Since 2014, I’ve worked with over 1,100 women in technology seeking to break into their first software engineering role or take their career to the next level. While working with people in career transition, especially with women in tech, I’ve observed that when we’re not happy in our career or when we’re unemployed, we humans often lack feelings of empowerment. Imposter syndrome may creep in, that quiet voice in the background whispering that someone will find out we’re a fraud. Even the most confident people may wonder- am I really good enough? Are my skills relevant? What will happen next in my career?
To combat these feelings, as a career strategist I work with people to create a plan building self-awareness of skills, values, and strengths. Together, we put together goals and an accountability plan. By building self-awareness in these areas, it’s much easier to effectively tell our story and helps others we speak to understand who we are, what we do, and what our goals are. After all, if we’re not sure what our areas of expertise or our strengths are, how will we ever convince that hiring manager we’re the right one for the job?
Recently I read an article about genuine confidence, and it resonated with me- it is one of the reasons why Carol and I started Empowered Tech, a meetup to help women connect with other women in tech, to learn how to use their voice to gain power and establish their professional identity in tech, and share solutions and resources about challenges in the workplace. The strong, smart women we’ve met at our past meetups are problem solvers, leaders in their organizations, demonstrate curiosity to build their self-awareness, and are ambitious to take their careers to the next level. Speaking of smart, strong women, props to these writers and tech professionals who helped empower other women by sharing resources and information:
- Rachel Thomas, “The Real Reason Women Quit Tech (and How to Address It)”
- Brenda Jin, “Technical Leadership: Getting Started”
- Ritu Vincent, “Breaking the Mold: Interviews at Checkr”
- Chloe Condon, “Finding your “Gimmick”- How a Song From a Musical Helped Me With My Job Search”
- Mathilde Collin, “3 Critical Hires Most Startups Make Too Late”
If you missed Diversity Activist Ellen Pao’s interview on Daily Show this week, she talked about the sexism she experienced in Silicon Valley that led her to file a gender discrimination lawsuit against her employer in 2012. This quote, in particular, is relevant to empowerment. She describes, “…not being included in meetings, not being included in conversations, not being included in email threads…and a lot of the work was around understanding the information flow- what’s happening, where the interesting opportunities are, building these relationships…” As women in tech, we need to build the relationships and be aware of the information to get to where the opportunities are. Which companies are inclusive, who promotes women, who sees us and hears us? How can we be better communicators, support each other, and achieve our goals?
We hope you’ll join us at a future meetup. Technology leaders, project managers, recruiters, software engineers, product managers, marketing folks, customer success managers- if you work in tech and you identify as female, you’re all welcome to come build your network of other ambitious, empowered women in the tech industry.