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Are you on the path of becoming you?

Have you read Michelle Obama’s book Becoming? Her story transcends political party and is more an open and honest account of her life; from her childhood in South Chicago to the White House and beyond. Her life as a child, a student, a lawyer, a wife, a mother and an influencer on a global stage.

However, it is her early story that speaks to me on so many levels. There was a time, after she’d become a lawyer and was working in a big law firm in downtown Chicago that she took a closer look at her life.

Checking Off the List of Life’s Expectations

Like many of us, she was a box checker. You create in your mind (knowingly or not) a list of accomplishments you must achieve before you can call yourself successful. It was this traditional view of life that prompted me to write my first book A Working Woman’s GPS: When The Plan to Have it All Leads You Astray. 

I have encountered so many women who have come to a point in their life when they look at the checklist, see all the checklists and yet feel something is missing. They aren’t happy. They aren’t energized. They aren’t feeling valued.

Michelle speaks to this same realization. She has checked off all the boxes that were expected of her and yet she isn’t feeling fulfilled. So she decides to take action. And her action is brilliant.

She reaches out to others for advice.

Becoming You With the Help of Others

She knew that she wanted to be of service and being a lawyer wasn’t meeting those needs. So she wrote letters to everyone she could think of:

  • Business leaders
  • Leaders in the Non-profit arena
  • Educational leaders
  • People whom she admired
  • People in positions of leadership that she would like to have

She didn’t write with the idea of finding a new job but rather was looking for guidance on how to create a career. The difference between a job and a career is so significant. We all want a career that we feel proud of; we feel like we are contributing to some greater good, we are using our experience to make a difference.

She wrote the letters and eventually  met with several to learn:

  • What their personal journey looked like?
  • Given her professional goals, what advice did they have?
  • What was their job like: what did they do, who did they help and how?
  • Who did they know? Who had been important in their journey
  • What next steps did they recommend for someone with her background and her desired goals?

This is an action we can all take. When we reach out to others, we have the opportunity to gain a clearer picture of the goals we are striving for.  When we meet with those we’ve worked with, we also gain an understanding of what they believe is our greatest value. So often we fail to see just what we have to offer and that is why it is important to receive feedback from those in our sphere.

Next Step to Becoming You

Once you have reached out to those in your circle and those you would like to have in your circle and gathered their insights, it is time to make a move. As Michelle says in her book “I would need to hustle and learn.” It isn’t enough to gather the information, you have to act on it. My book The Working Woman’s GPS and my latest Accelerate Your Impact offer best practice ideas, worksheets and action plans to help with the process.

However, perhaps one of the biggest actions you can take to help turn your job into a career is to connect with a sponsor. 

Mentors and sponsors are critical to your career development; they can help you achieve your professional goals faster and easier than you’d be able to do on your own. Check out my new online course Accelerate Your Career with Mentors and Sponsors.

Additional Reads




The post Becoming You: One Key Action to Take appeared first on Tech Savvy Women.

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Tech Savvy Women by Deb Chaddock Brown - 1d ago

We need more women;  women leaders, women in tech. More women making decisions that impact our daily lives.

We have all read the stats about the discrepancy in gender balance and equal pay. Even the tech giants are hovering at 30% women with 79% of their executive being male.

Not long ago I was going through some of my old blog articles and came across this one:

What the Future Holds for Women in Tech.

I wrote it in 2015 – almost five years ago and sadly, while the conversation is more lively, the stats haven’t moved much.

We still struggle as women to be taken seriously, to receive equal pay, to be viewed as offering equal value and more.

Male-Dominated Businesses

CNBC did a piece on the discrepancy of businesses with men at the helm versus women.

Among the world’s largest 500 companies, only 10.9 percent of senior executives are women, according to Weber Schandwick’s Gender Forward Pioneer Index. A significant share of the companies, 37 percent, have all-male leadership teams, while an additional 21 percent have only one woman.

While this is still the norm, it can be said that even the most successful businesses today, will struggle to maintain their success unless they increase the number of women in decision making positions. Why?

“A profitable firm at which 30 percent of leaders are women could expect to add more than 1 percentage point to its net margin compared with an otherwise similar firm with no female leaders,” the report notes. “By way of comparison, the typical profitable firm in our sample had a net profit margin of 6.4 percent, so a 1 percentage point increase represents a 15 percent boost to profitability.”

