The Power of Empowering Immigrant Women

Immigrants face many challenges and fears. They need to adapt quickly to a new culture, learn a new language, deal with homesickness and go above and beyond in interviews to overcome lack of local work experience. Don’t get me wrong; new beginnings are exciting too. I believe in challenging yourself and getting out of your comfort zone if you want to grow. Moving to a new country that promises more opportunities is one of the best ways to do so.

I have been an immigrant for the past five years. I was dreaming about new adventures, new opportunities, yet I knew it would not be easy. I left behind a job, friends, family and moved to Vancouver, Canada. I realized how hard it was when I arrived in a new country, without a job, friends and enough money. When I think back to my first months in Canada, I smile. However, back then I was not smiling! For weeks, I spent my mornings going from one company to the next to leave my resume and spent my afternoons applying for jobs online.

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To reach one of the companies I interviewed for, I even had to cross an area with a warning sign “Be Bear Aware”. Rain or shine (well, in the case of Vancouver … rain) every day I would wake up, prepare my resume, grab my umbrella, a big smile, and the hope that I find a job.

Although building a new life abroad is not easy for immigrants, the Bay Area offers plenty of support opportunities both from a career and networking standpoint.

The “Femigrants of Silicon Valley” event is one of these amazing opportunities. The event will be held on Thursday, March 22nd at Cambria Gallery, in San Francisco. The term femigrant stands for female immigrant, and it was recently coined by Ika Aliyeva, Founder of Femigrants Foundation — a diverse and powerful organization of more than 2,500 immigrant female entrepreneurs and professional leaders.

Whether you are an immigrant, guy or gal, you should join us for an exciting evening of networking and discussions on challenges immigrant women face every day, diversity, inclusion, and to celebrate the success and achievements. Speakers will share their personal experiences, the obstacles they encountered, tips to overcome them, and the secret sauce to make your dream a reality.

Connect with women from over than ten different countries!

I am honored and thrilled to emcee the “Femigrants of Silicon Valley” event and have the opportunity to meet other amazing femigrants!

Get your tickets here. Use the promo code “DOMI” and get 10$ off.

Check out the lineup of amazing speakers!

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Beate Chelette, Founder & CEO of The Women’s Code

Beate has a deep commitment to supporting women. She is the creator of The Women’s Code, her revolutionary system to help women cope, collaborate and lead in their careers. Her proprietary methods specifically address women’s obstacles and she leads from experience, having survived in business in a highly competitive male-dominated environment. She is a respected speaker and mentor and is the author of the book Happy Woman Happy World How to Go From Overwhelmed to Awesome, a book that corporate trainer and best-selling author Brian Tracy calls “a handbook for every woman who wants health, success and a fulfilling career.”

Learn more about Beate here.

Ethar El-Katatney, Executive Producer at AJ+

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Ethar is an award-winning journalist and published author. She is the recipient of a CNN African Journalist of the Year Award, the Samir Kassir Freedom of the Press Award, and the Anna Lindh Euro-Mediterranean Journalist Award. El-Katatney has nine years of international journalism experience, working on features and investigative stories. She has worked across a variety of platforms, for print, online, and television. Her first book on Sufism in Yemen was published in London in 2010, and she is currently editing her second book on Islam in China. She has an MBA and an MA in Television and Digital Journalism from the American University in Cairo.

Check out this interview with Ethar here.

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Emna Ghariani, Founder at Stealth Mode Startup Company

Loud, energetic and relentless. She multitasks when multitasking. Raised in a Navy family, she always thinks on her feet. She has experienced life at its worst and its best always with a positive edge. Her first business was a mini library at the age of 11, lending books and her first sales job was when she was 12 in France with her uncle. Wanting to learn all aspects of the business, she learned everything from marketing to code, passing by supply chain and finance. That led her to become a product manager, running teams all over the world but also helped her launch 18 startups as a global director within the Founder Institute. She has a dream to change the way people communicate and kill the world of assumptions.

Get some great tips on how to pitch your company by Emna here.

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Heidi Yu, CEO & Founder, Boostinsider and BOOSTO

Heidi is a serial entrepreneur. She is all of the following: a product designer, a business person, a photographer, a nerd, and an effective team leader. She spoke at Startup Grind 2018, Future Tech Summit 2018, Draper University, SVIEF 2017 Silicon Valley, and many other events.

Learn how Heidi started Boostinsider here.

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Elena Krasnoperova, CEO and Founder, Calroo; Limited partner/Investor in 500 Startups

Elena is passionate about helping parents be better and happier parents. That’s why we created Calroo, a mobile app that helps busy parents coordinate their family schedules and logistics with each other (things like who’s picking up which kid when, and what we need from the grocery store). We recently graduated from Batch 12 of Women’s Startup Lab, and are now raising our angel round. If you share our vision, please connect to me on LinkedIn.

