Last September, I was asked to promote women in tech in a keynote talk at the Latina Power in STEM Los Angeles conference. For my talk, I decided to paint the picture of the landscape and end with an inspiring message. I focused on facts and on the future:
1. 25% of the tech community is made up of women.
2. There’s a misperception that girls don’t like tech, are not good at it and don’t have what it takes.
3. Reality dictates that girls like tech, are good at it, and are now the most educated gender. Just take a look at Girls Who Code!
4. Women in tech can look forward to a career that provides fun, jobs, and money. Have you seen the talent gap?
5. It is time for girls to shine in tech and we’re figuring out how to do it!
Last week, I sat at the “Wired for Success – A Microsoft Talk About Diversity and Growing Superpowers” given by Dona Sarkar (Chief Mischief Maker – Windows Insider Program at Microsoft) at IE and organized by IE Talent and Careers, and I was transported back to my keynote in Los Angeles. She brought each and every bullet point to life. It wasn’t hard to do for her. Dona is 100% unashamedly a girl who loves tech, is good at it, knows her stuff, has fun, and she’s kicking butt.
And Dona “walks the walk” and “talks the talk.” She is a well-rounded woman in tech at Microsoft; she is a fashion blogger, designer, an author, an advocate for diversity in STEM, a mentor and coach for tech business, a wife, and a constant evolution of herself. Dona is an example of what each and every woman can be: a woman who takes control of her life, confidently, and boldly brings her holistic self to work.
Dona also preaches what she practices. I loved that she encouraged the audience to get clear on:
- Who we are
- What gives us joy
- Focusing on what we like
- Finding our dream job
- and as she puts it, “bringing your holistic self to work”
She couldn’t have put guidance on how to accomplish the latter clearer than when she said:
- Find your it
- Get good at it
- Learn it
- Live it
- and let it go (if your “it” doesn’t turn out to be the right thing for you)!
The bottom line is: find your calling and get on it!
This article was first published in the IE Careers Blog