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Blog > January 2021 > WLIT Stories: Unlabeled Mentors Along the Way

WLIT Stories: Unlabeled Mentors Along the Way

When I first started my career many years ago, I found an opportunity in tech sales without the desire to be in tech or sales. I was most interested in marketing, primarily graphic design, and never thought about tech. The company I started with out of college was woman-owned. She was business savvy and pushed our team to grow, learn, be challenged and own your results. She was my first “mentor,” although I never labeled her as that until later.

Why do women need mentors?

While the world has made strides when it comes to women’s involvement in the workforce, according to Adeva IT as of 2018, women hold only 25% of all the jobs in the tech industry, despite women making up almost half of the total workforce. I’ve seen so many successful women in every aspect of the tech industry. I’ve also heard the struggles many have faced and often without support. I’ve had to push through obstacles throughout my career as well – from women who show support to your face but not in front of their leaders, to leaders offering a pay cut for a foot in the door to the “good old boy’s network” (actual words used). I’ve learned it is better to hold out for what you know you deserve. The right door will open if you put your mind to it.

I feel fortunate to have worked with and been supported by so many great women who have inspired, challenged and guided me in the right direction. I’ve learned the importance of:

  • Building your brand
  • Staying strong
  • Being true to what you believe in
  • Manifesting the possible, or as some have said ,“fake it until you make it”

How can you find a mentor?

Mentors often come into your life or provide advice that sticks with you, without being labeled as your mentor. I now see many people in my past that offered more support to me on my journey than I realized at the time. It starts with simply connecting with other women.

ASG recently held a highly interactive “Coffee Talk,” and, even though it was virtual, the engagement amazing. Attendees expressed interest to connect and network more often. This interest sparked the launch of ASG’s Women Leaders in Technology Program. You can join us in the community, too, and keep informed of upcoming activities, read blogs and join our LinkedIn group.

We have already lined up a few amazing women leaders for our next Coffee Talk sessions (and always looking for others interested in sharing stories!).

  • March 8 – (Women’s International Day) Join Mary Wells, ASG, in discussion with Teddra Burgess, ASG, and Mary Michaud, Liberty Mutual
  • June 8 – Hear from the authors of Please Stay - How Women in Tech Survive and Thrive!,  Authors Debra Christmas and Kelley Irwin