Here's What 100 Women In Tech Talked About
Last night, NYC’s female tech community turned out in droves for PowerToFly’s event answering what’s new for women in tech. With a panel featuring Rosario Robinson, Director of the Anita Borg Institute, Andrea Hippeau, Senior Associate at Lerer Hippeau Ventures, Milena Berry, CEO and co-founder of PowerToFly and moderated by PowerToFly president and co-founder Katharine Zaleski, the evening was rife with intelligent points and counterpoints, queries and questions and even laughter - yes, laughter! And pizza. (It’s a New York thing).
Andrea Hippeau set the stage on gender diversity in tech early on in the evening by proclaiming, “Being a female developer is such a leg up, so use it to your advantage.” But she also advised, for women looking to join a startup, that it’s best to market themselves as a jill-of-all-trades to support the lean culture many startups embody.
Milena Berry expanded on the subject by advising the women to become experts in a specific stack in lieu of spending short stints working in various stacks. Companies are really looking for experts in particular areas as opposed to renaissance stack-masters, she noted.
She also spoke on the importance of obtaining computer science degrees, which many employers find necessary. Even though Berry, through PowerToFly, tries to sway employers to hire women who don’t have CS degrees, she still maintains that a CS degree - even a two year degree - will help women land a great job in tech.
Rosario Robinson chimed in on the importance of using your network to find new opportunities. “Leverage your network if you are looking for something. You have to let people know.” (And of course, use PowerToFly!)
Robinson also had great thoughts in relation to work-life balance, as the women in the audience excitedly asked questions and voiced their (strong) opinions on the topic. Is it important to value work-life balance for all women, or only working mothers?
Robinson’s answer was straightforward. “You have to respect everyone’s lifestyle as opposed to their status of where they are in life.”
After the panel, one woman stated: “I feel like I can handle this now. This is within the realm of my capability.”
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