Think about it – women make most of the buying decisions for their family. Women are influencers in that they share their brand loyalty (or displeasure) via social media. They tend to be more inclusive in their idea gathering. They encourage and mentor those around them creating a more creative team environment.

It isn’t that big of a leap to suggest that if companies don’t add e women in positions of power – they will soon be out of touch with their target audience. Therefore, competitors to jump on the bandwagon today, adding women to their teams and in leadership positions will allow them to take over the industry.

Solutions Please

I don’t’ know about you, but I’m tired of all of the article explaining the problem without providing the solutions. Clearly, the biggest changes need to come from the top, but that isn’t to say that each individual has the opportunity to do their part to increase the number of women in tech, in engineering, in communications, in government and in every aspect of our world.

  1. Be a Mentor. Get a Mentor. Not to belabor a point I talk about often (in fact, I just wrote an online course on the subject) but mentorship is vital to women who want to increase their influence and impact and who desire to help other women rise up in their company. We can lift women up in business by being a mentor.
  2. Men – this one is for you. We can’t increase the number of women in business without the help and support of our male counterparts. Men, when you are in a meeting and a woman offers a good idea that is being passed over – speak up. “That was a good point, Mary. Can you elaborate?” Or “Hey, let’s go back to what Mary said. I think there is some merit there.”
  3. Flood Your Social Media. I found this idea in the article The State of Women in Tech and I love it.

“Flood your timeline with female voices and learn from their unique perspectives and experience. At the very least, this will make your media consumption more equalized, which can help you avoid biases and be more well-informed. In addition, it can help you make better business decisions and expand your knowledge.”

4.  Learn and support each other. When I started Tech Savvy Women several years ago, it was because, as a woman in tech, I needed to connect with other women who were experiencing the same challenges. Today we have almost 3,000 women on LinkedIn who share their experiences, ask and answer questions and connect with each other.

If we want to increase the number of women in tech, in leadership and in positions of power, we have to take action. We can also learn from those businesses already achieving gender equality. Check out the list of top 10 companies who have achieved gender equality – they may not be the biggest business leaders, but clearly, they are doing something right!

Additional Reads

Also, check out Dreamhost’s 10 Top Women WordPress Blogs to follow.

The post We Need More Women appeared first on Tech Savvy Women.

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I am a firm believer in the value of lifting women up in business, in your community, and at home. In fact, I just completed an online course on the value of mentors/sponsors for the purpose of women being elevated to their next best level.

While we desire (and need) assistance in the process of advancing our own career, we must also make sure we are doing our part to help others along the way.

In an article sharing the commitments some women have made for lifting women, we find these statements:

I commit to creating the first women’s resource group at my organization!

This is a great idea for those in the corporate environment who have the desire to bring women together at work. This could be a weekly bag lunch where each week you tackle a different challenge or concern as it relates to the work environment. Consider inviting a member of the HR staff to join in as there may be issues that arise that need to be addressed.

Perhaps you can schedule monthly or quarterly evening events and invite a local woman who has already risen to success in your industry. She wouldn’t have to be someone in your company, just a woman willing to share her story and answer the all-important questions of how she rose through the ranks.

If your company doesn’t support the formation of a group, consider finding one locally and inviting your female peers to join you for a meeting or event. When we gather, we share and learn so much more than when we try it alone.

I’ll commit to passing on the advice and guidance I was lucky enough to receive from coaches, bosses, and mentors.

I can’t speak highly enough about the importance and value of having mentors and sponsors who are in your corner, know your value and are helping you advance to the next desired level. In fact, I have an entire category of articles on my website devoted to Mentors and Sponsors.

It is so important to share the knowledge and best practice examples of your own personal journey with others. So often we feel like we are on an island, especially in a male-dominated field, and to hear how others have navigated the waters is invaluable.

None of us ascends in business without help from others. Turn around, reach back and help by lifting women in your organizations and/or industry just like you have been helped.

I will commit to pushing my women teammates to stay motivated in a male-dominated workplace.

Along with lifting women in business, it goes without saying that we need to look around for those women who need a little extra encouragement. As women, we are focused on doing our job, doing it well, above expectations and ensuring that we have offered all of ourselves in the process. We are great at achieving goals for others, but when it comes to raising our hand and putting ourselves out there, we tend to keep our head down.

