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Marcia Culver Shares Wisdom for Other Women in Tech
I liked what I did, but I knew I could do more. I had great opportunities to further demonstrate my leadership abilities. Now I've been promoted again to Software Engineering Director.

Marcia Culver is a software engineering director at T. Rowe Price. In this Q&A, learn about her career trajectory as a woman working in technology. She also discusses how the firm's incomparable workplace culture prompted her to pursue a career at T. Rowe Price. 

When technology engineer Marcia Culver relocated to Colorado Springs for her husband's job, she had been working in technology for decades. She loved the work—especially the variety—and was looking for a new employer to offer a great fit. Early on, she heard about T. Rowe Price and arranged an interview. "I loved the people," she recalls. But when her recruiter left the company, Marcia was hired elsewhere.

"Around that time, the native of "flat Oklahoma" began discovering the challenging hiking terrain of mountainous Colorado. These trails required trekking poles to traverse. "I'm happy to be outside," she says. "That's my time to myself to clear my head and get into my mental space."

Several months later, Marcia's husband saw the T. Rowe Price position advertised again. Marcia didn't hesitate. "I tracked the recruiter down on LinkedIn," she says, chuckling. "I knew this was where I wanted to work." 

Once she was back in touch, the hiring committee fast-tracked her. Marcia has been with T. Rowe Price since 2015, and today, she is a software engineering director. We recently sat down to speak with her about her experience working at the firm.

You had a really strong sense that you wanted to work at T. Rowe Price. Why was that?

It really was the culture. The people are friendly and caring, and they're passionate about their jobs. They're the kind of people who care and want to bring their best to work. And that's how I am, too. It's good to be in a culture where most people you work with are like that. You just get the energy. 

You've been at the firm for eight years. Tell me about your career trajectory

I was hired as a technical solutions manager and was in that role for nearly two years. Then my boss's boss came to town to meet with the team. At the meeting, I said, "I can do more. I want to do more." The job was great, and I liked what I did, but I knew I could do more. She must have believed me because I was promoted to senior software engineering manager.

When there was a reorganization and my team was going to corporate tech, my boss asked if I wanted to go. I firmly believe I should always take opportunities, so I moved over. I had great opportunities in that space to further demonstrate my leadership abilities.

Now I've been promoted again to software engineering director. If I hadn't taken a risk, I would probably still be in the same space and doing the same kind of thing. I cannot say enough good things about the personal opportunities I've been given here.

Have you seen the role of technology evolve at T. Rowe Price?

Yes, I have. When I first started, tech was viewed as a service, which it is. But, over the years, it's become a strategic partner within our business units, which is crucial. Of course, tech alone doesn't solve anything. But knowing what your business partners need and meeting those objectives is where we gain strategic impact and effectiveness as a company.

Does T. Rowe Price do anything proactively to stay at the cutting edge in technology?

Yes. For example, we opened the New York office for a data science unit. That was a new initiative that T. Rowe Price had never touched on before. We really jumped forward with that.

The mission of Data Insights Tech is to enable insight generation at scale for T. Rowe Price. We aim to deliver business value and competitive advantage from the use of big data, machine learning, and predictive models for all associates involved in decision-making.

Through our strategy of intelligent augmentation, we provide insights, applications, and data that connect our business partners to key information, enabling excellent client outcomes. By creating an end-to-end team, including both data scientists and engineers, we are able to deliver to our business partners more effectively, which is one of the ways we have become a strategic differentiator. 

Could you comment on your experience as a woman working in technology?

I graduated from college in 1991, so I started when there was a lot of change. I've been fortunate to work in organizations that give many opportunities to women. However, I know that's not the case for everyone, so I'm always looking for ways to help other women succeed.  

You participate in the Women in Tech Committee at T. Rowe Price. Please tell us how it will benefit other women in tech. 

We're trying to understand the challenges that women in tech have. So, we held focus groups and fielded surveys to understand the main issues facing women in technology at T. Rowe Price. We identified key themes and prioritized addressing those. Currently, we're focused on activating initiatives to support inclusive leadership and amplify voices and visibility. We put together a playbook, and we're now working with our technology team to walk them through it, so they can understand the issues and implement ways to, collectively, make that better. 

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