See what Elena created here.

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Kwanua Robinson, Owner at PowerPlay SF

Kwanua’s fitness journey began ten years ago while working as a Brand Manager for a Media company. She would leave the office every day and hit the gym for her daily fitness fix. Under the guidance of her Pilates Instructor & Personal Trainer, Kwanua grew stronger, faster, more flexible and felt great! Inspired by the changes in her own body and determined to live a more balanced lifestyle Kwanua decided to leave her corporate job so she could start helping people improve their health and wellness.

Read more about Kwuana’s journey here.

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Yumi Alyssa Kimura, CEO and Co-Founder of Lead

Yumi is the CEO and Co-Founder of Lead, a San Francisco startup that builds that bring employee engagement and diversity through AI. We also provide unconscious bias data insight to help companies to promote the true leaders and build the better teams. She and her team received the Best Product Award in the Hackathon “CHIMEHACK 4” in 2017. (“CHIMEHACK” is a part of Gucci ‘s “CHIME FOR CHANGE” project, focusing on developing technology solutions for girls and women).

Learn more about Lead here.

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Aygun Suleyman, Product Marketing Director, Salesforce & Board Member, Femigrants

Aygun is a mentor who is passionate about supporting women to realize their full potential and drive their careers forward. Aygun is the creator of Mentoring Women in Tech group and speaks at Women of Silicon Valley conference series. In her 8 years in US, she has taken her own career from an intern at a small startup in Miami to a Product Marketing Director at Salesforce. She’s a big believer in the power of goals combined with perseverance to get women, and men, wherever they need in life.

Giovanni Fnu, Technical Strategist at Pinterest

Giovanny is currently a Technical Strategist with an emphasis on Spam detection at Pinterest. Prior to the recent move to Pinterest in 2017, she moved to WhatsApp on the same year it was acquired by Facebook in 2014. WhatsApp was still around 80 employees then, and based in Mountain View, CA. She graduated from UC Davis in 2012, and speaks four different languages: English, Indonesian, Chinese (Mandarin), and Japanese. Giovanni migrated from Indonesia in 2000, and has been an advocate in empowering immigrant women to succeed in their professional life by promoting relevant networking events and finding job opportunities within the tech sector through referral programs offered by companies.

Check Giovanni on Pinterest here.

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Lavanya Poreddy, Program Manager at Facebook

Lavanya’s mission Statement is: “To leverage my intelligence, charm, leadership skills, empathy and confidence to serve as a leader in making people successful and accomplished”. She’s a highly talented organizational and leadership development coach with expertise in motivating, building future leaders and coaching professionals to build leadership and management skills. Extremely creative, innovative and problem solver who can handle difficult situations/people/organizations. Lavanya is a creative and innovative thinker who is not afraid to go out of my comfort zone to achieve positive results.

Learn more about Lavanya’s journey here.

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Vivian Po, Communications Director, City and County of San Francisco

Vivian joined the Office of the Assessor-Recorder with the City and County of San Francisco in 2013. She oversees communications and taxpayer education for elected Assessor Carmen Chu. Prior to her current position, Vivian Po was a project manager and journalist at New America Media, a nonprofit organization focused on empowering the ethnic media sector across the country. Before joining New America Media, Vivian was a daily reporter with the local Chinese press, covering community issues such as public safety, immigration and housing. She is bilingual and bi-literate in English and Chinese. She speaks Cantonese, Mandarin and English. Vivian graduated from University of California, Berkeley. She has recently completed her Master in Public Administration program at University of San Francisco.

Check out Vivian on New America Media here.

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Ika Aliyeva, Founder of Femigrants Foundation

As a Social Media Expert and a Motivational Speaker, Ika spearheads and drives high-impact to the diverse community of immigrant women entrepreneurs and professional leaders. She believes to the power of social media and efficiently uses various online platforms to bring the meaningful community of diverse women together. Her recent accomplishments include building a diverse community of more than 2500 immigrant women entrepreneurs and professional leaders working at top tech companies in the US. Using her advanced motivational skills, Ika encourages immigrant women to make positive changes in their life and to become successful women leaders of America.

Learn more about Ika in the interview feature by BusinessWomen.org here.

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Join us on Thursday, March 22nd at Cambria Gallery in San Francisco!

Use the promo code “DOMI” and get 10$ off. Register here.

Written by

Program & Community Manager at SAP.iO Foundry San Francisco| Startup Engagement & Community at AIMA| Empowering Women in Silicon Valley

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