Spotlight on Rebecca Brueck

Introducing the amazing Rebecca – you won’t want to miss her Top 10 Tips for the next generation of female leaders! She also talks about how important and career-changing it can be to ask for what you want.

Rebecca is the Program Management Office (PMO) Director at Intel where she has worked for an outstanding 33+ years. After graduating from the University of Texas with a BSEE Engineering, she began working as an Engineering Manager before moving her way up.

As a woman in tech, her take on self-promotion shouldn’t be ignored – statistically men aren’t nearly as reluctant to showcase their skills and ask for the best projects, so to stay competitive, women need to be doing the same.

Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations. (6)

What quote inspires you the most?

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest” – Ben Franklin

What has been the most significant barrier in your career to date?

Overcoming my reluctance to self-promote has been the most significant barrier in my career. It took me too long to realize that not showcasing my value and asking for assignments I wanted was only putting me behind my peers because they were showcasing their value and asking for the best projects. Once I realized that my colleagues were self-promoting and asking for the best roles, I started small and then as I saw the success and clarity that it brought to my career path I did it more often.

What is the best way to negotiate salary and scope of work?

Once I learned to self promote, I spent my time negotiating for my role as opposed to my salary. I found that once I started negotiating for the role I wanted, my joy and passion were higher which led to greater job satisfaction. You should demand equal pay for equal work but I found that pursuing my passions led to greater advancement and success than negotiating for a promotion.

What do you think are the three most important characteristics to be an amazing leader?

Humility – Leaders need to be concerned with team dynamics and problem-solving instead of their own advancement. By focusing on the team and then the work that needs to be completed, your team will accomplish more than you ever expected.

Empathy – Leadership is about inspiring people to do things they never thought they could. In order to do this, you need to listen closely and be empathetic to perceived barriers and find ways to help break down those barriers.

Accountability – Nothing can tear a team down faster than if everyone is not held equally accountable for executing their commitments and communicating good news as well as bad news quickly so goals can be accomplished.

How have you built confidence and/or resiliency over the course of your career?

Focusing on realizing that the negative self-talk you hear, is not you. Push that voice aside and learn from the difficult things you have accomplished in your life. Then break down whatever problem you are facing into smaller more manageable steps and move forward.

You do not have to know the full path forward when you start, just keep moving forward and you will find that you will get there. If you make a mistake along the way, realize that you are farther along than you would have been if you hadn’t started. Fix the mistake and keep going forward. The more you do this, the quieter that negative voice will get. I promise.

Why do you think companies would benefit from having more women at the top?

Women have a diverse way of looking at problems and on average women tend to collaborate better. It has been proven in numerous studies that collaboration and diversity lead to higher performance and a better bottom line.

What is the role mentorship and sponsorship have played in your career?

Mentorship and sponsorship are very different. I always had mentors as I was curious and wanted to learn new skills. Mentors are always available to people who ask for them. It took me a while to appreciate the difference between mentors and sponsors.

Sponsors advocate for you when you are not in the room. You don’t have to ask for a sponsor, however when trying to get a new role or position, ask people that have a seat at the table to help you get where you want to go. Then help them get where they want to go by doing the extra assignments and supporting them when they are not in the room. You will get a lot farther than trying to get there on your own through keeping your head down and working hard.

As a leader, how do you stay mindful of who’s at the table and who’s missing?

When you first join an activity make it a priority to evaluate who is at the table, what their role is, and what their position or bias is. Evaluate what they advocate for based on their position to reduce their ability to influence you incorrectly. Then evaluate what other opinions and information you need to make a good decision.

What advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders?

  1. Remember to be true to yourself. Believe in yourself. You got this!

  2. Remember to prioritize your family and friends. The career will always need something done but those personal relationships are precious. Remember that when making priority calls.

  3. Have fun. Life isn’t always fun but if you are spending more time unhappy than you are being happy, find out why and change it.

  4. Follow your passions and your dreams if you get an idea that inspires you, act on it!

  5. Ask for help to get where you want to go. Do it in a way that works for you but remember your peers are asking and getting help so if you aren’t asking they are getting the help you are not getting. Also, remember the worst thing that can happen when asking for help is being told “no”.

  6. Never stop trying to grow and improve yourself. Always evaluate how you could improve something next time while still being proud of what you accomplished this time.

  7. Always understand the “why” behind what you doing.

  8. Problems are treasures. If someone is telling you about a problem they are trusting you with their truth. Being told of a problem is a blessing – treat it as such.

  9. Stand up for yourself. People will respect that.

  10. Don’t be afraid to take risks. A lot of the time you will be glad you did!


How can women support other women in their organizations?

Praise other women when it is authentic and do it publicly. Use your credibility to bring up other women. Remember that you are always on stage and advocate positively for other women. Use your voice and speak up!

Any words of advice you’d like to share?

Remember where you came from, be mindful of where you are going and enjoy the ride!



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