They said it could not be done.

An information management system running on the internet.

It’s too expensive and too complex.

Tim Berners Lee did it anyway, weaving together a data communications protocol and World Wide Web was born.

Doing the seemingly impossible has always been our way.

So.

In the face of the daunting path women in tech trek — from paradoxes, closed doors and double standards — I call on all of us to do it anyway.

If you take charge, you’ll be called bossy, domineering and pushy.

Do it anyway.

If you seek to build consensus you may be called indecisive, wavering and weak.

Do it anyway.

If you stand up for yourself and for others, you may be harassed and harangued.

And though harrowing, I implore you to stand up anyway.

If you enter the halls of science and technology — you may find you are one of the few, or the only one.

Enter anyway.

If you decide to be an ally and advocate for changes that are needed — it may backfire and have resounding repercussions.

Advocate anyway.

If you wake up and decide to build something, you may find the path to getting investments biased against you.

Build anyway.

The history of technology is the history of pioneers who decided, in the face of unknowns and at times seemingly impossible probabilities to defy the odds and do it anyway.

Remember the wisdom of Grace Hopper, don’t wait for permission.

You won’t do it perfectly, because we’re not perfect — and that’s the point.

It’s your right to try, to fail and to build — without meeting a bar or a standard any higher than the one you set for yourself.

So go change the world.

Make shift happen.

Anyway.

#answerthecall

____________________

This was originally delivered as the closing keynote at the Tech Superwomen Summit on January 29, 2015 in SF.

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