In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re celebrating the powerful, dynamic and creative women of Google. Like generations before them, these women break down barriers and defy expectations at work and in their communities. Over the course of the month, we’ll help you get to know a few of these Google women, and share a bit about who they are and why they inspire us.
In this installment of the She Word, we talked to Kawana T. King, a lawyer in our New York office. In addition to JD, she’s earned the title of “hostess with the mostess”—just ask anyone who’s attended her annual Christmas party.
How do you explain your job at a dinner party?
I usually don’t … I like leaving work at work. But if I need to explain, I say that I provide legal counsel for our advertising products.
Why are you proud to be a woman at Google?
In Google’s legal department, we have four female vice presidents. There’s a lot of talk in tech about needing more women in leadership positions, but I get to witness that everyday. It’s really inspiring.
Why did you decide to pursue law, and why practice it at Google?
Growing up I was always told that I argued too much, so becoming a lawyer seemed to be a “natural fit.” Throughout my career, I’ve practiced law across various industries, like entertainment and financial services. Working at Google, I get to bring legal expertise to the development of groundbreaking products and services. And one of the best parts about Google is that I’m not just here to be a lawyer—there are opportunities to pursue personal interests, like our diversity efforts, as well.
If you could ask one woman from history a question … who would it be and what would you ask?
I would ask Harriet Tubman what gave her the strength to face her fears and take action. We are all faced with obstacles that we must overcome, but it’s hard to get past the intimidation. All tips help!
What advice would you give to women starting out in their careers?
Know your worth, display confidence and don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. If you doubt yourself, you invite others to do the same.
What do you hope to accomplish on behalf of women everywhere?
Quite simply … I’ll pay it forward. I’ve been lucky to have powerful and positive female influences in my life (hi Mom!). By exhibiting character, confidence, and a strong work ethic, I hope to be a force for good in another young girl’s life.
How do you spend most of your time outside of work?
I love traveling—Paris and Thailand are my all-time favorite spots. I’ve also gotten hooked on traveling for Carnival, which is an annual festival that occurs in various countries. So far, I’ve celebrated Carnival in Trinidad, Barbados and Miami. My next trip is to Italy—I’m taking my mom for her 65th birthday!