2018 Honoree

Anna Griffin

SVP, Marketing, CA Technologies

In your opinion, what qualities make a “Power Woman”?

I believe a power woman is a woman who is very self aware and uses that awareness for action. When you are
tuned to yourself and your position or how people respect you or respond to you aware enough to listen to those
around you. You are able to hear a narrative and you are able to know what your action is.

With all the different issues one could focus on, how do you balance your efforts in pursuit of gender equality? Is it a global approach or a specific issue that you are passionate about?

Yes, I believe we are all a product of a story told in life and I believe to truly get across is quality. There is some
redefining of story or narrative that has to be told. I believe sometimes women, children, men, culture you have the
ability to change your destiny if you can change your story. I guess simply destiny follow stories, and we can go
back to correct the story and get that right from the beginning cause guess what we were all created equal and
somehow we were told stories that started to put us down this path, that defined more limited stories or limited paths. I
believe where I like to put my energy any place where I can re alter the story and set the narrative as one is equal where
I like to apply my time and energy. You know your parents told you stories and created a mindset where others were
told smaller stories. I grew up in an environment where the people influenced around them and experience smaller
stories. You know culuturally and historically yes in past stories even your home and starts at home. When I am
home I pray for my children and tell them that God created them to do amazing things for the world. He created them
with special abilities and his expectation of what is going to be possible with their lives, He can’t wait to see and its just
a constant while they ere babies and now they are approaching teenage I’m hoping it’s a story that they truly believe
because it’s a story that I believe. But, then again you know the change in story can start anywhere and regardless in
any situation and it is certainly start with simply of what you tell what you tell on a daily basis.

If you could have someone else’s job for a day, who and what would it be? Why?

I would like to be a head of a network for one day I would like to be able to tell stories of I believe are more reflective
essential I would love to use this media today to truly tell people with possibly instead of using media to tell stories of
fear, or doubt or manipulation. I get that the world is built with fear and manipulation so I don’t mean that in a bad
way, the effect of someone’s day if we told you know if we told everyone from hear without editorial comment.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?

Probably Nelson Mandela I love the power of a properly well educated mind and what that mind and what that
belief and that pursuit of knowledge and also the faith and confidence of his own fate that he could change a
nation. Not only change a nation his true inittivative was to change the world and that was one happily
educated mind and I stand of all of his approach on life and patience and I actually believe this is how the
world works. It’s not about self gratification it’s about persistence and faith and staying true that what you
know is right and that means enduring pain and relationship. When you stand in the light of the truth you
will ultimately be the award but it’s a journey it could take forever and it could have much more hardship
than there would ever be in any type of glory or success on the other end. I adore any one who can stand in the
light of the truth and wait.

In what way do you work for women’s power and equality? What do you think is the number one action we as a society can take (e.g. affirmative action)?

I’m currently not involved in politics, as a child it was certainly my aspiration and I think I got to a place where I
don’t believe it is the government’s responsibility to take care of people. I believe it’s the people responsibility to take
care of people and the government can provide infrastructure to do so. I felt like I can be more powerful or better
useful in the world if I apply my energy to take care of the people and the flock that I was given and shape their
capacity. that I’ve been given to help people. Currently, I’m not involved in politics but that is my belief that people
have the responsibility to help people and empower to help other people. The way I have been doing that is 1) within
my workspace and ability to have a real large group of both friends and professionals who I get to play mentor to.
I’ve got two girls and the youngest is 12 years old they have been mentoring since they were 10 to teenagers to
college graduates with young professionals in their own workspace to my mothers bestfriend who is 65 years old. I

