Women in Tech: Discover how all star women are driving diversity, mentorship and productivity in their companies

Next week, on Feb. 21, New Tech Seattle is hosting our special women in tech event celebrating the great contributions women are making to our tech community. They’ll also share mentoring practices and tips for men who want to support diversity in their workplaces. Are you going? We surveyed the guest speakers, so here’s a little bit about what makes them so awesome.

 

Zina Fatemi, Microsoft

Check out this video interview of Zina sharing her experience of how Microsoft walks the walk of including diverse people throughout the entire company.

Lori Dey, Ebay

What are you passionate about with your work?

I love the challenge of making new products come to life and especially the people and perspectives involved.  There are so many factors to consider when creating something new and all the pieces have to fit just so to make it all work.

What do you enjoy most about your work place / what’s the cool-factor about your work?

The team I work with is filled with bright, fun humans – getting to work with them is a treat.  Also – I really like  that I don’t  have to be at work by 7:30 am like the rest of my family.

What is your biggest accomplishment?

My biggest accomplishment so far has been building the successful eWIT program in our office.  I’ve learned so much, met great people and hope to continue the journey.

What is your best piece of advice for women entering or working in tech careers?

Be bold and remember to negotiate for what you want.

What is your best piece of advice for men who are allies in supporting equality and inclusiveness for women in their careers?

Women are less likely to speak up with their ideas. One of the best things you can do is to be openly supportive of them in meetings and make sure they are heard and not interrupted when they do speak up.

 

Nicolette Sharp, President and COO/CFO of Prime 8 Consulting

What are you passionate about with your work?

I’m most passionate about our company culture and the incredible people who work at Prime 8. As a business owner, I feel very fortunate that we are surrounded by fun-loving, smart, talented, and hard-working people who care deeply about our business and clients. Their commitment to Prime 8 makes me strive to ensure our company environment is as amazing as the people within it.

What do you enjoy most about your work place / what’s the cool-factor about your work?

Similar to what I’m passionate about, I enjoy our people. Because of their diverse experience and backgrounds, we are able to secure some of the best work for our employees – and we know that’s the “cool-factor” that attracts strong employees as well. Great people want to work on great projects, and I love that I am able to enjoy both aspects of that at Prime 8.

What is your biggest accomplishment?

My biggest accomplishment is, of course, growing Prime 8 along with my husband, Drew, Founder and CEO. We’ve done a lot professionally in the last 10 years. Some might say it’s an accomplishment to work with your spouse! But my greatest and best accomplishment is our three children. I’m very proud of them and love seeing how the grow and interact with our family business. It’s very special.

What is your best piece of advice for women entering or working in tech careers?

I am not in a technical career, but I have worked in technology for 20+ years and Prime 8 is growing by building our own technology innovations. My advice is to always know who you are and be true to yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want or to speak up – but do it with kindness, compassion, and level-headedness. You will be respected and appreciated for that.

What is your best piece of advice for men who are allies for supporting equality and inclusiveness for women in their careers?

Continue to support these great women to grow in their careers because someday your daughter will thank you for it.

 

Cheryl Ingram PhD, Diverse City LLC

What are you passionate about with your work?

Promoting and building equity and equality for everyone, especially people from historically stigmatized identities and historically disadvantaged backgrounds.

What do you enjoy most about your work place / what’s the cool-factor about your work? The cool factor is working with companies to build diversity and inclusion and watching progress happen within the company. It is so cool to see equity happening and knowing that you are a part of a process that has helped to build that a safe and supportive space for someone who may not have previously had the opportunity. Also to see people and their perspectives change.

What is your biggest accomplishment?

Besides earning my PhD, My biggest accomplishment was launching my business successfully as an entrepreneur to fill my dream of really having a real impact of doing the diversity and inclusion work.  

What is your best piece of advice for women entering or working in tech careers?

Be confident in your abilities and your skills. Impostor syndrome is very real and it can impact your performance, negotiation for salary, ability to speak up and advocate for yourself. Be inclusive of all women and not just with the ones you share common identity traits and interest.

What is your best piece of advice for men who are allies in supporting equality and inclusiveness for women in their careers? Be an active voice, mentor, support system, advocate and presence in diversity initiatives and conversations. You’re presence is needed and welcome and be a constant learner and unlearner of your own biases.

Melinda Fox, Tanji

What are you passionate about with your work?

Changing representation on onscreen & behind the camera towards justice, equality & sustainability.

What do you enjoy most about your work place / what’s the cool-factor about your work?

We are passionate, lean, hardworking, caring & protective of each other & know how to communicate effectively. No bullsh@t!

What is your biggest accomplishment?

Being invited to debut our beta version of our app at Tribeca 2017 in April! And, having Paul Feig as our first industry adviser & ally.

What is your best piece of advice for women entering or working in tech careers?

Dedicate time & effort to building relationships with other women in the field. For everything someone does for you, be willing to ask what you can do for them and deliver.

What is your best piece of advice for men who are allies in supporting equality and inclusiveness for women in their careers?

Start with doing your own work on bias, lead by example of creating an authentic, inclusive workplace. Repeat.

 

 

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