Like A Girl

Pushing the conversation on gender equality.

Code Like A Girl Lead Like A Girl

15 Quotes From Women in Tech That Will Inspire You

Photograph by Stuart Isett/Fortune Most Powerful Women

Tech and STEM fields are historically male-dominated, but women have been involved from the beginning. From Victorian computer visionary Ada Lovelace to Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg, women in technology show girls that their contributions to science and technology can and should be valued.

If you’re thinking about going into a tech industry, or if you already work in one, diverse and self-empowered role models can help encourage you to keep working toward your goals, even when it gets tough. Here are 15 inspirational quotes from influential women in tech.

1. Limor Fried — MIT Graduate and Owner of DIY electronics company Adafruit

“We are showing people that engineering isn’t just the physics of how a transistor works. It’s using the technology, and being creative with it, and solving problems that people have or creating something beautiful with it. And I think that’s opening up engineering to a whole new group of people that maybe never would have thought that engineering was for them.”

2. Sheryl Sandberg — Facebook COO and Founder of Leanin.org

“The word ‘female,’ when inserted in front of something, is always with a note of surprise. Female COO, female pilot, female surgeon — as if the gender implies surprise … One day there won’t be female leaders. There will just be leaders.”

3. Tracy Sun — Former Research Scientist, Co-Founder of Poshmark

“I increasingly believe, and remind myself, that my ideas are valuable. People will listen to and appreciate them more based on my confidence conceptualizing and sharing them. Only one idea can be chosen, but everyone has to feel confident to share theirs because it contributes to the final outcome.”

4. Grace Hopper — Pioneering Computer Scientist

“Humans are allergic to change. They love to say, ‘We’ve always done it this way.’ I try to fight that. That’s why I have a clock on my wall that runs counterclockwise.”

5. Katherine Coleman Goble Johnson — NASA Mathematician

“They never asked me to go back over (my calculations) because when I did it, I had done my best, and it was right.”

6. Margaret Hamilton — Mathematician and Pioneering Computer Scientist

“When I first started using the phrase software engineering, it was considered to be quite amusing. They used to kid me about my radical ideas. Software eventually and necessarily gained the same respect as any other discipline.”

7. Janet Oganah — Former Family Law Barrister and Founder of Attica Communications

“When I started my career at the Bar, I did not look or sound like what my clients expected. I had to prove myself continuously, which was difficult but ultimately useful as it meant that I always had to be at the top of my game.”

8. Ellen Pao — Former Reddit CEO and Current CEO and Co-Founder of Project Include

“We need to understand that if we all work on inclusion together, it’s going to be faster, broader, better, and more thorough than anything we can do on our own.”

9. Sally Ride — Physicist, NASA Communicator and Astronaut

“I would like to be remembered as someone who was not afraid to do what she wanted to do, and as someone who took risks along the way in order to achieve her goals.”

10. Marie Curie — Radioactivity Researcher and Two-Time Nobel Prize Winner

“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”

11. Ada Lovelace — Mathematician and Computer Programming Visionary

“That brain of mine is something more than merely mortal; as time will show.”

12. Reshma Saujani — Founder and CEO of Girls Who Code

“Theoretically, I have no business starting an organization called Girls Who Code, because I don’t code … When I first started, I wasn’t intending to build a movement. I was planning to do one summer program to see what we could do differently to get more girls in technology.”

13. Tracy Chou — Software Engineer at Pinterest

“The quality, relevance, and impact of the products and services output by the technology sector can only be improved by having the people who are building them be demographically representative of the people who are using them.”

14. Alisha Ramos — Senior Front-End Designer at Vox Media

“It’s not enough to be aware of the possibilities. You have to believe that your goals are attainable. First, can you see yourself, picture yourself as an engineer? I strongly believe that belief in yourself stems from belief in your role models.”

15. Privahini Bradoo — Founder and CEO of Startup Blue Oak

“I never believed I could or couldn’t do something because I was a woman. I remember something my mom always told me: ‘You are the best at whatever you do.’”

Thank you for reading! Have any favorite quotes of your own? Do leave a comment below!