Women in Technology Series - Featuring Olivea Holley, QuoteThis blog is part of our on-going Women in Technology series. 

Olivea Holley is a Recruiting Senior Manager here at Consilio. Olivea has been working in recruiting at Consilio for five years, but previously was a document reviewer for seven years. Olivea earned her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Political Science from Villanova University and her Juris Doctorate from Howard University. Olivea is involved in Consilio’s Black Responsiveness Affinity Group and mentoring program. To Olivea, the best part of her job is working with interesting individuals from a variety of backgrounds. 

How did you get into this industry?

By accident – I left my job and moved back to D.C. without another job lined up. Someone suggested I try document review, and I ended up having an interview with Jennifer Vaughan. Jennifer asked me what I wanted to do, and I was like, “well, your job seems interesting!”

I did document review for a while, but around five years ago, Jennifer returned and asked me if I was still interested in her job. And here I am today.

Has there ever been a time during your career when your gender played an apparent obstacle?

Definitely, for several reasons. In other places I’ve worked, I have been in meetings where I was somehow expected to be the person taking minutes. I have also been told to watch my tone so that I don’t sound a certain way when I know that if I were the opposite gender, my tone or phrasing would have been celebrated. I have even been told that there are certain jobs that I shouldn’t have because I am a woman. Then, you throw out the fact that I am black, which makes a sort of trifecta.

What is your advice for women that are working in predominately male settings?

Reach out to other people in the field, particularly women. I have been lucky to have great mentors that I can turn to whenever I need help or guidance. You definitely have to cultivate those relationships over time. However, I have gone up to people and been like, “you don’t know me, but I want to get to know you.” It has taken some people aback but has also been pretty effective so far.

What is an accomplishment you’ve made during your career that you’re particularly proud of?

I am really proud of our department what we have made it into. When we started, the department was small, and there were only a couple hundred people at the company. Now, we have a couple thousand people working at any given week.

What do you do to maintain a work-life balance?

There is no such thing as a work-life balance. You have to decide what’s going to be a priority for you at that hour and then get it done. When everyone and everything is constantly wanting attention from you, you just need to figure out what you’re doing and what percentage of attention it is going to get at that time.