Girls in Tech Phoenix https://phoenix.girlsintech.org Just another Girls in Tech Sites site Fri, 12 Apr 2019 15:14:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.1.1 WHAT TO EXPECT: Girls in Tech PHX + Goodyear AZ Hackathon https://phoenix.girlsintech.org/2019/04/12/what-to-expect-at-goodyear-az-hackathon/ https://phoenix.girlsintech.org/2019/04/12/what-to-expect-at-goodyear-az-hackathon/#respond Fri, 12 Apr 2019 14:21:02 +0000 http://phoenix.girlsintech.org/?p=14155 You’re not alone if the word hackathon makes you think of people in hoodies drinking energy drinks and coding furiously away on secret projects. But there’s so much more to it, especially with our upcoming hackathon at the Goodyear Ballpark! Want to go from an idea to a working proof of concept within 24 hours alongside amazing people? Um, the answer is YES!

What to expect?

Problem-solving

Whether you come prepared with an idea or know of a team you want to be a part of, come ready to get those creative juices flowing. Have an idea to solve a problem better than another product? A hackathon is your testing ground to do exactly this. We are specifically looking for ideas around sustainability, community and innovation.

Quickfire pitches

Have an idea you want to pitch? You’ll get 60 seconds to pitch your idea at the event. Know the secrets of giving the perfect pitch? Focus on the WHAT, WHY and HOW.

Teamwork

Once you have your big idea, you’ll need to collaborate on a team that has a varied skill set to create it. The winning teams usually have a mix of engineering, tech, marketing and subject matter expertise. PLUS, we’ll have mentors available that can jump in and help or be a sounding board!

Crunchtime

This is where the energy drinks come in. A hackathon limits the time you have to finish your project and teams will typically work around the clock to perfect their final product. It’s crucial to communicate openly and operate cohesively to make your idea a reality.

Presentations

You’ll show off your amazing finished idea with a demo pitch to the panel of judges, PLUS be ready for some Q&A. The panel is usually made up of founders and professionals from various industries. You’ll need to be prepared to present on not only the execution and design of your product, but your business model and customer validation.

What’s in it for you?

Expand your network

Your team will be made up of people with different skills and it’s a great opportunity for cross-functional collaboration with new people. The final presentations bring everyone into the same room, so you’ll also have a chance to make connections with members of other teams.

Add to your professional portfolio

At the end of the hackathon, you’ll have created a wicked product and have a new community of entrepreneurs to keep building your momentum!

Bragging rights

Whether you win or not, you’ll come away with incredible stories. Don’t forget to have fun & ride the waves of startup life!

Ready to jump into a hackathon?

Join Girls in Tech Phoenix + City of Goodyear for our 3-day hackathon event May 2nd through the 4th at the Goodyear Ballpark. Registration is required, the event is only $10 and all meals are included, PLUS a t-shirt…uhhhmazing!

REGISTER TODAY ON EVENTBRITE

Questions? Read our FAQs here

Don’t miss out on this opportunity, only a few spots are left, so come join the fun and register here!

Got an awesome hackathon story? Comment below or tag us on social!

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Goodyear AZ Hackathon FAQs https://phoenix.girlsintech.org/2019/04/06/goodyear-az-hackathon-faqs/ https://phoenix.girlsintech.org/2019/04/06/goodyear-az-hackathon-faqs/#respond Sat, 06 Apr 2019 19:09:29 +0000 http://phoenix.girlsintech.org/?p=14145 Is this event for me?

If you are interested in entrepreneurship the answer is most likely YES. Attendee backgrounds are roughly 50% technical (developers, coders, designers) and 50% business (marketing, finance, law). Whether you are a serial entrepreneur or new to the startup scene, if you’re motivated to build a product or startup and open to new ideas, you’ll fit right in

Do I have to participate all three days?

YES! Apart from organizers, selected mentors, speaker, and press, everyone who attends the event is expected to participate all three days. This is important not only to preserve the “vibe” of the event but also to minimize distractions/disruptions for working teams.

How do I register?

Every attendee is expected to be registered (no walk-ins). The Goodyear AZ Hackathon has a dedicated Eventbrite registration page: check it out here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/may-the-4th-be-with-you-goodyear-az-hackathon-tickets-58573633314

What is the registration fee?

