Celebrating Women: Meisha Sherman
The director of human resources at Hewlett Packard Enterprise doesn’t worry about the “pink ceiling”
Photo by Jenny Siegwart
How long have you been with the company?
I began in San Diego in 2011 in the Imaging and Printing Group in human resources, driving talent and learning and development strategies. In less than one year I moved into a new role in Transformation and Organization Design. Every 12 to 18 months I was promoted to different positions.
Where were you before joining Hewlett Packard?
I was with Raytheon in Los Angeles. A colleague at Raytheon left to join HP and he asked me to join his team. It was a good move, because my husband’s family is in San Diego and he’s employed here while attending graduate school.
How much of your time is spent traveling?
When you work for a global company it’s required that you travel; I spend more than 50 percent of my time at other national and international locations of HP.
How did you choose human resources?
I joined the US Army National Guard and that’s where I got on the HR path. I took a battery of tests and the results showed that I would be good at personnel administration. After six years, I became a civilian and joined Bank of America in corporate human resources. I had men and women sponsors and mentors who believed in me and helped me believe in myself.
Whom do you mentor?
I mentor young girls who have a passion for academic excellence and STEM. Pepperdine University, where I received my MBA, has a mentoring program for second-year business school students that I work with. There’s also a National Association of Women MBAs and I mentor those young women. I work with professionals, veterans, and HR people who are up-and-coming.
What has been your greatest challenge?
Being female in a male-dominated industry. Being in spaces where minorities are limited. I’m passionate about developing, ensuring exposure, and growing. Exposure is important because there are people out there; they’re just unknown. We like to call it a pink ceiling. Have I had to work harder? Yes. Do I still work harder? Yes.
What has been your biggest disappointment?
I don’t think about those very often. I just accept it, learn from it, don’t repeat it, and move on.
Which of your accomplishments are you most proud of?
Attending Pepperdine University. I had to make huge sacrifices because I worked while going to business school.
What organizations are you involved with?
There are many, which include the Jackie Robinson YMCA and the Neighborhood House Association. I was recently elected to the California Coast Credit Union board. It’s the oldest credit union in San Diego and I’m pleased to have been asked to serve.
What is left for you to do?
I would like to transition from nonprofit boards to business boards as I prepare my portfolio for when I retire from corporate America. I also want to continue to build confidence and power in young women. I want to continue to serve.
What advice would you give to others?
Ignore the voice of judgment, replace doubt with reaffirming thoughts, and talk yourself into it.