Many women of color are not pursuing a career in the tech field. Walls still need to be broken down in order to make it more acceptable for girls to want to pursue that sector. Nicole Martinez is ready to start hammering at that wall. She placed the hammer down for a moment to talk to BLACK ENTERPRISE to discuss how she started her business and what her future plans will be.
What is it that you do and why did you pursue that career?
I am a web developer and graphic artist. I’ve always enjoyed art and being able to bring my imagination to life. I have to say that this career found me.
Growing up, like most people, I was following what everyone else was doing. Going to college for a degree that I am currently not using and trying to find a “good job with great benefits,” as my family would say.
For extra income, I started a wedding stationery business using the graphic design skills that I developed over time. Almost right away after starting my side hustle, I got laid off from my day job. But when it came time to find another job, I knew there was no turning back and I fully immersed myself into the business, making it my full-time job. My wedding stationery company led me to work with women in business and helping them brand and market their business by teaching them how to use tech such as pixels, analytics, web development, and more.
What is it about being involved in the technology industry that motivates and inspires you to do the work you do?
Knowledge is key. I always continue to learn more while unknowingly inspiring others who look like me. By looking like me, I mean other black women who are in the same field as I am. I want them to know that they have a place in tech. Not only that, but they can make more than enough to support themselves. Other black women in business who would prefer to hire someone else for the techy stuff need them! The one statement I hear the most is, “I am happy I found you because I don’t know anyone who looks like me and does professional work I can hire.” My goal is to not only help educate but also to bring awareness that black women in tech are here, and not only are we here, but we are also able to handle the job in a professional manner.
Women’s empowerment is important to you. What advice would you give to the enterprising women who want to pursue a career in the tech industry?
The road is not easy, but never give up. You will go through some rough moments, but know that those are only learning experiences to help better yourself and your business. Be humble and never think of yourself as “the one and only.” Instead, compliment other. And if you feel that another person is doing something the wrong way, instead of bashing them, uplift them and give them some friendly advice. Lift up everyone you meet.
There is a very low percentage of women working in tech, much lower for women of color. What do you think needs to happen to get those numbers up and how do you think it will be in the future for women who want to be involved in the tech industry?
We sometimes have to see it to know that that opportunity is there. We need to get out there and reach out to the younger generation. Inspire them to get into the technical field, if it’s something they love. To do this, we must be visible in the media, in schools, and at conferences.
What plans do you have for the immediate future as far as expanding your business?
This spring, I am launching a seasonal podcast called “Sis, Start Your Business” to teach women how to start their business, handle their business, with God’s guidance. This podcast will be a 12-episode podcast with different guests each episode. I am extremely proud and excited for this podcast. 80% of the guests are black women in business who are experts in their field. Now women have a destination to find information; they need to grow their business.