Executive Spotlight: Nancy Li
Nancy Li, BrightAI's VP of Product, discusses women in tech, diversity, and the power of having a voice.
The reason BrightAI is able to deliver innovative tech solutions to real-life problems comes down to one thing: the intelligence, experience, and vision of our deeply talented team.
We sat down with BrightAI VP of Product, Nancy Li, to discuss why she came to BrightAI, the importance of diversity in the tech industry, and the power of having a voice.
Top tech talent is in high demand. What made you choose BrightAI?
My big passion is inventing and applying new technologies to real-world problems, in a really accelerated way. BrightAI is pioneering a whole new AIoT platform to do this quickly, affordably, and effectively.
We can infuse intelligence into physical businesses, giving them more control over everything from their day to day operations to their new digital products and services. I’m excited to help make AI and IOT accessible to more businesses, because we can help create massive enterprise value.
Another passion of mine is bringing more diversity to tech. Having more diverse leaders in technology is near and dear to my heart. BrightAI’s customers are a mixed set of large-scale traditional companies that are essential to our economy and infrastructure. We are solving critical problems for their workforce and consumers with AI and IOT. In order to serve our customers well, we need inclusive product strategies and decisions at every level that welcome different voices and ideas.
That’s why BrightAI is committed to building a diverse executive team. We take the time and effort to specifically seek out diverse candidates. Since I personally drove the diversity effort for Facebook's product community for years, our visions aligned right away. BrightAI and I are both committed to elevating more women and minorities in tech.
You’re one of the few women leaders in tech now, especially in Artificial Intelligence. Why do you think there aren’t more women pursuing tech careers?
I was one of the only girls in my computer science class, and I think there’s still some stigma around encouraging girls to pick computer science as a major. But more and more women are embracing tech careers. I believe everyone has their own superpowers. Diversity does not stop at gender or ethnicity—it also speaks to every human's professional and life experiences. We need to remove our unconscious bias and maximize the strength of each person for our company and customer’s success.
Why do you think diverse executive boards are so important?
Because our customers are so diverse. Ultimately, our goal is to serve a very wide range of businesses that reach 100% of our population. That's half male and half female, with different backgrounds and cultures. We need a team that's diverse enough to be able to build a product that's inclusive. You can only build a product that works for everyone if you have a team with diverse perspectives.
What advice do you have for companies that want to improve diversity?
I have a three step diversity-building system: find, grow, keep.
First, simply look a little harder. If you move beyond just hiring the first qualified person, you’ll find a lot of equally accomplished—and more diverse—talent. Next, once you’ve hired a team member, give them space to grow. Continue to give them opportunities that match their interests and talents, and listen to their ideas. Good ideas can come from anybody, so give everyone a voice. Empowering your team to share their ideas is a win-win for everyone. If you encourage, engage, and respect your team, step 3—keep them!—is easy.
Interested in hearing more from BrightAI’s thought leaders? Discover how our other founders are helping transform multiple industries through next generation AI. If you have any questions, or if you’d like to schedule an interview with any one of our founders, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.