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United We Are a Force, and Individually We are W.O.N.


Image Courtesy of Anne Racel


Women of Note celebrates the unique talents of women of Hampton Roads and seeks to raise awareness of issues women face in the 21st century. We are well aware of the many hats women wear throughout the day as well as throughout their lives and we would like to give women the opportunity to share their experiences juggling these with our community. By sharing our experiences, we hope to inspire others, learn from their perspectives, and foster a dialogue that creates solutions. Today we spot light Anne Racel.

Affiliation(s) (past and present): US Air Force, PMI, YRYC, OPCYC

40 years. My dad was a gadget person. I was working as a bookkeeper and he said I should learn to do it on the computer. Those were the days when you learned to program because PCs didn't do a whole lot. Fast forward: computers paid better than chemistry and I was a single mom, so switched gears.


How long have you been (working in/participating in) your field? How did you get into it?

40 years. My dad was a gadget person. I was working as a bookkeeper and he said I should learn to do it on the computer. Those were the days when you learned to program because PCs didn't do a whole lot. Fast forward: computers paid better than chemistry and I was a single mom, so switched gears.


How long have you been working/ living in in Hampton Roads?

26 years


What advice would you give young women going into your field?

Just do it! There are still too few of us working in computers, even though this is one field where you're less likely now to face gender discrimination.


Does your gender influence your relationship to your work? In what way?

I think it did more when I had children at home than it does now. Then, I was trying to wear more hats. Now it has affected decisions I've made as to the direction of my career because my husband's job is here and he has less flexibility than I do. So I've not been able to take positions that would take me outside the area.


Have you faced challenges in your field because of your gender or have you found your gender to be an asset? What kinds of challenges or advantages, and how have they affected your life?

I find, when I'm in more of a manager's role, that it affects me more than when I'm a code monkey. As a developer, I'm 'one of the gang.' As a team lead or manager, I've run into situations where I might not get the respect I need from team members because of my gender. This is quite different from when I first started out. At that time, I did run into more of the lack of respect than I do now.


Has parenthood impacted your career or shaped your perspective as a professional? In what ways?

As I said before, it impacted me because I had to wear more hats. I had to make a living to support them, and I had to be there to support them as well.



Know a Woman of Note that should be featured? Please email us at Spotlighthrnews@gmail.com


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