Silicon Valley celebrates CCI Exec
Cox Communications’ Tonya Walley got a special callout from Women of Silicon Valley (WOSV), which recognized her as one of 27 “Badass Black Techies” forging their own paths to success.
Tonya is vice president of field operations and plant maintenance in Chesapeake, Virginia. Prior to joining Cox, she fueled her passion for helping others as vice president of logistics for Community Food Bank of New Jersey.
The women recognized by WOSV — an organization which celebrates accomplished women and genderqueer folks in tech — exemplify resilience and drive, and produce excellence despite the inequities they’ve faced. Below is an excerpt of Tonya’s Q&A. To read the full article about all the inspiring “techies,” click here.
What’s a challenge you’ve faced and how did you get through it?
When I look back over my career in telecommunications and cable, my fierceness is what I feel most proud of. There were moments when I felt I wasn’t good enough to be in the same space as techy men who spoke more technically than I did. I remember being the only woman at work and feeling so uncomfortable.
As my career evolved from front-line field technician to leadership, I focused on my core strength of being a compassionate, servant leader who speaks tech very well, and I’ve used that to fuel my success. I pushed past my own boundaries.
Growing up, there were many obstacles that could’ve permanently derailed me from my journey, like losing my mother at a young age to cancer, to dropping out of college after her death, to struggling with my sexual identity. Now, I’m proud to be the first college graduate in my family. I’m proud to openly represent my LGBTQ family. And I’m proud to be a leader who blazes trails for other women.
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