“I guess what I’m saying is, let’s keep lifting each other up. It’s not lost on me that two of the biggest opportunities I’ve had to break into the next level were given to me by successful women in positions of power.” – Lauren Graham

The other day Joe Biden (I promise this won’t be political) in an interview with CNN was asked about potential running mates. He declined to name names but what he did say was so true. I’m paraphrasing, but he said, “there are many women out there who are more than qualified to be the president who aren’t even running.”

That speaks to this point. We are more than qualified for a promotion, a special project or to sit at the boardroom table, but we fail to put ourselves out there. If there is a woman (women) in your company who would be great for an opening and they aren’t putting their name in a hat, be that voice of encouragement.

We need to help support each other along the way, especially in industries or companies where the male voice is dominant. There are women who have made it to the top and if it is your goal – you can too. Let’s make sure that we help by lifting women in business.

The post Examples of Ways of Lifting Women Up in Business appeared first on Tech Savvy Women.

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In my books, presentations, and articles, I talk a lot about the value and importance of the goal-setting process. It is hard to reach your ultimate career position if you haven’t a goal in mind and a strategy in which to reach it.

Goal Setting Process

When we think of setting a goal, we usually start by writing down a list of tactics, to-dos, and items that we need to do, learn or buy to reach our goal. As you move down the list, checking off completed items, you ultimately reach that goal.

However, I recently read an article that turns that whole goal setting process on its head.

Start At the End

Brianna Wiest has a different approach to the goal-setting process in her article Learn to bridge where you are to where you want to be.

Brianna suggests that we start with the end in mind – write down your goal first. This way, as you tick off the steps to achieving your goal, you are moving UP THE LIST. Brianna explains it like this:

You’ll notice in the mental shift that what you have is at the bottom, and what you want is at the top. This is an important alignment because you want the experience of feeling as though you are rising to a greater outcome.

Determine Your Goal By Envisioning It First

In my article, Flex Your Risk Muscle When Setting Career Goals, I talk about the steps to determining what that goal should be:

Dream about your new career

Start with a vision of what that new career looks like. Picture it completely.

  • Envision what the office looks like.
  • What’s the company culture?
  • What are you doing each day?
  • Who’re you interacting with?
  • What type of people are you helping?
  • Think about the equipment you’re using.
  • Is there travel involved?

Really nail down a picture of what that future you look like.

Recognizing What You Have

As you think through what you have in the goal-setting process, make sure you quiet your self deprecating internal monologue. This is just you and a piece of paper. Be honest. Recognize your experiences, your successes, and the skills that you bring to the table. You may not be as far away from your goal as you think.

If you struggle to quiet that negative voice, check out my video on how to go from self-deprecating to “Yes I Can!”

How to Go from Self-Deprecation to "Yes I Can!" with JJ DiGeronimo - YouTube

Work Toward Your Goal Every day

Once you have the beginning and end determined, what do you need to do to achieve your goal? Whatever those steps are, and however long the process might take, remember to work on your goal every single day.

Ask yourself: What am I doing today to achieve my goal. Whether the goal is professional, financial or personal, there is always something you can do to help move in the right direction. Make sure you take a step forward today.

Additional Reads

The post Turning Your Goal Setting Process Upside Down appeared first on Tech Savvy Women.

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Do you have a digital idea for a product that you’d like to introduce to the world?

Carnellia Ajasin is the CEO of Mind Katalyst, creative technology and design innovation firm. From digital to physical, she specializes in applying human-centered and design thinking principles to help clients define, design, and develop new products that achieve business objectives, relevance, meaning, and competitive advantage.

Mind Katalyst is a creative technology and design innovation firm based in Atlanta, Georgia. We help you deliver meaningful and transformative user experiences to your customers. We build meaningful human-centered experiences with software, wearables, AR/VR and emerging technologies for ambitious businesses and organizations.

You don’t have to have a technology background to develop a digital idea. Carnellia and her company help those with digital ideas first validate their idea before taking it further through the process.

Check out Mind Katalyst to learn more about how the process works to take a digital idea and turn it into a workable product.

The post How to Turn a Digital Idea Into a Product! appeared first on Tech Savvy Women.

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Where do you stand on gender equality? You may believe you are a supporter for change; equal opportunities, equal pay, equal representation in high-level management positions, however, are you actively helping the cause?

STEM Not the Only Industry Suffering the Gender Equality Challenge

In a recent Harvard Business Review article called Tackling the Underrepresentation of Women in Media, we learn that the creative industries, particularly those with on-camera roles, are still primarily led by men.

