As a woman in the tech arena, I truly support and encourage girls/women to seek out opportunities for a career in technology. The changes and opportunities in technology are limitless and women still have a very small foothold into this predominately male industry.
I am also a business owner, an entrepreneur, which offers its own challenges and rewards. Both can be uncomfortable (as Bette Davis said “It’s going to be a bumpy night.”) and exhilarating!
In an article on the subject: Visible and Engaged Women Breaking into the Tech Industry, the author has gathered a number of opinions from thought leaders in technology and entrepreneurship.
Some suggest that we encourage, support and participate in the women/girl tech organizations that have been developed of late such as Women 2.0 and Girls Who Code. Certainly there is strength in numbers.
In middle school, 74% of girls express interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), but when choosing a college major, just 0.3% of high school girls select computer science.
However, we must also stand up along side our male counterparts at general technology networking and business functions. Is it easy? No, but so often what becomes the best experience in our lives is that which was a little bit scary to begin with.
Sonia Kapadia, founder and CEO of Taste Savant, says, “I advise all women who are embarking on an entrepreneurial path to jump right in and start getting comfortable with discomfort.”
She continues, “You’ll need to make quick decisions without full information a lot of the time. While it’s an advantage to make educated decisions, I encourage women especially to start setting plans on incomplete data. Trust your gut and the information you do have, and just go for it.”
If technology is your passion, you need to jump in with both feet, knowing the water will be cold at first, but trusting that soon it will warm to what you have to offer.
In an article she wrote entitled What I Learned as a Female Startup CEO (Hint: It Sucks and is Awesome at the Same Time), she offers three things that “suck” about being a female CEO and three things that are amazing.
Here is one thing that wasn’t that great: If you are aggressive, you are a bitch. If you are emotional, you are PMSing. If you are soft, you are too feminine. Whatever way someone finds you, they can always justify it is because you are female.
Here is one thing that is awesome: Sometimes, guys are more willing to help you because you are a girl. On the flip side, girls will help you because you are a “fellow female entrepreneur.” This is one of the rarely spoken benefits of being a female CEO, especially when you are trying to get things off the ground.
Whether you are looking for a career in technology or thinking about starting a company – there will be some discomfort – but we have to embrace that discomfort and push through to the success we know is possible.