I met Frances Baldwin when she became the Executive Director for Cybersecurity Services at Agio and we got to collaborate on the Managed Detection and Response Services. I was the salesperson and she headed up the service delivery team. We hit it off from day one because Frances genuinely wanted to learn what our customers were looking for and where improvements could be made. It was the kind of collaboration where I felt heard and she made a real impact on our customers’ experience. And then Amazon Web Services found her and off she went to California, taking names.
What I like about Frances is how she does not brag about her many accomplishments on a personal or professional level. While she is breaking glass ceilings, completes marathons or triathlons, she keeps her feet firmly on the ground. It is extremely inspiring. Much of her story I did not know until the day of our podcast interview. It was yet an affirmation of this platform’s purpose and why more children should have role models like Frances, especially little chicas.
Frances inspires me to continue to grow and learn, but also prioritize my own health and wellbeing, while being a mom who is still present and involved in her kids’ lives. It is not easy. It is not perfect. But she makes it work. Yes, we can have our cake and eat it too, girls!
Frances is a role model in grit and grace. She is strong and beautiful. She is smart and kind. She is a leader and humble. And when NASA calls, she will take that call and shoot for the stars. Why not?!
Recommendations from Frances
- Listen to your grandparents! They may know a thing or two about life.
- Use available programs at school: in her case it was a special math program and a scholarship for girls in engineering in high school.
- Try a few different things so you can figure out what you like.
- Use summers to take summer courses, get a student job, etc.
- Apply to a lot of universities/colleges. Aim high!
- Check out bulletin boards, on real or virtual walls, you never know what opportunity awaits you!
- Be willing to travel or move to a new city, state or country. Who knows who you will meet, what you will learn or discover and what opportunity it leads to? Say yes!
- If you are a minority, see if there are programs available to you to help overcome language or cultural barriers, or to learn a new skill.
- Lean in. Take a seat at the table and speak up. Your voice matters.
- Find a partner who supports you and treats you like an equal.
- Believe in yourself. Don’t quit. You got this!
- Summer Program at University of Notre Dame in IN
- Studied Electrical Engineering (BA & MS) at Cornell University in NY
- AWS programs
- Frances’ Personal LinkedIn
- Here at AWS video – A day in the life of Frances
- Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg
- Scott Galloway: The Algebra of Happiness on YouTube
Frances Baldwin is the Data Center Engineering Operations (DCEO) Cluster Manager for Amazon Web Services in California. Frances and her team are responsible for the day to day operations of the electrical, mechanical and life and safety systems supporting AWS’s data centers throughout the state of California. Prior to AWS, Frances worked at Agio, an integrated IT and cybersecurity firm. While at Agio, Frances developed Agio’s Incident Response program and lead its Managed Detection & Response portfolio. Frances developed her career holding IT Management positions at Point72 Asset Management (formerly S.A.C. Capital Advisors). During her 15-year tenure at Point72/SAC she lead multiple teams: network, market data, and telecom engineering as well as production support. Prior to Point72, Frances was a Systems Engineer at Cisco Systems, supporting Global-Financial clients. She received both a Master’s in Engineering (Electrical) and Bachelor of Science (Electrical Engineering) from Cornell University. Frances lives in Los Gatos, CA with her husband, Rob, their two boys: RC & Jack and Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Boomer.
Music by Wolves: “Life Stories”, “Kenya”, “My Time”