Broadview Thomson K-8 at lululemon


Tuesday, May 21, 2019 | Broadview Thomson at lululemon | by Michele A.

The Broadview Thomson Middle School IGNITE Chapter of 25 girls visited the offices of lululemon in downtown Seattle! We were warmly greeted at the front desk where each girl received a name tag/color group and snacks. An area known in the office as ‘the Beach’ was set up with a variety of comfortable chairs, couches and cubbies with tables with enough room for all the girls to spread out and have their own space.  

Once seated, Carrie Larsen, the event's facilitator, welcomed all of us and showed us an intro video so we could learn how technology is used at lululemon as well as what lululemon is all about as a company.  The girls were given more information about their color groups and what activities were planned.

Leading the activities were: Kerry Hastings & Amanda Cox, Jess Glowacki & Deirdre Allison, Madison Lobet & Elizabeth Taylor, and Katrina Hostetter & Leslie Lorenz-Karduck. The groups went into their break out rooms to discuss real world problems and possible solutions in four areas: Product Development, Digital Development, New Store Development and Data & Analytics.  While the girls were in their groups, I got a tour of the office and learned about what an ‘Activity Based Working’ environment was. Employees can choose to sit and work each day from a wide variety of different set ups, different than a traditional office setting.  The view from their office on 2nd was amazing!

Once each group completed their PowerPoint slides everyone came back to 'the Beach' and each group of girls gave their presentations about the issue and their solutions. Once the presentations were completed, everyone was treated to a box lunch and all relaxed looking out at the amazing view. The panel set up while the girls were eating, and the girls were given a set of question and ideas and paper to take notes on while they listened to the speakers.

The panel consisted of four amazing women leaders at Lululemon:

  • Julie Averill, Executive Vice President, Chief Technology Officer
  • Leslie Lorenz-Karduck, Director
  • Wei Manfredi, Senior Director
  • Sushma Mandava, Technology Manager

Each woman told the girls a little about themselves, and shared what emoji would symbolize them! After listening to each speaker's story, the girls participated in a Q&A with the speakers. Here are some pieces of advice given to the girls from each speaker:

Julie: There are no failures, just re-directions and adjusting. Look at your friends—ensure they are making you a better person. You don’t have to choose everything at the same time. Some things happen as life unfolds.

Leslie: Trust your gut. It’s okay to change your mind and make a big change. Always try your best. It doesn’t matter that you are the only girl in the class—Do everything better than all of them!

Wei: Always be yourself.  Don’t be scared. You will survive through the difficult times in your life. Be Kind, have a passion & show it, be open minded. Dream BIG! (and go for it!)

Sushma: Believe in yourself. Don’t get stuck; go out and prove yourself. You can go far in tech!

The group had a wonderful experience doing the problem-solving activity, interacting with professional women at lululemon and listening to the advice given by Panel speakers. Thank you to lululemon for providing this amazing opportunity for Broadview Thomson girls!


After attending this event:


of girls/non-binary students are more interested in STEM


of girls/non-binary students want to study harder to attend college and further their education


of girls/non-binary students want to continue attending IGNITE events

Here's what the students enjoyed most:

"It showed me that at any age you can start tech."

- 6th grade


"Learning about different jobs involved with lululemon."

- 7th grade



"I liked the presentations because I got to see the different problem/solutions situations that were at lululemon."

- 8th grade


"I liked making my PowerPoint with my group. It was really fun. I also liked presenting with my group!"

- 7th grade



"Learning about how they became who they are today."

- 6th grade


"I liked it when we were in groups and solved a problem, it was fun!"

- 8th grade



"Talking about the challenges that people had, and what kept them going."

- 8th grade


"Brainstorming ideas on the whiteboard."

- 8th grade