When I was younger, I thought I was going to grow up to be a doctor. But, when I got into high school, I realized I was no longer sure of my path since I enjoyed a variety of subjects. What came naturally to me was helping people empower themselves by learning how to access and activate knowledge, identify opportunities, and develop skills and connections. My calling is to be someone who helps others empower themselves and become the best individuals they can be. This is why I started SPEAK Mentorship--to help as many people really identify their passion so they can become successful individuals contributing to greater society. I'm thankful that what I do everyday makes me proud of who I am everyday.
I enrolled in college without a clear picture of what I wanted to do with my life, and with very little guidance about potential career options. I ended up pursuing a profession in the law, because it seemed like the only option for an English major who enjoyed language and literature. Looking back now, I realize there were a ton of other careers that I could have explored, that I never considered or was even aware of. I think SPEAK Mentorship can offer precisely the kind of support and education that young women need to help them make informed career choices and realize their full potential.
Marion works at the intersection of engineering and non-engineering teams, where she delivers digital design solutions. She is the founder and CEO of a consulting agency, Web Croissants. Marion counts Stanford University as well as multinationals and non-profits among her clients.
Prior to Web Croissants, Marion was the Director of Digital Initiatives for Women’s Learning Partnership - an international women’s nonprofit organization focused on girls’ and women’s empowerment and leadership. During her tenure, the organization transitioned from traditional to digital communications and advocacy. She also co-authored a book on digital advocacy, which was published and translated into English, French and Arabic.
In her earlier years in the software industry, Marion was a lead program manager for Microsoft, working on Business Intelligence big data visualizations, as well as the convergence of content management systems across international markets. Prior to that, she worked at MIT’s Artificial Intelligence lab, focusing on embodied intelligent systems.
Marion has a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degrees from MIT in Computer Science and Engineering, and a Technology Policy degree from Cambridge University's business school.
She speaks and writes on the broader context of technology and its impacts, and how to ensure it serves all humans – including the people and communities which are not traditionally at the core of that culture. She’s also an invited speaker on digital project and team management. Recently, Marion launched Tech Ethics, a series of discussions among Silicon Valley professionals on the social and ethical responsibilities of high-tech practitioners.
A French native, Marion is now based in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Hiba Sharief serves as Vice President of Information Technology at Oportun, a financial technology company with the mission of providing affordable loans that help people with little or no credit history establish credit and build a better future. Oportun uses advanced data analytics and technology to score the “unscorable” and offers responsible, affordable, credit-building loans to individuals with limited credit history. Hiba graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Business Administration from Baruch College’s Zicklin School of Business, City University of New York. She was recently honored with the recognition of Silicon Valley’s 40 under 40 in 2017.
Hiba has a diverse personal and professional background with technology and leadership experience across various industries, and in more than 20 countries around the globe. As the daughter of a career diplomat, she had lived in four countries and spoken three languages fluently before the age of 8. Hiba moved to the U.S. from her home country of Sudan in late 1995 to pursue her university education. She has since had a very exciting career fueled by a passion for learning, growth and innovation. After spending time in various leadership roles at Lehman Brothers and Accenture in New York, Hiba spent two years in Dubai building EMC’s consulting arm in Europe South, Middle East and Africa. She is now based in the San Francisco Bay Area and highly committed to shaping future generations and changing the ratio of women in technology and leadership.
Mentor Experience Manager
I was the first in my family to graduate from college, and then from graduate school. The process of deciding what higher education path to take or which career to pursue was unfamiliar and difficult to understand. In college, I found that other students like me, students from immigrant families and families of color, also had similar struggles. Helping to empower others, especially those from underrepresented communities, to advocate for themselves and access opportunities became my passion as I pursued a career in social work and community development. SPEAK Mentorship's comprehensive, goal-oriented program for young women empowers them and gives them the tools to access opportunities to build the future they want. I am so excited to be a part of this team and the impactful work happening here!