Die Amerikanerin Jessica Erickson hat Karriere in der Technologie-Branche gemacht. Für A.T. Kearney 361° hat die Gründerin von Berlin Geekettes, einer gemeinnützigen Plattform, die Frauen aus der Technologie-Branche in Berlin zusammenbringt, ein Manifest für Frauen in dieser Branche verfasst, das Mut machen soll.
Two years ago I came to Berlin. I had no home, no job, no network and knew I had a lot of work ahead of me. I crashed from couch to couch. I lived on a tight budget and painstakingly applied for jobs day in and day out. I almost gave up. But I kept ploughing through and paved a way, eventually building a strong career in our booming tech hub. I think in the end, it’s really about putting yourself out there and seeing the many great opportunities before you.
Network of women
I’ve heard a lot, read a lot and reached out a lot to women working in startups around me. Some faced similar bumps in the road, others shared in the moments of victory. I am so fortunate to have amazing mentors and a wonderful network of women who are there for me and others in our community. I would not be where I am today without them. Throughout my time here, I’ve collected some thoughts and transformed them into tips that I’d like to share.
So, without further ado, here they are:
1) First, Ladies: Don’t be discouraged to openly supporting other women in tech. You’re not marginalizing women or doing a disservice. Quite the opposite in fact. By embracing solidarity, you show strength in numbers and showcase opportunity for the next generation of women who’d like to enter this exciting field. I’ve seen this phenomenon unravel in a positive way over the last year and a half via Berlin Geekettes.
2) If you hear a comment like “I won’t hire a female engineer because she’ll distract my male engineers”, part of you wants to shout “who the f**k do think you are!?!?”. Try to maintain yourself, keep your composure, smile and explain why their comment doesn’t make any sense. If they still don’t get it, move on. You’ll have other employers who have more respect. But better yet, why not just jumpstart your own company? You’ll be able to hire whoever you want, regardless of their gender.
3) Research says success and likability are positively correlated for men and not for women. Let’s change that. Next time you see a woman doing something great at her company or startup, be sure to congratulate her and let her know that her work is appreciated. We need to stop feeling like we cannot be proud for our own accomplishments.
4) Next time you show up to a hackathon and it’s made up of all men, consider jumpstarting an all women’s hackathon. You’d be surprised at who shows up, they’ll be crawling out of the woodwork to join you. And why not add a feminine touch with a yoga room, craft corner, healthy bites? Sometimes beer/pizza just doesn’t cut it for the ladies.
5) Stop seeing other women as a threat and don’t believe there are only limited positions for women at the top. We need to move away from this backwards thinking and work on better supporting one another. I’ve heard stories of bad women bosses but I’ve also heard of stories where women at the top help other women to get there. Women should recognize that the promotion of one another can increase the acceptance of women leaders in tech.
6) Ok, let’s face it, there are not many of us working in this industry right now and sometimes it can be isolating for women. Reach out to the ladies who are visibly struggling and tell them “I know, I care, you’re not alone and how can I help?”.
7) Next time you head to a tech conference and see a nearly all male line-up, try not to get angry. Why not approach the conference organizer and share your idea for an amazing panel or keynote. Who knows, it could be you on that stage next time. Encourage other ladies in your network to do the same. Maybe there are a lot more of us out there, we just don’t see it so we don’t believe it.
8) Next time you open up a newspaper or magazine and read about your local startup hub and see the same 5 dudes mentioned again in the press, don’t stress. Train yourself by taking a media prep class and start pitching your company and ideas to the local tech bloggers.
9) Always learn and learn from the best.
10) Above all, stay positive. We know there’s an imbalance and a misrepresentation, and we know the old saying “actions speak louder than words.” Take positive, helpful actions to create a gender balance in the tech sphere – use those above, or take your own inspiration from them. Keep striving for what you believe in, keep educating people from both genders, and keep your goals in mind — all the time with a smile on your face.
Die Amerikanerin Jessica Erickson ist Gründerin von Berlin Geekettes, einer gemeinnützigen Plattform, die Frauen aus der Technologie-Branche in Berlin zusammenbringt, betreut und fördert. Erickson arbeitete bis vor kurzem auch als Berliner Produzentin für General Assembly, ein Campus, der Einzelpersonen Bildung in den Bereichen Technologie, Unternehmertum und Design bietet. Erickson hat einen Masterabschluss der London School of Economics in Medien und Kommunikation.