Girls – find yourselves a role model
Everyone is talking about the need for more women in STEM — engineers, founders, top executives. Different actions can and should be taken by our education system, government, corporates and even media companies who can move the needle.
When asking a 15 years old girl who likes to code to describe her role model, she would probably throw names like Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs or Bill Gates — most likely a man’s name.
And here’s the problem — women don’t have enough role models in tech.
Personally, I always looked for those inspiring women who I could aspire to become. I remember when my mom gave me Rosalind Franklin’s biography, who was instrumental in the discovery of the genetic structure of the DNA. A few years later I studied at the same place where she conducted her experiments at Cambridge. Sheryl Sandberg is another one of those women whose talks and best-selling book have become an inspiration for women of my generation.
I was also lucky enough to personally meet less famous but nonetheless inspiring women along the way. From my mother who was a scientist researcher and a full time mom, to my bright, motivated women classmates from childhood to university, and the colleagues and managers with one specifically who accepted me to my first big job and showed me how passion, diligence and hard work can take me to places far beyond my imagination.
As a founder, I’ve urged myself to find female mentors, who have been through this journey and can guide me through this rollercoaster.
I attended women meetups and was actively looking for a female mentor. Luckily, that was a smooth process that allowed me to meet women who’ve made it — I call them the real angels. They are in most cases much more valuable — money comes and goes (mostly goes) but they will stay with you.
People (both men and women) need to see more women succeeding at what they do in order for girls to dream big. As a tech woman and entrepreneur, I encounter so many of these successful women who are still under the radar.
I wish more women would find themselves a role model. One that speaks up and shares her journey, that talks about the hurdles, the success and most importantly one that inspires you, that had done things that right now seem unreachable.
There’s no doubt that as a society we have a lot to do to change this reality and create more Sheryls, Rosalinds and Marissas, but I urge all women who dare to dream, find those women who made this dream a reality, and take them with you to guide you through this exciting path.
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