$10 – including a t-shirt and all meals and snacks for 3 days.

Do I need a team?

Everyone who attends the event as an attendee is expected to participate on a team. This is important not only to preserve the mission of the Goodyear AZ Hackathon (innovation and teamwork!) but also to minimize distractions/disruptions for all working teams.

What are the accommodations for the event?

Attendees are responsible for booking their own transportation and lodging (if needed). If you are traveling and unfamiliar with the location, reach out to the local organizing team via email phoenix@girlsintech.org to ask for nearby recommendations.

Do I have to pitch an idea to attend?

No, but we encourage you to! You can pitch an idea you’ve been thinking about for years, or something last minute you think of during the event. It’s a great experience and invaluable practice for public speaking.

Where can I find a schedule for the event?

The Goodyear AZ Hackathon’s schedule is posted on the Eventbrite page here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/may-the-4th-be-with-you-goodyear-az-hackathon-tickets-58573633314

What should I bring?

  • Laptop
  • Power cord
  • Business cards
  • Camera – take pictures and video!
  • Optional: A second monitor, keyboard, etc…set yourself up to be productive!
  • Lots of creative energy!

How do I prepare?

  • Do some research. Market research and background information will give you a better understanding of the problem you are trying to solve.
  • Practice your pitch. You’ll have 60 seconds to persuade other attendees to join your team. Make it clear, concise and convincing!
  • Get some rest.
  • Bring a friend! Events are better with good company.

During the Weekend

What happens on Thursday, Friday and Saturday?

Thursday | Location – Goodyear Ballpark: Participants arrive by 4:00 PM, begin networking, and eat dinner (all meals and snacks are provided as part of your event registration). After an ice-breaking game and a short introduction by the Facilitator, there will typically be one short speaker talk on practical topics ranging from Pitching Best Practices to Lean Startup Methodology and more. Then the “Pitchfire” will commence: anyone intending to pitch will have 60 seconds to give their best pitch. No presentations or props needed for Thursday, it will just be you and a mic. After pitches are finished, all attendees will vote on their favorites, and using these votes, the top ideas will be selected to be worked on over the weekend.

Friday | Location – Goodyear Ballpark: Teams will work from 4 – 9 pm, with the occasional breaks to eat or listen to 1-2 short talks. Mentors will be circulating to provide advice in the field of their expertise. Make sure to use them!

Saturday | Location – Goodyear Ballpark: Teams will arrive by 9 am and begin wrapping up their product/prototype, presentation   tech-checks and practice their demonstration. After lunch and when all Judges have arrived, presentations will begin. Each team typically has 5 minutes to present plus 2-3 minutes Q&A from the judges. We will then break for dinner and the judges will select the top teams, give out prizes, and the event ends by 7 pm.

What types of ideas can I pitch?

Any business ideas are eligible. However, the event is strongly tech-oriented. Specifically, we will be looking for ideas in the areas of sustainability, community and innovation.

Can I pitch more than one idea?

Depending on the number of ideas pitched and the schedule, you may or may not be able to pitch multiple ideas. Prioritize your ideas: pitch your best idea (and the one you have most prepared for) first.

Can I pitch my existing business?

NO! The Goodyear AZ Hackathon is designed to be the most effective platform for growing innovation and new businesses from the ground up over the course of three days. A key facet of the event – and a central value for participants – is the spirit of complete collaboration.

What if my idea doesn’t get selected?

The purpose of the Thursday’s voting and crowdsourcing isn’t to exclude certain ideas, but simply to highlight the most popular and high-potential pitches and end up with a manageable number of teams – ensuring that each team has a variety of backgrounds and skills.

What resources/assistance is provided over the weekend?

A key part of the Goodyear AZ Hackathon is the valuable advice and assistance provided by the mentors assigned to your team. In the spirit of “No Talk, All Action,” we try to keep talks short and sweet, focusing on practical issues (i.e. “how to give a persuasive pitch”, “best approaches to customer validation”) that can help you and your team better achieve your weekend goals. Mentors – community experts in various fields ranging from entrepreneurship, software development, marketing, finance, law, and more – dedicate their time to providing advice and rolling up their sleeves to work with teams.

What are we supposed to have accomplished by the end of the weekend?

