When I asked some of the best women in business and technology on Twitter for the advice they’d give young women today at the start of their career, they responded with so much brilliant advice, that I just had to share:
- Seek a mentor. Someone you trust. Don’t go it alone.
Vicky Warr, Founder of Bump & Baby Beyond
- Deliver and be great to work with. These are table stakes. Do not hold back or play small because you also want a family. Men don’t do that.
Cindy Healy, Girlboss, STEM advocate, Storyteller
- Be patient. It’s all going to happen for you, but it does take some time. (Though I would also argue it’s also good to be impatient at times)
Ashly LaMarr, Software dev (C#/SQL/JS), CS major, tech community volunteer
- Luck comes to a prepared mind.
Elizabeth Brigham, Head of prodmarketing 4 software
- Educate yourself on feminism, Unconscious bias against Women, how structural and institutionalised sexism manifests itself in our still very patriarchal society. Knowledge is power.
Abi Thomas, Plaid Cymru radical feminist
- Never stop learning and be patient. Your season will come.
Precious Mushayi, Information Systems Administrator, SAP Solutions Consultant
- Watch and learn from everyone and everything around you. Whether it’s the good/bad/ugly it can all be used as a guide of what to do (or what not to do!) in the future. Oh and be a nice person to work with, that definitely helps too!
Kristy MacLeod, PR, Communications and Celebrity consultant by day,foodblogger and nonsense waffler by night
- Value yourself and don’t be afraid to change if you find yourself in a toxic environment. Life is too short to spend 8+ hours a day doing work you don’t like with people you can’t trust.
Rachel Woodworth, Techie STEM Ambassador
- Learn to identify the difference between constructive criticism and destructive criticism.
- When you network, don’t network only with women, make sure to go to professional group meets of your professional interest area as well!
Lynoure Braakman, Agile, Lean Software Developer
- Early on in your career it’s very easy to get deterred from taking action by FEAR. Do not let that happen… as the saying goes “feel the fear and do it anyway.” If you conquer your fears, you can conquer the world.
mentorWIT, Advise, Promote, Sponsor #womenintech
- Always value your contacts and treat them with respect.. whether they are suppliers, clients or colleagues. You never know where they might end up.
PitterPatterPither, Getting you through maternity leave and beyond
- If you want a family think about the workplace you want to be in years in advance – e.g. look at maternity policies, culture around flexible working, mothers in senior positions. Move until you find the right company, and build up a reputation that you can leverage later.
Hilary Jane Smart, Mathematician, Modeller (of the financial kind)
- Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, it’s how you learn. Just don’t make the same one twice. Personal experience: it’s taken me a few wrong turns to understand what I’m good at, and who I work best with.
Rachel Woodworth, Techie STEM Ambassador
- Be prepared to upskill and be agile. More importantly learn to manage up and use the power of your network. Talk about your achievements.
Virginia Herlihy, CEO of How do you do it
- Understand “who” you are, “how” you work best and the “environment” in which you thrive. It’s not easy and takes self-reflection, but it helps you to make better career decisions.Women in the City, Award winning organisation that develops and champions female talent
- Find someone who will mentor / support you AND ask for opportunities don’t wait for them to come to you.
Attune Flex Jobs
- My one piece of advice is ALWAYS be yourself.
Amanda Reuben, Bijou Recruitment
- Believe in yourself! You can do anything you want!
Nan, Grandmother, mother of 5. Work full-time
- Don’t let anyone tell you that you’re too young.
Alison Stephenson, NCT Regional volunteer
- You CAN do this. Self belief is so important in a world that is still predominantly very confident men. Find your allies early on.
Nicole Sumter, Trainee triathlete
Which of this advice resonated for you when you think back to the start of your career?
Leave me a comment if you have a piece of advice to share with young women in technology.
#womenintech #WiT #womeninIT