Women are breaking grounds and proving themselves in fields which were once thought to be male dominated. However, this has not resulted in a positive shift in the issue of gender equality. Engineering and technology are among the few where this scenario is woefully prevalent. So, we look towards female leaders who broke stereotypes, shattered myths and cemented their position in the world of technology for advice and inspiration. Who else will be better to guide us on this topic?
In this search for motivation, we came discovered a few words of wisdom from renowned women in technology. Their experience is valuable and when looked closely, we will know how they have made the difference.
Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook
“A study in the last two years of people entering the workforce out of college showed that 57 percent of boys entering, or men, I guess, are negotiating their first salary, and only seven percent of women.
“I wish I could go tell all the young women I work for, these fabulous women, Believe in yourself and negotiate for yourself. Own your own success.”
Her words are really energizing and we all know that she is absolutely correct. For a person or an organization to believe in you, you need to believe in yourself first. We should never shy away from our capabilities, but rather work towards improving them.
Susan Wojcicki, CEO, YouTube
“Focus on working smart. Work smart, work hard, do a great job. But then go home. Being in it for the long term, and not burning out is more important than a short and fiery stint in technology.”
She talks about a fine balance between professional and personal life. At no cost should we make our personal life suffer for our profession. When we are at work, we need to put in our 100%, but this should not come at the cost of our time towards personal pursuits and family.
Wojcicki says, “Throughout my career, I’ve made it a point to try to be home every night with my family for dinner.”
Her take on opportunities is, “Life doesn’t always present you with the perfect opportunity at the perfect time. Opportunities come when you least expect them, or when you’re not ready for them. Rarely are opportunities presented to you in the perfect way, in a nice little box with a yellow bow on top. … Opportunities, the good ones, they’re messy and confusing and hard to recognize. They’re risky. They challenge you.”
Meg Whitman, CEO, HP
Meg Whitman shared a piece of advice which she had received early in her career. These words, which came from Frank Wells, President of The Walt Disney Company, left a profound impact on her. She recalls his words as,
“You need to speak up because you are just as smart as these guys, but if we don’t hear from you, we won’t know that. So, make yourself speak.”
Since then she stood for herself, spoke her mind and is now the CEO of Hewlett-Packard Enterprise. She advises all of us to speak up so that the world knows our
Ginni Rometty, CEO, IBM
“You never let someone define who you are. Only you define who you are.”
Such energy and motivation in just a few words!
Rometty’s mother seems to have inspired her a lot. She recounts, “When my father left us, my mother went back to school immediately. She went to school in the day while we were at school and she worked at night. She worked very hard to never let someone define her as a victim or a failure.”
On a note about taking the risk, she says, “I learned that growth and comfort never coexist. It’s the same for people, countries and companies. Ask yourself when you learn the most? I guarantee it’s when you felt at risk.”
We need to learn how to take risks in life, if we want to grow. Being stuck in our comfort zone is toxic, turning us into mere shadows of what we are truly capable of.
Amy Hood, CFO, Microsoft
Amy Hood said, “Someone asked me what the most successful quality I think I have is. I’m pretty gritty. You can work through most things and come out on the other side feeling like you’ve learned a good lesson and you’ll get better.”
She continues saying, “You’re kind of a survivor … you kind of grit it out.”
“Every step, every risk I took, built confidence.”
Amy Hood concludes, stating that, “You fake it a little, have a few early wins, rely on your team, and then keep at it.”
These words reflect experience and have motivated us into imbibing a culture that encourages women to take a stand, express their opinions fearlessly and stand toe to toe with their male counterparts.
Here at Nineleaps, everyone believes that we are a team not because we work together but because we respect, trust and care for each other.