What does inclusive culture mean? It means your perspective is heard and your judgement is valued. We all have incredibly significant, valuable ideas and thoughts that deserve to be taken seriously and celebrated.
Diversity and inclusion is very personal to me, as I am not only a minority but also a woman in the technology industry. I want to create a place where people can be heard and share their feelings without worrying about retribution. I may not be able to change the entire world, but I can make a difference within my own little part of it.
I was born in Korea and moved to the United States at the age of four. My family spoke only Korean at home, so I started learning English in kindergarten at five years old. Back in Korea, my father was a bus driver while my mother took care of the children and her in-laws; women didn’t have jobs outside of the home in the early ’70s. Upon arriving to the States, my dad worked as a gas station attendant and my mom cleaned hotel rooms. We lived in a small, two-bedroom apartment with five people. I felt quite embarrassed about my situation back then. Growing up poor made me realize that I never wanted to experience that level of poverty again. Those early experiences taught me to fight for equal rights and compensation—especially as a woman.
Fast forward to 2020, I was not only challenged with the COVID-19 pandemic but was also presented with a health scare. I was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer: low-grade appendiceal mucinous neoplasm (LAMN). Though I was never super concerned about what others thought of me, after undergoing surgery and being faced with mortality, I started to fully speak my mind. This life-changing experience altered my perspective on how to handle adversity. I thought, “I survived cancer, so I can survive and handle anything.”
I’ve spent the last twenty-five years in product and technology. I recently moved to the new developer relations team within marketing because I realized I can have a serious cultural impact on Oracle as an organization. I joined a group whose vision and goal I am extremely passionate about. I’m constantly searching for ways to change developers’ perceptions about Oracle. In my free time, I like to collect hobbies, from learning how to make lip balm and lotion to metalsmithing. It’s so important to find what makes you happy and have fun doing what you’re doing.
My experiences have shown me the importance of helping others and paving an easier path for them. Social injustices occur toward minorities and women, and for me, it’s intertwined and extremely personal. I’ve become an advocate for women and minorities, especially those of Asian descent. I’m the board chair for the Oracle Professional Asian Leadership (OPAL) employee resource group. I strive to assist local community members because every group has a slightly different set of circumstances, and with that, a different set of challenges to overcome.
I’ve seen and learned the beauty of life’s moments through supporting myself and helping those around me. I live each day to the fullest, reassuring myself, “What is the worst thing that can really happen? What do you have to lose?”
Illustration: Wes Rowell
Head of Developer Relations Bo English-Wiczling joined the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure team four years ago before moving to the database and DevRel teams. She is a member of the Oracle Professional Asian Leadership (OPAL) Seattle chapter and OPAL board chairperson for the entire OPAL community.