This blog is part of our ongoing Women in Technology series.

Danielle V. Brooks is a Director in Consilio’s Global Revenue Organization supporting the Financial Services Vertical. In her role as the vertical’s chief of staff, she coordinates and helps drive multiple knowledge sharing initiatives to include exclusive client-centered events and monthly communications that keep our clients informed on the latest developments in both their industry and ours. She also provides relationship management and team coordination across thousands of eDiscovery and document review matters. In addition to her main responsibilities, Danielle is an active member of the Client Experience and Diversity and Inclusion leadership committees. She also serves as a co-chair of Consilio’s first established affinity group, The Black Responsiveness Affinity Group (B.R.A.G.) and participates in the company’s summer internship program. Prior to her current role, Danielle was the Director of Global Learning at Consilio where she helped implement the company’s online university and established the internal employee review process, in addition to creating the universal onboarding program for new hires. Before this role, Danielle was the Manager of Sales Performance and Education where she designed and delivered a world-class onboarding program for Consilio’s Global Revenue Organization. A paralegal by trade, Danielle began her career in Los Angeles and has lived and worked for an Am LAW 10 law firm in Silicon Valley and New York City. Danielle currently resides with her husband and daughter in the Atlanta metropolitan area.

How did you get into this industry?

Early in my paralegal career, it became obvious that technology was going to change the way we worked. At the time, imaging and database technology was just coming online and there were starting to be opportunities for paralegals to move to what was being called at the time “automated litigation support.” I chose to go that route and became a project manager in the ‘new’ space versus remaining a ‘traditional’ paralegal. I have never regretted that decision.

What were some pivotal moments in your career that helped to get you to where you are today?

In 2008 when ‘eDiscovery’ was emerging as an industry I moved to New York City to work for an Am Law 10 firm. I started as a Litigation Support Trainer and later relocated to the Silicon Valley office as a Project Coordinator where I also oversaw the Los Angeles office. Living in New York and Silicon Valley and working with some of the smartest minds in the legal and technology spaces gave me confidence in myself and an understanding of the unique skills that made me successful later in my career. Another pivotal moment was joining Consilio in 2016. I created a world-class onboarding and training program for our Global Revenue Organization and was given the opportunity to do the same for the entire organization as the Director of Global Learning. In my current role at Consilio, I am part of an exclusive team supporting our most important clients. I have said ‘yes’ to opportunities even when I have not been 100% confident in myself, but have trusted my colleagues’ belief in me.

Have you ever noticed a time in your career where your gender proved to differentiate you?

Both my gender and race have been huge differentiators in my career. I have always worked in professional settings with very few black people so that tends to make me stand out. Being a woman in these spaces was beneficial because some of the stereotypes that are attributed to black men don’t affect black women and so I was given opportunities that my male counterparts were not. I have learned to embrace the things that make me different, but it is also important to understand the underlying culture of an organization and to work to adopt pieces of that culture. The only way an organization can be truly successful is when all members are aligned on culture and goals. Finding the right “fit” in this instance is key to career success.

What is your advice for someone working in a predominately male workplace?

Embrace it! I think sometimes as women we can get intimidated in predominately male spaces because they can seem unfamiliar. The ‘old boys club’ has certainly existed in places where I have worked, and I have understood that this is part of a cultural norm in those places. Instead of trying to change a culture, I have worked within it. My goal in any workplace is to do great work. When you do great work and build a good reputation, you are invited to participate regardless of gender. I suggest getting involved, volunteering when opportunities present and getting to know your colleagues. Also, let your colleagues get to know you. Familiarity builds bonds and can grow key relationships.

What do you think companies could do to motivate more women to pursue careers in technology?

Remove the burdens that exist for women in the workplace generally. Depending on age and life stage, women have many competing responsibilities outside of work. Whether caring for children, a life partner, a parent, or others, women tend to be handed responsibilities that don’t fall exclusively on men. Companies that build support systems for the things that compete against a career would go a long way. Technology careers require huge time commitments and can constrain the ability of talented women from being successful if they cannot meet those requirements. Remote work has done wonders for professional women; so a combination of remote options and other programs may help some women experience career success and still handle their other life responsibilities.