In the article, the first step to making a significant change in the current situation is by taking action.

Bystanders observe a wrong but tend to be relatively unlikely to address it because they question whether they are the right person to act, whether it is the right time, or whether someone else will step up. Those who confront, on the other hand, act on the wrongs they see.

Which Are You: a Bystander or a Confronter?

As a bystander, we know that women in leadership roles make for positive change and increased profits, the movement to a more 50:50 environment has been slow.

The article refers to a 50:50 project for the creative industries, a group focused on finding and recognizing female leaders and working together to change the current status quo.

It all sounds good, but when you visit the US site, 5050initiative.org, you’ll find that there hasn’t been an updated blog article since 2016. We cry out for change, we rally the troops and then the energy fizzles out.

Is it just too hard to turn the ship around?

The BBC’s 50:50 Project

No. We can’t faint. We can’t lose hope. We must persevere for when businesses move to a more gender equal landscape, great things happen.

In the UK, the 50/50 project has more teeth and is making great strides towards equality. Here is where they stand today:

The BBC announced the 50:50 Challenge in April 2018. The aim was twofold. First, how many English language teams from across news, current affairs and topical programming could sign up to 50:50 [The program was voluntary; by the end of April 2019, 500 teams had signed up.] Second, how many of those teams could reach 50% women contributors in April 2019 in the content they could control?

For teams who have been part of the initiative for 12 months or more, 74% reached 50% female representation in April 2019. A clear majority of the remaining 26% were above 40% female representation. (BBC 50/50 project)

They set a target and then measured results.

How to Be a Confronter

There are so many different personality types, and typically most want to avoid conflict – they would rather nurture, encourage, support or train. However, when faced with conflict as ingrained as gender equality, it is going to require tapping into your confrontational nature.

The website Get Boarded offers insights into the different personality types and here is what they say about confronters:

Willing to speak out and even challenge the status quo.
Among the brand Archetypes, the ‘conflict confronter’ represents the honest and the outspoken. Gandhi, Mandela are symbols who would identify as strong profiles with these traits. These people are gang leaders who are willing to speak out. Confronters are strong advocates of the plain truth and carefully craft their perception of honesty.  They challenge the status quo and is willing to speak out, even at great personal risk. They have an inherent capability to recognize, handle and resolve conflict promptly.

While we aren’t suggesting physical confrontation as the image above demonstrates, orchestrating change will require getting outside your comfort zone.

Steps to Speak Up

Okay, are in agreement that we need to confront the situation head-on…now what? In a Forbes article offering 15 ways to speak up, perhaps the most important one is this:

Define Why Your Voice Is Important. Small voices have a big impact. Start a conversation with yourself. Why is what you have to say worth overcoming your nerves? Who or how you are helping by raising your hand? Who will you inspire and why are your words welcome in the world? As you gain confidence in your why, make space for others by asking what’s important to them. Start small and practice often!

Whether you are male or female, if you feel strongly about moving your team, your department, or your company towards gender equality, then you need to speak up.

There isn’t a Single Solution

When it comes to moving the needle in any industry to a more balanced equation it is going to require companies to pull out all the stops. From executive leaders creating a culture of gender equality and building company initiatives that encourage and support a 50/50 team to individuals stepping up to mentor, recruit and value a diverse team.

The first step: become a confronter.

Note: Here are four companies who have already achieved pay equality. What can we learn from their example?

Related Posts

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Are you familiar with the term “self-efficacy?” Self-efficacy is more than just confidence or self-esteem but refers to your belief to be successful. It is defined as follows:

Selfefficacy reflects confidence in the ability to exert control over one’s own motivation, behavior, and social environment.

When a woman in technology — or frankly in any industry — has self-efficacy it can help motivate her in through situations where her confidence might be undermined by the corporate culture or individual management styles.

Feeling Valued

The number of women in technology leaving the field mid-career is astronomical; a phenomenon that company leaders are just beginning to come aware. When interviewed as to their motivation for leaving the most common reason is the belief that they are not valued, do not feel like they can be successful or in some other way feel left out of the company culture.

However, when looking deeper into the women leaders who persevere, we find a trend towards self-efficacy. Women who don’t solely rely on the support or encouragement from those around them to feel successful but rather are capable of digging deeper and believing in their own ability to succeed.

