How Your Authenticity Fuels Innovation with Google’s Annie Jean-Baptiste
How many times have you purchased a product, only to realize that the whoever created it, didn’t build it with you in mind? How many times have you laughed out loud when seeing a clothing tag that says, “One size fits all”…when it’s clearly obvious it would barely fit a child, needless to say, a grown adult!
Well, in this episode, Annie Jean-Baptiste, Google’s Head of Product Inclusion, shares how she helps teams make sure Google products are made for everyone. She spends her days making sure everyone matters. But, the most important message she shares is how YOUR voice, your unique experiences and what makes you different from others, is the secret to success. Stepping into your power, even if it doesn’t look like the kind of cookie cutter example of what leadership looks like, is what will bring success and helps others expand their frame of reference. That authenticity fosters diversity…which fuels innovation.
[01:01] Annie’s story
[04:02] Imposter syndrome
[04:30] Lean into what makes you authentic
[06:53] Gaining clarity on your strengths
[10:02] Strategies to highlight value proposition
[12:40] Framework for inclusive product design
[17:42] Setting and achieving your professional goals
[18:39] Writing Building For Everyone
[22:50] Key to developing your personal brand
[27:15] Annie’s success habit
[30:13] How can women accelerate in the digital age
“The more that you try to fit into a mold that wasn’t made for you, the more energy you have to expend.” – Annie Jean-Baptiste
“If you can find something that you’re passionate about, something that gives you purpose, and you can get paid for it, that is the trifecta.” – Annie Jean-Baptiste
“Periodically assess if the things you’re doing are moving you towards your goals.” – Annie Jean-Baptiste
“Find mentors, advisors, sponsors and coaches that are going to push you into uncomfortable situations so you can grow.” – Annie Jean-Baptiste
About Annie Jean-Baptiste
Annie Jean-Baptiste is the Head of Product Inclusion at Google. She leads Product Inclusion strategy across the company, including consultation, communications, scale and research and created the movement 3 years ago as a way to ensure underrepresented users felt seen throughout the product design process.
Annie is passionate about making the web and Google’s products work for underserved communities while ensuring that Google is a place where everyone shines for their differences. She’s responsible for working with Google product teams and senior leaders on the creation and execution of their inclusive design strategy. She formerly created programs related to Diversity talent management and career development within several technical product areas within Google.
She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania (go Quakers!) with degrees in International Relations & Political Science. She is an avid Boston sports fan & loves to bring her dog Hercules to work. She currently is based in San Francisco.
Outside of Google, Annie is a former American Heart Association spokesperson and a One Young World ambassador, focused on healthy lifestyles in underserved communities. She is also a former Hack the Hood mentor.
She currently serves as an intrapreneur in residence at the University Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education and a member of the IEEE’s Ethically Aligned Design committee. She’s been inducted into the Haitian Roundtable’s 1804 society as “One to Watch” and inducted as one of the 30 Black Stars for Face to Face Africa in 2019.
She’s also been covered in Vogue, Essence Magazine, Business Insider, Teen Vogue, MSNBC, CNBC, ABC, Cheddar, Business Insider, the Huffington Post, the Root, the Council of Fashion Designers of America Annual Report, The Miami Times, Boston Globe and Fortune Magazine.
Her book, Building for Everyone, is available now. Follow her on social media: @its_me_ajb.