very crucial conversations with my manager where I
wasn’t meeting expectations and what that boiled down to is this was the next journey of me, basically, rediscovering me. I wasn’t bringing myself to work. I was still trying to
fit myself in to the role that I felt like you have
to do in the military. I was trying to be, what
I thought was needed. I wasn’t leveraging my strengths I wasn’t leveraging what I did well And I just kept hitting wall
after wall, essentially. I got in a Lean In circle. So that’s a group of about eight women and you’re peer mentoring each other. I opened up with everything
that was going on and we do take away activities. And the take away I gave
myself was once a day, I’d actually tell somebody how I felt. It essentially forced me to
actually bring more of myself to the table and the more
I opened up to others, I actually had more meaningful
connections with people. I was no longer just, oh
here’s all the great things, I was actually a whole person. I feel like for us women in tech, we feel a lot of pressure
to not be emotional. We always want to be tough and resilient and it’s actually been
very warm and welcoming to be able to relax and not
feel that pressure to just, that me is enough.

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