Run your own race, not other’s.

By: Donna M Navedo Sexton
Manager-Corporate Communications

Advice from Genia Wilbourn - SVP of Global Network Operations & Assurance.

Full Transparency

Our editorial transparency tool uses blockchain technology to permanently log all changes made to official releases after publication. However, this post is not an official release and therefore not tracked. Visit our learn more for more information.

Learn more
Run your own race, not other’s.

From a young age, Genia Wilbourn knew she loved math and science. 

As an inquisitive, self-proclaimed “daddy’s girl” Genia said in an article, “ I spent a lot of time with him growing up. He took me to football games, boxing matches and the race track (pretty sure I wasn’t supposed to be there). At home, I would just watch Dad fix things around the house and in the garage. I was always fascinated with the way he would find a problem, figure out a solution and then implement it.  I loved the whole process – especially seeing the end result!”

Run your own race, not other’s.

Now the Senior VP of Global Network Operations & Assurance, Genia still credits her father for teaching her to never limit herself.  It’s that curious spirit and belief that we can all benefit from diverse and creative thinking, that has inspired us to share Genia’s advice for other women in tech.

  1. Take the leap and learn new things. This will increase visibility and adaptability, open doors you would not have imagined and keep you relevant. 
  2. Be prepared by doing your own research. You will have a better understanding of the business problems you are trying to solve. This will increase your confidence level. Always, always stick to the facts!
  3. Build a network of support among peer women. Never underestimate the power of the peer-to-peer network. Spend more time building relationships/circles of trust and less time managing up. 
  4. Be brave enough to express dissent. Not speaking up (with facts) can be more detrimental than just agreeing with everyone else.
  5. Run your own race. not other’s.  I ran track in high school, so this saying resonates with me still today.  Oprah said it best. “ You can only run your own race. Don't look at what others are doing. Those that look back in the race usually fall off.”

Thank you Genia for your wealth of knowledge and relatable advice.  To learn more about her efforts to make STEM more accessible for women and girls, check out this trailblazing article.

V Teamers can also make an impact by supporting youth in STEM, through ongoing events to support Low-Income and BIPOC Students through our Citizen Verizon responsible business program and volunteering events. Verizon Media employees are also encouraged to participate.

V Team, go to VZWeb to join the conversation

About the author:

Donna is part of the Corporate Employee Communications team, focused on our socially responsible business practices through Citizen Verizon's Diversity, Equity & Inclusion initiatives and the Women's CoLab.

Related Articles


V Teamer Shylaja Krishnakurup shares the importance of being thankful and appreciative while seeing the good and reflecting on your blessings.


Advice from VP of Network & Field Operations Diana Scudder.