Self-Efficacy: A Trait That Can Be Taught

The good news is that, although some are born with self-efficacy, it is a trait that can be nurtured and taught.

Psychology contributor Kendra CherryPsychology Expert explores self-efficacy in her article: Self Efficacy: What is Self Efficacy? She shares that it’s most often developed at a young age, however, learning the behavior does not stop once you reach adulthood. Kendra shares information gathered from psychologist Albert Bandura. According to Bandura, there are four major sources of self-efficacy.

1. Mastery Experiences

“The most effective way of developing a strong sense of efficacy is through mastery experiences,” Bandura explained. Performing a task successfully strengthens our sense of self-efficacy. However, failing to adequately deal with a task or challenge can undermine and weaken self-efficacy.

2. Social Modeling

Witnessing other people successfully completing a task is another important source of self-efficacy. According to Bandura, “Seeing people similar to oneself succeed by sustained effort raises observers’ beliefs that they too possess the capabilities (to) master comparable activities to succeed.”

3. Social Persuasion

Bandura also asserted that people could be persuaded to believe that they have the skills and capabilities to succeed. Consider a time when someone said something positive and encouraging that helped you achieve a goal. Getting verbal encouragement from others helps people overcome self-doubt and instead focus on giving their best effort to the task at hand.

4. Psychological Responses

Our own responses and emotional reactions to situations also play an important role in self-efficacy. Moods, emotional states, physical reactions, and stress levels can all impact how a person feels about their personal abilities in a particular situation. A person who becomes extremely nervous before speaking in public may develop a weak sense of self-efficacy in these situations.

Albert Bandura is recognized as the Father of self-efficacy and is quoted and referred to in a number of articles such as 4 Ways to Develop Self Efficacy Beliefs and The Sway of Self Efficacy

Each article is written by a different author and published on a variety of sites but all site Bandura’s research and each also offer the good news that self-efficacy can be taught.

They all also recognize that reality offers those days when we question our abilities:

Accept Self-Doubt…but Put it in its Place Managing your self-doubt is just one more way to keep “I think I can’t” thoughts from derailing your success. When self-defeating thoughts bubble up, accept them as part of the process and move on. These types of thoughts don’t necessarily reflect your true capabilities. The key is to not let them stop you from moving forward.

UPDATE: Get Comfortable with Not Being Comfortable

I was recently contacted by Rebecca Temsen, who writes the blog Self Development Secrets.

Belief isn’t a natural gift, Rebecca Temsen

She shared the fact that she also wrote on this topic in her article Believe in Yourself. She offers a number of great points, but one that really resonated was the fact that in order to get where we want to be, we are going to have to get uncomfortable.

Part of believing yourself begins with accepting discomfort. We all live with opposing powers aimed at the things we pursue. The trick with believing in yourself is in knowing that opposition doesn’t necessarily go away. What goes away is your attitude about it. Some discover that they eventually develop a comfort zone in the opposition they live with.

It’s all a matter of what’s in your head. Your thoughts have power. Your focus will alter how your body perceives the world. Focusing on negatives will start to alter your biology. This is where anxiety comes from.

Imagine how long you’ve been harboring this if you haven’t caught your own thoughts in the act. It all works on a principle of accumulation. You won’t change your mindset overnight, but one night of focus on the right things changes the motion. Positive thoughts will accumulate to dominate the way you think eventually.

The point is that although having role models, mentors and fans are an excellent way of developing confidence and a belief that you can be successful even in a world dominated by men; when the going gets really tough you have to dig down deep and find your own inner strength and motivation to succeed.

Remind Yourself of Past Successes

Past performance is an indicator of future success.  Think back on the hurdles you have overcome in the past. This is especially important for women in technology who have often been the only female in the class, on projects, and in the workplace for most of their career. You have overcome and you will succeed again.

In The First 90 Days: Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at All Levels, Michael Watkins writes about how to build your foundation for self-efficacy. He starts with 3 Pillars:

How can you create virtuous cycles that build momentum? How do you avoid vicious cycles that sap your strength? You build a foundation for self-efficacy. Your build your foundation with three pillars.

  • Adopting Success Strategies.
  • Enforcing Personal Disciplines.
  • Building Your Support System.
One More Thing: Forgive Yourself

There is one more step on the journey to self-efficacy and that involves forgiveness or self-compassion. In the article, The Secret to Improving Self Confidence, the author Eric Barker starts with these startling words: “stop lying to yourself that you are so awesome.” While shocking – he does have a point. We have all had our valleys in life, hopefully, errors that we have learned from. But Barker’s perspective is that we need to face our imperfections and offer a little compassion.

