How often in my career have I heard a female engineer referred to as “he” or “him” and had to raise my hand as the only woman in the room to say something? As a female Engineering Team Lead (TL), it has become increasingly common to be the odd (wo)man out in the room. While societal stereotypes have made it difficult for women to elevate and promote themselves, I have successfully carved a path for myself from individual contributor (IC) to TL in just five short years.
During this talk, I will share how I navigated my career and the lessons I learned from my experiences as a woman of color and a female team lead in a male-dominated industry. Being only a few years out of school and part of an underrepresented group in tech, I have learned to be my own best sponsor to get to an equitable place as it relates to career progression and success. While I proudly identify as a female leader in tech, I have worked hard to not let that define me, and I will share stories about how I have been able to build my personal and professional brands.
I will discuss some of the questions and conclusions I learned during my journey, including:
- How do you advocate for yourself without “bragging”?
- When did I know I was ready for this new role?
- How did I reshape my team’s perspective of me as I shifted from peer to manager?
- As an aspiring leader, what steps must I take to achieve my career goals?
The Why: The tech industry has historically been a male-dominated space and we need more female representation in leadership. Women bring diverse perspectives and skill sets that can help drive innovation for technical and business solutions. It is our responsibility to lead by example to inspire young girls and women to pursue their dreams in the tech field.
- Politics and networking as a force multiplier
- How to find sponsors by managing up, down, and sideways
- How to advocate for yourself without “bragging”