While there are no specific requirements in terms of what teams should have accomplished by Saturday, it’s in your best interest to plan your execution around what you’ll be judged for on Saturday:

  • Customer Validation (Did you vet your idea?)
  • Execution and Design (What did you build?)
  • Business Model (Do you have a plan for the future?)

As far as presenting goes, some of the most common presentations include any combination of the following (in no particular order):

  • Wireframes or fully developed website
  • Mobile apps (from mock-ups to skeletons to fully functional)
  • Slide decks (Powerpoint, Keynote, Prezi, etc.)
  • Videos (i.e. product demonstrations, etc.)
  • Live product demos
  • Skits

Why is it a competition?

Competition is not a central theme of Goodyear AZ Hackathon, and this is often reflected in the broad, horizontal allocation of prizes and general flexibility/leniency of the event “rules.” If and when the competitive aspect comes into conflict with the positive atmosphere we try to cultivate, we consistently choose the latter. We do believe, however, that friendly competition is beneficial to all parties and, most importantly, more accurately reflects the realities of startup life. Just as it’s important to gather “real-world” feedback over the weekend, it’s also important to have real-world pressures and obstacles.

After the Weekend

On a side note, we love hearing about Goodyear Hackathon success stories! If your experience is shareworthy, send us an email! It’d make our day.

 

Ready to join us for the event? Registration is open to the first 100 participants, so get your ticket and claim your spot now! GET YOUR TICKETS HERE

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Q&A with Charmaine Gurule https://phoenix.girlsintech.org/2019/03/25/qa-charmaine-gurule/ https://phoenix.girlsintech.org/2019/03/25/qa-charmaine-gurule/#comments Mon, 25 Mar 2019 03:38:57 +0000 http://phoenix.girlsintech.org/?p=14088 Charmaine is a fine art professional crossed over to developer. She is currently a developer with Symmetry Software.

Tell us about your first job in tech. Who did you work for, what was your role, and what excited you about the work you did?
Symmetry Software. I love building things.

Describe your job in technology today.
Full stack development GIS focus.

If there was point in your childhood when you first became interested in technology, describe that event or experience.
In my childhood I was interested in tech from a far. I was curious about technology from a periphery. Initially, I didn’t  get close to understanding it, because I didn’t think I was smart enough – it was traditionally introduced in a way in which I could not relate.

Who has been the most influential individual or mentor in your education or career and how did this person help advance your role in technology?
My development manager, Steve Meixner, he opened the first door for me. He let me learn and explore in many areas. He challenged my thinking. He believed in me!

What do you love most about working in the tech world?
Being able to make things and make things work. Engaging with very sharp people. It is all very gratifying and uplifting.

What do you believe is the biggest hurdle women face in pursuing a career in technology?
Themselves.

If you have ever experienced sexism as a female in technology, and you think others could learn from this experience, please describe what happened and how you responded.
Any issues I have are mine. I am not a victim. I have plenty of opportunities to show my counterparts they can or can’t count on me. I can or can’t handle certain things. The men in my circle are not close minded.

Who in the tech field motivates or inspires you and why?
The creative’s such as, Mike Bostok, the developer who made D3.  MPJ, the Fun Fun Function host.  Not forgetting, the guys who have endured and have lots of wisdom to impart such as, Uncle Bob, who wrote the book Clean Code.

If you could give advice to other girls in tech, what would it be?
Go for it! Persevere even if things seem foggy at best. It will totally empower you.

For more information on Charmaine Gurule, follow her on Twitter @charmaineart .

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Is Networking Worth It? https://phoenix.girlsintech.org/2019/03/11/is-networking-worth-it/ https://phoenix.girlsintech.org/2019/03/11/is-networking-worth-it/#respond Mon, 11 Mar 2019 23:42:21 +0000 http://phoenix.aprilrieger.tech/?p=849

Given the option between going to a networking event and doing almost anything else, I will usually chose to do anything else. If you’re in the same boat and need a little push to get out there, read on for motivation!

  • Networking is not coaching or mentoring. No DTR (define the relationship) talk needed!
    Attending a networking event or asking someone from another area of your business out to coffee does not mean you are committing to an ongoing relationship. Creating a network of people you can reach out to or to bounce ideas off can often be maintained with occasional emails.