feel like I have been blessed with variety of opportunities and mentoring at the same time when I’m mentoring
someone I get mentored back its completely a mutual thing. 2) It was in my industry particularly the advertising
space I was able to be a family member part of the #seeher movement I’ve been very passionate about and the seeher
movement is if you can’t see her you can’t be her and so much that happens within the media. You have TV and the
media industry and the advertising industry where you continue to represent woman and cast woman in roles
that stories are told in the story tellers point of view. It could be flipped it is always women who tell the story and
that might not be casted and in the light of diversity they can be reflected so in our industry we believe woman ads
agency did you consider to cast or bid a female director? Did you look at the production crew? Did you look if there
was a female wardrobe? Did you look at the diversity or people who are gonna tell you stories for advertising?
Therefore TV production or whatever the story tellers should be diversed as there could be. We continue to tell woman
there role in the hospital be a nurse. 95% of the worlds nurse are woman you become the product of the story of the
you have been told, women are sexy objects, or what I deeplycare about in STEM are nerdy white boys dropped out of
IVY league schools you’re never gonna get the Latin population or a young African American boy to see himself
because he only sees himself as a basketball player because advertise in TV and media projected this is what cool
kids, this what you should look like in the world and they start to pursure these traits in other roles. It’s very
important initivate in the advertising marketing community we have to make a difference and also to tackle the
lack of diversity in STEM which I’m frankly passionate about my company greatly believes in diversity in
STEM, the lack of engineering talent and lack of diversity. We go and tell stories we find the 12 year old girls,
Asian girl who is writing her own alzihemer for her grandmother or the 16 year old girl who is passionate about
robotics changing how our products are changing in motels, the African American 24 year old boy who developed
his own company and sold it to SONY and we tell those stories and put it out in the world through media system
where they were actually see and discover their fit. What is one action we can take to society the first question you
asked was self awareness. You’re highly selfaware and you listen and told your feelings and suppose to do
something act on it and do it. I was doing some work in the embassy for the women and technology in the embassy
where they brought a young woman from South Africa brought over my company to be mentored, a great
relationship and we knew instantly the day that I met her I knew we were knowing each other for something bigger
and mentorship our mentorship. Couple of years later she brought the U.S. embassy to South Africa, South Africa
said we can’t afford to bring the girls to U.S. but we can afford the girls to be brought in South Africa it comes
within international women month. I did that for 5 years now and spending the months I got to visit different
countries and work on different initiative and one day I would bring sustainability to South Africa and I met
these beautiful women in all different ages, starting from age 12-85 who were taking care of six children of the
orphan children academics in South Africa these woman natuarally picked up the pieces and so many of 25-45
who have gone missing their academics, the burden of raising their children in their situation. I spent a day with
them and slowly started to open up this one woman 85 years old very beautiful I asked if anybody could help you
what would you ask for. She said my children could achieve their matriculate there would be nothing they would be
able to do they would have every opportunity in the world. The education system in South Africa is up to fourth or
fifth grade, the teachers, the teaching system are not beyond fourth grade, they can’t teach beyond fourth or fifth
grade. So, I thought about it one day piercing eyes speaking through my heart one day I came back to the U.S. 6
months and I never lost those words on the run trying to be myself stay self awareness. I heard myself a voice you
need to build a school for these children, they need to be able to do it on their own, you need to go to school in the
long run. I was like no I don’t build schools Oprah Winfrey build schools the more I ran the more the voice said I
need you to build a school, you need to build a school in South Africa. At the end of the run I called a gentlemen in
Mosiac who I met I said mayor there’s a voice that is telling me we need to build a school in mosaic children in your
care. He said your calling me to plan to build a school we are so busy we can’t take it off the ground. We are so
busying to make housing, job, education, vocational training for women to have lives with their children. But, he
said if you think you can tackle school I can work with the municipality here and the land but if you can get us
off the ground nobody in South Africa will ever give money if it’s already built. I can get the support once its real
but if there’s only a piece of dust on the ground because the money is just squandered. So we go back and year one
was the land, foundation and aligning the children and teaching and the staff. Year two we started with a two
room classroom and now we have a beautiful two story building. In the township of Ecahin. We are educating 250
students on a daily national school curriculum which means these children in the township have the ability the
same of whit africans across the streets. We change the story and said you have the same thing as they have now.
So now its up to you how are you going to try giving you everything was so easy in our society to point your
finger at the government or wait for their hands out to say it’s not fair or not just. You have schools just like theirs

you have teachers who are trained it really works on the younger children. Our goals were different for the older
children its difficult to go back at 10, 11 or 12 teaching the same way as a 4 year old or 5 year old. We have 250
children so far who are successfully being educated. If I was in politics I could have tired to influence the U.S.
politics to have more policies in local South African so the politics can get it done. For this to be done we needed
somebody who can do it and going back to question number 1 just take action. You know when something needs to
be done do it and don’t be fearful but the reprocessial will come from your heart or if you feel like you need to get it,
get your resources to get it done,. So it wasn’t me who got it done it was him who found the resources and I was just
the hand only because I was self aware and willing to take action.

