Women in Technology Series – Featuring Laurey Harris
This blog post is part of our on-going Women in Technology series.
Laurey Harris is a Senior Account Manager at Consilio from Los Angeles, now based in Charlotte, North Carolina. Laurey earned her undergraduate degree from Occidental College and JD from the University of California, Hastings School of Law. With 15 years of experience in eDiscovery, Laurey is licensed to practice law in the state of California.
What is the most exciting aspect of working at Consilio?
I love that I am surrounded by such intelligent people. Being in this environment always allows me to feel challenged by my work. What do I have to gain if I am the smartest in the room?
What was the journey like that lead you to eDiscovery?
I started out by working for a law firm in the Bay Area doing litigation, then relocated to Columbia, South Carolina, to be with my husband. After a year of staying home with my daughter, I started contracting as re-entry back into the workforce and met someone who would become my mentor. He convinced me to stay in this industry, and I continued on in eDiscovery before moving to Charlotte. At that time, I was planning on taking the bar to practice law in Charlotte. However, that good friend and mentor persuaded me to continue this path with eDiscovery, so here I am today.
Have you ever noticed gender to be an apparent obstacle in your career?
Unfortunately, yes. Earlier on in my career, I learned after I had left a company that some of my male co-workers in the same position with the same skillset and experience were being paid more than I was. Learning this was obviously quite aggravating, but I was later able to leverage this knowledge when negotiating my pay in other positions in my career.
The differences in how women and men speak up for themselves in the workplace are well-known. Do you have any advice for women working in a primarily male-dominated industry?
Know your value and advocate for yourself. Women can typically be hesitant in asking for what they deserve. A friend of mine who works in HR once told me: “if you don’t negotiate everything, you are a fool.” Asking for what you deserve in the workplace is essential. The worst that the other person could say is “no.”
Also, keep in mind that there are positive aspects of being a woman in tech. Since we really are a burgeoning demographic in this industry, we are, in a way, a sort of anomaly, and we need to leverage that.
What are your tips for maintaining a work-life balance?
It has been a learning curve for me to understand when to be in work mode and when to turn it off. When I was younger, I felt that I had to complete tasks as quickly as possible. But, I have learned that there is an appropriate time for everything. Now, I can easily distinguish what’s necessary to take on immediately and what I can complete tomorrow. I have a son who is now ten years old who once told me after he did something wrong: “Mom…we are all just doing the best we can,” and I looked at him and said buddy, you are absolutely right. That has been my motto in life.