Women’s Entrepreneurship Day 2020 is an annual opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate women entrepreneurs in technology. Technology plays a central role in nearly every career. Equipping young girls and women with tech skills sets them up for success.
For a long time, the tech industry has lagged behind other sectors in ensuring gender parity in the workforce. Seizing opportunities like Women’s Entrepreneurship Day to highlight the outstanding works of women is important to cultivating and encouraging future female technology entrepreneurs.
Today, women entrepreneurs interested in launching a technology start-up have amazing mentors and role models, and more join this elite group of women every day. Women like Melanie Perkins, Alice Bentinck, Kathleen Yu, Jess Lee, and Lauren Washington are making headlines in technology – paving the way for young girls and women everywhere to succeed in the technology sector.
Why do Women in Technology Need Mentors?
Business owners who use mentors are more likely to experience growth in their businesses than those who don’t use mentors. In fact, 70 percent of entrepreneurs who seek out mentors survive twice as long as those who don’t leverage mentor-mentee relationships. And, in a survey by the Harvard Business Review, 84 percent of CEOs with mentors said the relationship helped them avoid costly mistakes and become proficient faster.
Research shows that female entrepreneurs can benefit more from mentorship because women are:
- Less likely to receive investor or traditional start-up funding,
- Have more fears than men when starting a business, and
- Have smaller business networks.
Mentorship is an important element of success for women in business, and this is especially true in the technology sphere. Female mentorship fosters more than tech skills, it sets our next generation of women in technology on a clear path of personal and professional growth.
5 Ways to Find Female Mentors in Technology
Mentor-mentee relationships can be formed formally or informally, and finding the right mentor is essential. Every time you seek the advice and counsel of a trusted female entrepreneur in tech, you’re being mentored. If you think it’s time to take a step toward a formal mentorship, here are a few simple tips for finding someone to support your career and growth:
- Join a professional women’s group
- Start a small Mastermind group, virtually or online
- Organize an event targeting women entrepreneurs in technology
- Private message a female entrepreneur in technology using LinkedIn or another social media platform
- Join a mentoring organization like Women In Technology (WIT), Women In Technology Entrepreneurs, or ENTITY Academy
Making the Most of Your Mentorship in Technology Entrepreneurship
Congratulations! You’ve found a women entrepreneur in technology to mentor you. Now what? Working with a mentor can give you a lay of the land in business, help you when working out a difficult technology solution, support you when you’re faltering, and help to keep your goals on track. Here are a few tips for getting the most from your mentor-mentee relationship:
- Have an end-goal in mind. Know what your business goals are, and why you are seeking out a mentor, and share these with her.
- Set a consistent meeting schedule. Will you meet weekly? Monthly? For coffee, lunch, virtually, or at your office?
- Set aside your ego. Yes, you are incredibly smart with great ideas and so much to share. You also have a ton to learn – or you wouldn’t have sought out this relationship. So listen, even if you don’t love what you’re hearing.
- Do your homework. Come prepared with insightful, thought-provoking questions and always follow up when you say you will.
- Give as much as you get. Entrepreneurs are typically life-long-learners. They are leaders because they recognize the opportunity to learn from peers, colleagues, other leaders, and those with less experience. Give advice when asked. And, be sure to be generous with your gratitude.
As we celebrate Women’s Entrepreneurship Day 2020, we appreciate the women in technology opening doors for others.
Learn more about how software development, cybersecurity, and data science programs powered by Woz U can help you develop the skills and knowledge to build your technology dream project and perhaps someday launch a tech startup.