Can you tell us a short story in which you encountered a block in the work place and what you did about it?

Have you seen any changes in the political landscape for women over the past few years? If so, what are they?

The political landscape has not changed enough you know were not represented by diversity that reflects us were just
not. I don’t like how politics has made it very difficult having contended with lobbyists and how much money you
made there are so many things that could have been done or can’t be done to equalize and neutralize to not the
privilege whites so those who are able to raise funds and those who aren’t. It just hasn’t been warrant for ideation, the
best idea is the one backing them that gets elected and that’s not fair about ideation. I do not believe the political
landscape can be changed but what I love is that people are more aware on that they don’t have to rely on politicians. I
believe we are seeing an uproar of maybe business should be more involved like Starbucks. You know what the
government think they can do what they want but in our company this is our values, this is what we believe and this
is what our responsibly is. The fact that politics has changed just as they should you see other rising to the cause and I
honestly believe that’s what the Founding Fathers wanted from day one. I love the rising of the people they perceive
10.Was there a defining moment or experience in your life that led you to where you are today? What was it?
I think it goes all the way back being an 8 year old girl in front of a ballet bar there was a dance studio there was a
poster hung over the record player. There was a long bar facing towards the record player and the PAs. The poster over
the record player said if you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it you can become it. There was a
little girl who wanted to be a dancer, a professional dancer more than anything in the world and so like it said in the
poster. That if I can dream it then I can become it and I’m really obsessed what does it take for me to fall asleep at
night to have that dream I really took it literal like the poster. To me a dream about it I’m gonna have to think about it

all day long cause that’s the only way I’m gonna fall asleep at night and dream it, its gonna be on my mind and so
I think I learned through that exercise the power of imagination and really what it takes to if you really want
something to happen then good actions gotta be a little bit harder to think a little bit more you have to apply yourself.
You have to push further to be able to dream it in your bed in the night so you can become it you gotta be a little bit
more obsessed, you gotta worry a little more and try a little harder. You have to strut a little more and be there in the
moment and do that what you are told to do and point your toes, tuck your tush under, rotate your knees out. You
have to go a little bit further, actually stuck with me for the rest of our lives you know you want the big opportunity or
you know you need someone whose gonna make a difference. You can’t just go to the mission you have to push a little
bit harder than everybody else.

Was there a defining moment or experience in your life that led you to where you are today? What was it?

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Probably my dad he was a gentleman lovely to see but he was filled with all of these little things. He was a Southern
gentleman my dad saying to me was cream always rises to the top meaning it would take $1 whip cream and cup of
coffee eventually it does rise to the top basically he was saying Anna keep your attention first and work hard you
may have set back but you can’t keep that down and I always thought about that light inside of you. Not a lot of
people want to see the light meaning your light won’t come out at the right place and the right time. Reminds me of
the Mandela situation cream always rise to the top of you are pure in attention the world or whatever you believe in
karma or fate whatever you may believe. It will not be distinguished I always thought cream always rises to the top so
be cream.

Who do you most admire? Why?

What is your favorite book (fiction or non-fiction)?

Mandela’s A Long Walk to Freedom would be my non fiction and I can think another too which is Jim Lair Power of
Story that’s were got tuned into. I actually had no idea he was a psychologist and that was actually work philiosophy.
That you were your mind has a lot of interesting reasons in terms of the brain and it just doesn’t take random facts
we’re always looking for cause and logic. The power of stories it’s not just a philosophy it’s how we are wired to work
and reading his story made me realized Wow you know the limitation of your capabilities are in your mind not in
your world.

What do you most value in your friends?


Which trait do you most deplore in yourself? In others?

Authenticity, rather authentic what you see is people try to be authentic and or probably empathy or try to really
understand to be in someone else shoes. I hate self doubt I believe all of these everything that I told you and yet
sometimes I am still limited by my own stories.

What do you consider to be the most over rated virtue?

Collaboration and its not because I don’t believe in collaboration is that everybody doesn’t really know
how to do it. That true collaboration is truly to be collaborative it’s your ideas, its not just your ideas in
the room were we all agree to collaborate and I think that is very difficult to achieve because it means
you have a faultiness in all people and the voice in. True collboartion it’s easier to say that a
collaboration is coming together relationship and what does that really mean and we say this word and
no one really knows the meaning of it.

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