… Self-compassion was clearly associated with steadier and more constant feelings of self-worth than self-esteem. We also found that self-compassion was less likely than self-esteem to be contingent on particular outcomes like social approval, competing successfully, or feeling attractive. When our sense of self-worth stems from being a human being intrinsically worthy of respect—rather than being contingent on obtaining certain ideals—our sense of self-worth is much less easily shaken.

No matter how you get there – when you look in the mirror, focus on the positives rather than the negatives. Remember your successes and have confidence that you will again be successful in the future.

Learn More About Self Confidence & Self Efficacy:

The post The Power of Self Efficacy for Women in Business appeared first on Tech Savvy Women.

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One of the many joys of my career as a champion for women in tech is the fact that I get to interview so many amazing people. It is true that just one person can make a difference.

On my Tech Savvy Women YouTube Channel, I have a podcast listing entitled:

Women in STEM: Inspiring Interviews & Actionable Advice

This playlist includes 62 interviews with women across a variety of STEM industries that have amazing stories. For example, my interview with Jasmine S. Dennis, who is a millennial expert, speaker, trainer, certification exam writer, and consultant. One of her gifts is creating strategies and solutions to address multi-generational challenges for organizations around the world.

Millennial Expert & Woman in Tech Helping Organizations Reach & Empower Multi-Generations at Work - YouTube

Celebrate Women in Tech

It is important that we recognize those women in tech who are leading the path and paving the way for others behind them. Check out the 2019 listing of Top 50 Most Powerful Women in Tech. 

It is also important to recognize and learn more about the stories of the women who started it all.

Let’s join in the celebration of women in tech – starting with the very first!

Ada Lovelace – First Woman in Tech

Each year on the 2nd Tuesday of October, we celebrate women in tech on Ada Lovelace Day. Not sure who Ada is? She was the very first woman in tech!

In 1843 at the age of 28, she developed the first computer program. Ada Lovelace was a skilled mathematician who’s credited with writing the first computer programs back in 1843 – well before computers actually existed. According to a Tech Insurance article, Ada published a scientific paper in collaboration with Charles Babbage (known today as the father of the computer) on his Analytical Engine. While the machine was never built, the paper written by Ada included what is now recognized as the first computer programs

We take a moment to celebrate women in tech for their accomplishments but also for their willingness to continue to fly in the face of stats that leave them in the minority. Although more women are in the workforce and graduate from college than men, they are still in the minority when it comes to tech careers.

Celebrating Women in Tech

Information Week offers up eight more women in tech that we should be aware of; pioneers in the industry who have made a significant impact on technology:

Sister Mary Kenneth Keller

Mary Kenneth Keller was the first woman in the US to receive a PhD. in computer science. Sister Keller’s academic career brought her to DePaul University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in mathematics and, later, master’s degrees in both mathematics and physics. In 1965 she earned her PhD. in computer science from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, where she wrote a dissertation on creating algorithms to perform analytic differentiation on algebraic expression.

Erna Schneider Hoover

Erna Schneider Hoover was the brains behind the electronic telephone switching system and one of the first software patent holders in tech history. Hoover worked at Bell Laboratories, where she worked on control programs for the radar in its Safeguard Anti-Ballistic Missile Defense System and was the first woman to be named a technical supervisor.

Grace Hopper

Grace Hopper, a pioneer in computer programming, worked on the Mark I computer while serving with the US Navy in World War II. During her time at Harvard, Hopper worked on the Mark II and Mark III computers before transferring to work in private corporations and managing the programming development for the UNIVAC I and II. The compiler, known as FLOW-MATIC, was designed to translate languages that could be used for business purposes.

There are lessons to be learned from these amazing women and those today who are leading the way for other women in tech. Some of the support comes from surprising places.

Actress and comedienne Amy Poehler is a supporter of girls and women in tech. In a recent article that highlights five lessons that we can all learn from famous women in tech, we discover that she founded Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls organization with producer Meredith Walker to help young people emphasize their intelligence and imagination instead of clamoring to “fit in”.

Back to You

Tech is not a white male only field. Diversity helps bring new perspectives, new experience, new approaches to old problems and will help us create unimaginable greatness for the world. Join me as we celebrate the possibilities!

