SXSW 2012: 13 Things Superwomen Need To Know About Mentorship
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

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Founder of Tech by Superwomen Cathryn Posey and panelists explore the keys to fostering a successful and worthwhile mentorship experience (Image: Mary Pryor)

Mentorship powers the technology community, but networks in the IT community are often closed circles filled with white men. Cathryn Posey‘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.

“The 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,” said Posey, a leader in interactive communications, marketing and brand management.  “Tech by Superwomen is about organizing women for mentors, allies, and inspiration. I want to attract community-minded people.”

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;  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.
  • Don’t get yourself a hero, get yourself a champion, says Merchant. “Someone who will put their foot down and step up for you.”

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    Marcia Wade Talbert

    Marcia is a multimedia content producer focusing on technology at Black Enterprise Magazine. In this capacity she writes and assigns stories to educate readers about social media; digital integration; gadgets, apps, and software for business and professional development; minority tech startups; and careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). In 2012, she received two Salute to Excellence Awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and was recognized by Blacks in Technology (BiT) as one of the Top 10 Black achievers in the tech arena for 2011 at SXSW in Austin, Texas. She has spoken about technology on panels for New York Social Media Week, at The 2012 Rainbow/PUSH Wall Street Summit, as well as at Black Enterprise’s Entrepreneurs Conference and Women of Power Summit. In 2011, chose her as one of 28 People of Color Impacting the Social Web, and through crowdsourcing she was listed as one of BlackWeb2.0's/HP's 50 Most Notable African American Tastemakers in Social Media and Technology for 2010. Since taking on the role of Tech editor in September 2010, she has conceived and produced five cover stories on Technology and/or STEM and countless articles, videos, and slideshows online. Before joining as an interactive general assignment reporter in 2008, she freelanced with Black Enterprise beginning in 2003 while working as the technical editor at Prepared Foods magazine. There she further honed her writing skills and became an authority on food ingredients, including ingredients used in food fortification and enrichment. Meanwhile, her freelancing with Black Enterprise and helped her stay current on issues pertaining to the financial and business welfare of African Americans. As a general reporter for Black Enterprise she attended and reported on the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, where she interviewed Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Marcia has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture with an emphasis in food science from the University of Minnesota, and a Master of Science degree in journalism from Roosevelt University in Chicago. En route to her secondary degree, she served as the editor-in-chief of the Roosevelt University Torch, a weekly, student-run newspaper. An avid photographer and videographer, Marcia is one of several employees at BLACK ENTERPRISE who interned for the publishing company as a college student. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, a food scientist; her seventeen-month-old daughter; and “The Cat”, but still considers Chicago home.