As we celebrate Women’s History Month this March, it’s important to pay homage to some of the greatest women leaders within the tech industry. Through perseverance and dedication, many women in tech have a plethora of experience. And with experience comes some great advice.
If you’re looking for some inspiration to keep you motivated at work, these women in tech have some of the best advice to take in:
Sheryl Sandberg – COO of Facebook
“There is no perfect fit when you’re looking for the next big thing to do. You have to take opportunities and make an opportunity fit for you, rather than the other way around. The ability to learn is the most important quality a leader can have.”
The Takeaway: No job is perfect. If you wait for the perfect next step, you’ll miss out on a lot of great opportunities. Instead of waiting for a job that checks off all the boxes, it’s important to stay open to different opportunities for career and professional development. Whether that is with your current employer or a new organization, it’s up to you to carve your own path for growth.
Susan Wojcicki – CEO of YouTube
“Don’t over plan your life. Joining Google when I was four months pregnant was a bit of a leap, but sometimes you have to do the right thing for you right now.”
The Takeaway: If you try to plan every detail of your career before it happens, you could lose out on a great break in your career. That’s why you’ll need to recognize the right risks for your career, which can lead to great opportunities.
Safra Catz – CEO of Oracle
“You can’t beat the competition by standing still and you can’t be driven by caution all the time. It is extremely easy to be lulled into inaction … Indecision really is your enemy. … If you want to beat the competition and you want to advance your career personally, you need to make decisions and take actions. If you make decisions quickly, and you make a mistake, you may have a chance to fix it. [But] if you wait too long, the decision will make itself, and any change will be impossible.”
The Takeaway: As technology evolves, tech leaders need to be able to take control and take action if they want to beat out the competition. If you choose to keep with the status quo, your competitors who are being more proactive will make those decisions for you.
Jennifer Morgan – Co-CEO – SAP
“When you’re rising up and you look at the people above you, I think all of us think they have it all figured out–that there’s a special answer key out there that you will be exposed to someday. The reality is… I haven’t found it yet. So, I think as leaders it’s really important that we share the reality of the struggles and challenges, and to share what works for us.”
The Takeaway: If you are a leader, remember to practice empathy and transparency with your employees. If you want to be respected, you need to first build that respect with your team. To do this, be open and honest with your accomplishments and challenges. This can help not only facilitate stronger relationships but also help your team see the big picture.
Ginni Rometty – Chair, President, and CEO of IBM,
“Never Let Someone Define Who You Are. Only you define who you are.”
The Takeaway: Never let others limit who you are as a professional or a leader. Discover what kind of leader you want to be and work hard to accomplish those goals.