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As a mom of a daughter who is passionate about STEM topics and loves to code, nothing is more inspiring than being in a room with female designers, developers and entrepreneurs like those who I met at Capital One’s Women in Tech Demo Day. 12 teams had two weeks to create a tech solution for a nonprofit challenge around the theme that “representation matters” to help young girls can envision themselves as technologists. Towards the end of the day I heard women, along with their male allies, pitch final products ranging from mobile apps to interactive educational gaming to a panel of expert local judges and an inspiring fireside chat with Black Girls Code founder, Kimberly Bryant.
While a winning team was selected, the parent and former teacher in me felt that all teams were winners. As cheesy as it may sound, teams walked away with a solid product idea that they can pitch elsewhere plus inspiring words from Kim Bryant and a panel of speakers who shared their experience in the tech world and provided tips for those in attendance.
From advice to young girls, how to remove barriers encountered in the workplace, what it’s like to be a woman in a field still dominated by men, and even advice for men, Women in Tech Demo Day had no shortage of tips for all ages and genders. Here are 11 pieces of wisdom for today’s generation of girls and young women interested in pursuing careers in tech.
- “There’s a little bit of tech in everything”
- “Just go ask. The worst they can say is no. If you never ask the question, you might not be here today.”
- “Be true to who you are”
- “Women in corporate environments need to learn to advocate for themselves”
- “As women, we try to do everything- be a generalist or master of something. Technology is broad. Figure out what you’re passionate about.”
- “Feel good about the things you’re passionate about”
- “Ask for help. The glass ceiling exists but know how to ask for help from sponsors and advocates of your career so your name gets mentioned.”
- “Educate yourself”
- “Code lets you understand devices around you and the things around us everyday”
- “Tech will expand in the next decade and is very flexible”
- “Don’t be afraid to fail. You’ll learn more from your life lessons. Don’t let tech issues, infrastructure, etc. scare you. Dive in and try, try, try.”
Besides these 11 gems of wisdom, it was especially inspiring to hear Kim Bryant, founder of Black Girls Code speak at the event. You can listen to her fireside chat via my Facebook Live video below.
Capital One supported my attendance at Women In Tech Demo Day.