Girls Guide to Making It in High-Tech
Lesson #1- Be a Bad A*#
I have spent the majority of the last 17 years in high-tech with a few detours here and there to try out other endeavors such as stock broker, media agency product manager, songwriter, and business owner. However, high-tech with its interesting people, cool products and the allure of a riches yielding startup IPO has always pulled me back in. It has been the best of times and it has been the worst of times. Through it all, I would not change a thing about my experiences. I have met some amazing people, some real jerks, learned a ton of acronyms and a lot about myself as well. This blog is dedicated to all you women who are curious about tech, ventured to try it and are brave enough to stick with it. I am here to tell you that yes, it is really hard and not fair at times. No, you are not crazy. And, yes, you can make a really good living and career out of it. You just need to learn to make a graceful entrance and deliver an even more powerful performance.
I have been speaking on a few leadership panels recently about my experiences and one piece of advice I can give to women aspiring to succeed in tech is to build a brand for yourself as the best at that specific discipline. For example, if you want to be a product manager know your product, your competitors products, your ecosystem partners products and next-gen products in and out. Be known internally as the go-to product manager who knows her sh*#, is unforgiving when tested and bold about customer service. The key is branding yourself early so when your colleagues move to other companies, and they will, they will remember you as the go-to girl to call when building a world-class product team. That is powerful and unforgettable.
A recent girl friend of mine left a company and upon her departure got so many wonderful emails from her colleagues, direct reports and executives on how much they were going to miss her and appreciated her work, camaraderie and expertise. One of the letters from her direct reports brought her to tears when she told her that she hopes to be a Bad A*# just like her one day. Hard work, expertise, and treating co-workers with respect transcends any gender barrier. So girls…signing off my first blog with asking you all to be powerful in your work and unforgettable in your impression.