Related Posts

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In a 2017 Harvard Business Review report, yet another way men and women are evaluated differently is uncovered:

After examining their database of 2,800 executive evaluations globally, the Egon Zehnder team found that men tended to outscore women on five of seven competencies that companies more typically use to evaluate managers — criteria such as strategy, change management and understanding the market. Women outperformed men on collaboration and developing other individuals and teams.

The article explains that we can’t just look at our experience and past successes as an indicator for future performance; but rather need to consider all aspects of the leadership potential. If companies seek to increase the number of women leaders in their organization they need to adjust their measurement criteria.

Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. We are all the same in this notion: The potential for greatness lives within each of us. Wilma Rudolph

Additionally, training programs should reflect a candidate’s leadership potential so that they are provided the opportunities to gain new skills rather than just look at their current competencies.

Training is another word for investment. To truly provide the necessary instruction for those with untapped leadership potential, we must consider the entire person.

Companies that do a better job of measuring potential and shift their culture to urge employees to “bring their whole selves to work” — a phrase common with the Facebook executive and “Lean In” author Sheryl Sandberg — could help propel underappreciated executives, and particularly more women, to the top.

Examine your current training programs

Do you have a plan in place to identify those within your organization with the most potential and provide them the tools necessary to increase their skill set?

As individuals, we must also recognize that if we don’t currently have a skill set that other men have in our department or in the position we strive for – we need to take the initiative to seek out the training necessary. Ask your boss to send you to training that will provide you will the skills you need to be considered for the next promotion.

Almost 2 Years Later and Nothing Has Changed

In the two years since the Harvard study, we learn that men are still being offered the potential to grow into leadership roles over women.

The potential of women for leadership roles is being overlooked, while men benefit from the perception that they will grow into the role, new research from the University of Kent shows.

In an article entitled Women’s Leadership Potential Being Overlooked, we learn that are still receiving the benefit of the doubt over women.

The study demonstrated that when faced with a choice, people consistently ranked male candidates with leadership potential as their first choice. Furthermore, while leadership potential was preferred in male candidates, participants preferred past performance over potential in female candidates.

As business leaders, we need to be aware of this discrepancy and hold our human resource decisions up to a higher standard. Invest in your company. Look beyond the competencies someone has today and look rather for those that have the most leadership potential in the future.

Related Posts

The post Maximize Your Leadership Potential appeared first on Tech Savvy Women.

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Caitlyn Holland, a Software Development Engineer, has had an amazing STEM career. She works for a software company in the customer intelligence division. Through the work of Caitlyn and her team, they ensure that customers are receiving a quality product as they test each product in detail. To do this, she tests products in various ways and often needs to think outside the box to cover most cases.

To speed up this process of checking various use cases, Caitlyn writes code that automates the testing of our product. Being able to run some of our tests automatically provides an efficiency which allows us to have more time to dive deeper into complex issues to increase the quality and time of delivery.

Caitlyn Holland graduated from Meredith College in 2014 with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Mathematics and Computer Science.

Just One of the Remarkable Women

She is also one of the remarkable women highlighted in the new book, “Her STEM Career: Adventures of 51 Remarkable Women.” Written for girls in middle school, girls of all ages will take delight in reading “Her STEM Career.” The book is jam-packed with 51 interesting, relatable and inspirational career stories as well as a chapter on STEM. The chapter provides basic information about the four subjects, while the stories are told from the first-person point of view of a STEM woman; they provide vivid details of their early forays into STEM, their empowering educations at colleges across the US and their current careers.

“Her STEM Career” covers a broad and unique range of occupations such as a Medical Illustrator, Fashion Engineer, Marine Biologist, Environmental Scientist, Robotics Research Scientist, Manufacturing Engineer, Software Tester, Scientific Journal Editor, Cosmetic Chemist, or Weed Scientist (to name several), as well as the many divergent paths these women have taken in order to complete their journeys. These are real, relatable, revolutionary women who have already and will continue to accomplish and achieve within the STEM industry. And they are here to tell they’re fascinating stories to the next generation of amazing young women.

“Her STEM Career” makes for a positive educational tool to be used to help encourage, guide and even pave the way for young women to enter into STEM careers. Order your copy on Amazon here.

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The post Software Development Engineer, Caitlyn Holland, in Her STEM Career appeared first on Tech Savvy Women.

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