Women Worth Watching 2015
Tanzania (Tan) Adams
Georgia Power’s Area Manager Is a Powerful Advocate for Women in STEM
An interest in telecommunications and power generation led Tan Adams pursue a degree in electrical engineering at the University of Alabama. It also led become a power delivery distribution engineer at Alabama Power, one of the four US utilities operated by Southern Company. Over the years, she has held positions of increasing responsibility and leadership, including her current role as an area manager for Georgia Power.
Tan’s flexibility and business acumen have led to her being selected for roles in a variety of company organizations and departments, including power delivery, industrial/large commercial accounts, generation development and fuels, finance, pricing and rate design, transmission financial, and regulatory affairs. She has always been quite visible, in terms of her performance, and successful in each role she filled.
“I knew my present career was what I wanted to do when I was able to ride by my first completed project,” said Tan. “I had a great sense of pride and excitement. I still feel that way about each project I complete.
“When you do your best for the right reasons, everything will work out.”
“…do your best for the right reasons…”
Tan exemplifies Georgia Power’s motto, “A citizen wherever we serve,” in both her professional and personal life. As someone who has had mentors throughout her professional career, and strongly believes in paying it forward, she serves as an adviser, mentor, and friend to men and women throughout the company. In the community, Tan gives her time and effort to coaching and mentoring students, and encouraging them to seek rewarding STEM careers in the electric utility industry.
Tan led Gwinnett Technical College’s Women in Technology Corporate Advisory Board, and is a graduate of the United Way of Greater Atlanta Volunteer Involvement Program. In Alabama, she led the Southern Division United Way Campaign, was a Boy Scouts of America Engineering Explorer Advisor, and served as vice president for the Society of American Military Engineers Post in Montgomery.
Education: BS in Electrical Engineering, The University of Alabama
First Job: Cashier at Burger King
What I’m Reading: “Instinct” by T.D. Jakes and “Leaders Eat Last” by Simon Sinek
The most important quality a woman leader should have is…
The career advice I’d give my former self:
Do not be so hard on yourself.
Words I live by:
When you do your best for the right reasons, everything will work out.
The one thing I’d do differently in my career, knowing what I know now, is…
…I would have taken more chances sooner.
When I really need to focus on a project, I…
…block off time on the calendar, close the door and/or go to a new location or telecommute to manage interruptions better.
My biggest career leap (and what I learned from it) was…
…I participated in a two-year program where I rotated through 4 different areas of our company. Each area was completely different from my experiences and I relocated twice during the process. I gained a broader and richer perspective of the company and industry. It also prepared me for new opportunities.
Being a woman in my profession has been…
…rewarding and challenging.
I’ve learned that failure is…
…a way to build strength and wisdom. Just as muscles come back stronger and develop muscle memory when they are broken down through exercise, I am stronger, have greater resolve, and make wiser decisions when I learn from, and progress after a failure.
I maintain a healthy personal life by…
…trying to be purposeful in all aspects of my personal life. Scheduling time to exercise, spend time with family, and practice my faith should be as, if not more important than other meetings scheduled each day.
I knew my present career was what I wanted to do when…
…I was able to ride by my first completed project. I had a great sense of pride and excitement. I still feel that way about each project I complete.
You did great in that spelling bee on Taxi in '79!