Mentorship powers the technology community, but networks in the IT community are often closed circles filled with white men. Cathryn Poseyâ€™s panel “Tech Superwomen: Mentors and Mentees, FTW” provided women (and men) with superb insight into the way networks are built and the strategies women need to adopt to move their careers forward.
â€śThe inspiration for the panel comes from my blog Tech by Superwomen. As a woman transitioning my career to the next level [I asked myself] how do I connect women who inspire and motivate me, share the wealth, and expose that to a greater audience,â€ť said Posey, a leader in interactive communications, marketing and brand management. Â â€śTech by Superwomen is about organizing women for mentors, allies, and inspiration. I want to attract community-minded people.â€ť
Posey uses her blog and Twitter account to promote the importance of establishing a supportive community. Her own professional community includes a powerful group of movers and shakers: Margot Bloomstein, a content strategy consultant with Appropriate Inc.; Ekatrina Walter, a TEDx speaker and social media strategist at Intel; Â Leslie Bradshaw, co-founder and chief operating officer for JESS3, and Nilofer Merchant, corporate board advisor for a NASDAQ-traded company, a Harvard Business Review writer and author of The New How.
Here are 13 tidbits of wisdom from the conversation:
- Before entering into the mentorship process with someone, Bradshaw instructed the audience to draw a lifeline, noting both their successes and failures. Then reflecting and seeing who was important in their life during that time.
- Once you reach a point in your career where you are the most senior person in your company, consider seeking paid professional mentorship, advises Bradshaw.
- Donâ€™t get yourself a hero, get yourself a champion, says Merchant. â€śSomeone who will put their foot down and step up for you.â€ť