Celebrating Women in Tech
I was talking with Fiona Anson of Workible about some of the challenges that having your own growth focused business brings up, demanding work schedule, holidays that are full of work, the impact on relationships, lack of sleep and the list goes on. But the reason for doing is always still there, and loudly there, because you just have to do it. You love it and you're living your passion.
This lifestyle and career isn't for all of us, but without these gusty, driven women taking flying leaps with their original ideas then we would all be worse off. Just think of Jodie Fox with Shoes of Prey or Jane Cay with Birdsnest for shopping. Then there are the women like Victoria Ranson at Google who are changing the corporate space for women by achieving their professional goals.
These amazing women are changing not only the entrepreneurial landscape but also the corporate environment, they are employers and managers of women and men, they are part of the change from the limitations from predominately male owned and managed work spaces to empowering our economies with diversification and flexibility. Why accept the restrictions of a static workplace when you can have greater profits and growth with a flexible work environment?
Celebrating and Supporting Women Doing Amazing Things
What we can all do, irrespective of whether we are business owners and entrepreneurs, employees, carers, parents, students or retired, is celebrate and support these women putting themselves out there and creating positive change for all of us.
It might be easier to financially support Jodie Fox with Shoes of Prey than some others but there are multiple ways to be loud and proud of these inspiring women. Sharing their stories and achievements on social media, showing a teenage girl or boy what is possible with examples of these women, voting for them in award programs and learning from them for your own journey in life. Want a list of Australian and New Zealand Women in Tech, then check out StartUp Daily's annual list.
Learning from Talented Women
So what's to learn from these women? Tenacity, never give up and keep faith in what you're doing, learning and adapting as you go, grow an amazing team around you and empower them to be their best self, switching off sometimes from devices can be the best way to recharge, being bold and loud is a good thing, building strong financial intelligence skills is essential, marketing is crucial as too is listening actively to what is actually being said and much more.
Not one of these women is a replicate of another. Each is her own unique self and that is why she is excelling. There's no way forward when you're trying to be something other than yourself. When you accept yourself - personal limitations and exceptional treasures, you can flourish. When you're struggling to by a copy of someone else you're only going to crash into brick walls you didn't even know were there.
Whether these women have always been comfortable within themselves or have learnt to be, all stand in their own bare feet on this earth and own their individuality.
This means they've realised what are their strengths and weaknesses and worked with it, learning new skills, expanding their horizons and taking the occasional deep breath to pushing themselves beyond what is known.
All of this has been learnt. All of this has required growth and change that is often uncomfortable and always defining.
None of these women are perfect. All have their quirks and perks that some love and others don't like. Sometimes that matters, sometimes it doesn't. All have light and dark - just like you and me.
What does matter is the doing and growing, personally and professionally - just like for you and me.
Women Growing the Economy
These women are out there actively making opportunity turn up, growing our economy and making serious positive changes to business and life. And they have totally crap days too. Those days when you feel like you're just hitting your head against a brick wall and wondering what it is all for and why you bother, you're not seeing enough of your loved ones, you're always chasing money and you haven't had a proper day off in you don't know how long.
And then it all comes together, you make that next leap forward and it is all worth it, you're on a high like no other and it is for something real and substantial.
If you want to learn from these women read their stories, follow them on social media, get along to their events and look at ways their strengths and weaknesses can cherry pick your own lessons in life and business.
If you want to work with these women look to the various employment opportunities with them. Some do amazing things with a very small team, a lean startup is essential and in terms of employment this can mean flexible working hours and methods - including remotely, depending on the skills and timeframe.
Internships can also be available that are set for specific timeframes and includes a certain element of mentoring, whether that means a lunch or a weekly half hour for four weeks. It all varies depending on needs and skills. But just as these women have learnt, you never know unless you ask.
When you want to learn how a business is run and have precious time with the woman behind it keep an open mind about how you can make it happen, you may not be able to afford the consulting rates these women can command, they may not have a long term role to offer, but trading labour for training can be an ideal means for both sides to benefit.
Developing Your Skills
What if you don't currently have the skills they need? Learn them. If those skills are needed in their business and you want to grow your own successful business odds are you'll need them anyway.
Talented women who are successful in business weren't born with all the skills, sure, there is an element of playing to natural strengths, but every single woman has had to learn and develop a range of skills so she can achieve her goals.
Celebrating gusty women taking on technology and succeeding is a great way to be actively part of positive change, we need our girls seeing women making a go of it in technology, science, business and marketing. So get behind these amazing women and be loud and proud about them.