Being Human & Being Professional Are Not Mutually Exclusive: Kathy Rich | Women in Tech

March 08 - 2023

Kathy Rich

Kathy's Story

When I started my career in Human Resources well over 25 years ago, the HR discipline was very different from what it has evolved into today. I witnessed first-hand the struggle for the HR function to have a seat at the leadership/strategy table and to have the discipline recognized as a critical part of the business. Being a part of this evolution has not always been easy, but it has been incredibly rewarding and eye-opening. I believe that Human Resources makes everyday life for employees better, and as a result, businesses are better for it. A true win-win.  


When I first took this role at Compugen Systems, I wondered, “Do I see myself as part of a technology company?” Technology is not necessarily synonymous with people connections, and my personality and career are all about people connections. After contemplating, I quickly realized it was chance to have a voice—an opportunity to put my personal stamp on my work, and to be a leader. Here at Compugen Systems, my ideas are heard, considered, and I have the chance to see my ideas put into practical application, in real-time. What I seek is no different than any other team member. I want to be heard, to be considered, to be valued and to be a meaningful contributor.


One of the most important things I have learned in my career is that fluid and adaptive thinking is a game-changer. Being able to incorporate all of my skills, learnings, and perspectives and being open to new experiences is what brought me here, all of me, to this very point in time.


Being human and being professional are not mutually exclusive. Experience has shown me that it’s okay to laugh at work, to not be perfect, to make mistakes, and to show you care. When I learned this simple truth, I truly found my voice in business, and in life. Presenting myself in an authentic manner made me more marketable, confident, effective, and just better all around. So, I encourage people to be themselves, offer more of themselves in the workplace, to have professional courage, and just put themselves out there! Dare to be you. It is this mindset that allows people to experience true success.  


I don’t spend much time thinking about the fact that I’m a woman in business. I feel like in doing so, I am establishing limits. I instead choose to focus on my contributions, my efforts, and my opportunities. I work hard at the things that are within my control. What I love about HR is that if there are inequities in the workplace, I have the opportunity to influence and advocate for positive change.

Connect with Kathy on LinkedIn


Topics: Services

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