Recently, women and girls across the globe have been asking us for advice on launching successful careers in STEM and advancing their young professional careers to the next level.
Although we generally loathe dwelling on the woulda, coulda, shoulda moments in life, we can’t deny that sometimes, hindsight can be a very insightful form of wisdom. What better way to prepare for the future than learning from the experience of others?
In an effort to tap into the secrets of remarkable women with successful careers in STEM, we reached out to the TechWomen community of past emerging leaders, mentors, female tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs, investors and role models through Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and asked, “What career advice would you give to your younger self?”
Divine Ndhlukula, Juliana Rotich and Mariéme Jamme are a few inspirational African women at the forefront of technology and entrepreneurship. They are paving the way for other women in their countries. They are leaders in their communities who are helping initiate change and create greater prosperity. According to recent article in the New York Times, in 21st-century Africa, businesswomen are pushing into the national scenes of their countries as movers and shakers of industry.
When Evelyn Zoubi applied to the 2012 TechWomen program, she did not believe she would be accepted. As a 25-year-old Jordanian entrepreneur, she faced a myriad of obstacles. Some even laughed at her ideas. But she did not give up.
In 2007, Evelyn was a visionary student at a top Information, Communications and Technology (ICT) university in the Middle East. During her time as a student, she often mulled about the impression she made on people. In her opinion, wardrobe plays a big part in creating lasting imprints on people’s minds. “At the time, I often did not know what to wear and I would take a moment to remember if I had worn something twice in a row with the same person,” said Evelyn. “It was at this time that I began experimenting with digitizing my wardrobe. Most investment panelists underestimated the need women had for clothing related technologies. But to her surprise, the most supportive individuals were the ones that comprehended the concept of digitizing wardrobe the least, her professors. “My professor thought it was a great idea and strongly encouraged me to pursue it,” said Evelyn.
An engraved cedar wood business card holder from Lebanon serves as a souvenir from the 2012 TechWomen program for Lexi Curtice, Program Coordinator. The gift is a small reminder of the larger impact the women who departed the United States three weeks prior, left behind, on staff. “Being part of TechWomen is a very rewarding and enriching experience. The program is really intense. You learn a lot from the participants and you give them a piece of yourself,” said Lexi. “Everyone crossed borders and created new networks. My eyes were opened to a lot of possibilities.”