A collage of experiences in Jordan as told by TechWomen.
Against the backdrop of Petra, a wonder of the ancient world, forty-five women from eight countries said their goodbyes last week. The TechWomen delegation concluded with stronger bonds and increased cultural understanding between mentors and emerging leaders.
“Exciting,” and “inspired,” were some of the words used by participants to describe the events and opportunities for connectivity during the journey. The delegation participated in a networking conference at Princess Sumaya University for Technology, where Her Royal Highness Princess Sumaya delivered welcoming remarks. The participants also met with N2V, one of the largest internet holding groups in Arabia focused on value creation through building and investing in Arabic consumer web and mobile ventures; INJAZ, an independent non-profit that was founded under the patronage of Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah with the mission to inspire and prepare young Jordanians to become productive members in their society and succeed globally; Amman Tech Tuesday, a monthly event that brings industry experts, local technologists, entrepreneurs and idea generators together in a casual setting to meet and learn from one another; and Oasis 500, a leading early stage and seed investment company, the first of its kind in Jordan and the MENA region.
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?”
Guest blog by Fabiola Addamo–Reflections of a TechWoman Mentor from Catania
Painting by Fabiola Addamo entitled TechWomen
Reflections of a TechWoman Mentor from Catania
I believe in courage. And, I believe that everything is possible in life.
In the city of Catania I was an unemployed girl, full of dreams. I finished my degree in piano performance at the Vincenzo Bellini Musical Institute in 1996. Despite the fact that I was a young, award winning, talented pianist, I was never able to secure concrete job opportunities. I also attended law school and completed 11 out of 22 exams required to finish the degree. This was before I took off on a trip to the United States.
In my household I am the first person who attended university. I was never exposed to professional career options at home. My dad worked in a bank and my mom was a housewife. We were an average Sicilian family. During my youth, I often felt like a bird with clipped wings. I was never able to understand the reason why life was predictably flat.
“Do you have fire?” Desiree Burch asked the crowd. “Discover that fire – do not push it away. It is who you are!”
Desiree was one of many speakers at the TEDxBayArea Global Women Entrepreneurs Event held on December 1st at the LinkedIn Headquarters in Mountain View, CA. The event featured talks by inspirational women and men encouraging women entrepreneurs to dream big and take risks. Arezoo Miot, TechWomen Program Officer, attended the event to connect with the local community of women entrepreneurs.
One of the main focuses of the event was to encourage women entrepreneurs. A number of the featured presenters spoke about the importance of following dreams, being persistent and believing in onesself in the face of adversity–all qualities the TechWomen program is looking for when selecting participants.
During their journey in the United States, the TechWomen participants left their footprints in many places. One of the stops along the path for three TechWomen from Lebanon, Egypt and Algeria was the Crystal Springs Uplands School in Hillsborough, CA. The TechWomen’s intent for this visit was to learn more about education and everyday life in the United States. What they did not expect was that this exchange would capture the hearts and minds of the students they encountered.