The She Word: Monique Vaz Vieira, keeping the “bad guys” away

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 today’s installment of the “She Word” series, we talked to Monique Vaz Vieira, a 10-year Googler and software engineer in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

Why are you proud to be a woman at Google?

As a senior female engineer, I'm proud to be a woman in a male-dominated industry. I’m also proud to be the Latin America regional tech lead for Women@Google, an internal community that empowers female Googlers with professional development and networking. I've been a Googler for more than 10 years (55 percent of its existence as a company!), and I’ve felt supported to pursue my professional and personal goals throughout all of those years.
Monique adventuring with her two kids.

How do you explain your job at a dinner party?

My team keeps the bad guys away—our mission is to keep users safe and our products free of spam and abuse.

What’s your favorite thing to do outside of work?

I enjoy all things related to food—I love trying out new recipes (my current favorite is paella) and I grow my own vegetables, herbs and fruit. I've recently rediscovered my passion for off-road adventures after a family trip to Lavras Novas (about 70 miles outside of Belo Horizonte), where we explored waterfalls and dirt trails.

What advice would you give to women starting out in
their careers?

When I started out in my career, I wish someone would have told me, “don’t be afraid to be yourself.” People are different and won’t necessarily take the same path to succeed, so you need to find your own.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

When I was little I wanted to be an astronaut or a ballet dancer, but when I was a bit older, I wanted to be an architect. I crossed astronaut and dancer from my list, but I still consider studying architecture.

What’s your life motto?

I constantly remind myself that life should be enjoyed every single day. It's easy to fall into the trap of making great plans for the weekend or even for when you retire, but you forget to take advantage of all the opportunities you have right now and really enjoy the present.