  • You are not an expert in everything.
    Building a network of people with different knowledge and abilities can provide a new perspective to your projects. Connecting with people that have similar expertise can push you to stay current on the newest trends in your industry. You can also motivate others to improve and reach the next level in their work!

  • People want to promote and work with people they know.
    Have you noticed some people always seem to be selected for special assignments or promotions? It’s likely because they take the time to get to know people. Being a team player doesn’t mean much if no one knows who you are or what you bring to the table.

  • LinkedIn is a tool, not networking without effort.
    After meeting someone, adding them to your online network can be a great way to stay in touch. However, randomly adding people that you don’t have a specific reason to connect with is not productive. When you have a meaningful online network, sharing articles relevant to your industry can keep you top of mind.

  • Ready to get started?
    To network within your company, try asking someone you don’t work with on a daily basis out to lunch. You may be surprised what information or insights they can offer!

    To get outside your company, try attending a local meetups or talks that interest you. Girls in Tech Phoenix has regular events around the Valley that bring in a supportive crowd focused on empowering each other. See what’s coming up here!

Final Food for Thought: “Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much” – Helen Keller

Written by Roxanne Kirk

Roxanne Kirk is a member of the Marketing Committee for Girls in Tech Phoenix. She has experience in the HR/payroll tech space and is passionate about supporting women in STEM fields.

Want to learn more about Girls in Tech PHX? Sign up for our email updates here.

Or sign up for our text messages by texting “Girls in Tech” to 27000.

By participating, you consent to receive recurring SMS text messages from Girls in Tech Phoenix delivered via automated technology. Consent to these terms is not a condition of membership. Msg&data rates may apply. T&C/Privacy Policy


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How Freelancing Females Can Close the Gender Pay Gap https://phoenix.girlsintech.org/2019/03/06/freelancing-females-close-gender-gap/ https://phoenix.girlsintech.org/2019/03/06/freelancing-females-close-gender-gap/#respond Wed, 06 Mar 2019 13:38:38 +0000 http://phoenix.aprilrieger.tech/?p=844

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Believe it or not, the gender pay gap is evident across all industries — even for the self-employed. According to HoneyBook, women working in the creative economy make a third less than their male counterparts.  If you fall into that unfortunate statistic, it may feel as if your hands are tied when it comes to closing the pay gap. But there are proactive measures you can take to improve your situation.  

Learn what you should earn

The same studies concluding women in the freelance world are paid less than men indicate most people are unaware of the discrepancy, falsely believing men and women are being paid the same with all other things being equal.  On top of that, as Freelance Effect points out, how you price your work influences how others see your quality.  With that in mind, it’s important to educate yourself on the going rates in your field.  Entry level workers will have lower rates for freelancing, but your pay should increase with experience and ability.  Do some research to find where you fit in the equation, via the web or asking your male counterparts. For instance, you can check data collected for freelance web developers and designers based on location, experience, and expertise.  

Dispel the myth

Being able to express your value to others in a meaningful way is a good starting point for improving your situation. Start by reviewing your resume, and consider the various resume formats to best display your skills, experience, and abilities.  Would a functional resume be most effective, or a chronological one?  Or perhaps a combination of the two? Look for an eye-catching, clean, professional presentation to impress clients and distinguish you from other freelancers.  Use that as a stepping stone toward self-promotion.  Learn how to talk about what you do and how well you do it.  Communicating effectively about your accomplishments can be key to your success.

Taking the plunge?

Perhaps you’re well-established in your field and you’re taking the plunge into freelance from the corporate world.  Your salary was set in the old environment, but how do you determine an appropriate rate for your freelance work? Will you charge hourly, daily, or by the project? Crunching some numbers can help clear things up.  For instance, if you intend to charge an hourly rate, Creative Live suggests you start by deciding what your annual income needs to be.  List out your expenses and tally them for the course of the year, and remember expenses your employer used to manage, such as your taxes, retirement, and health care.  Figure in how many hours per week you plan to work, and how much time off you need per year. You might find a freelance rate calculator is a handy tool.  

Explore marketing strategies

How familiar are your clients with your skills, experience, and abilities?  Staying in touch with your customers reminds them they are important to you, and it keeps them informed and engaged with your journey.  Reach out to ensure they are aware of your ongoing success, letting them know about accomplishments in your work. Did you hit a new high in your customer base?  Thank them for helping you reach that number. Did you attend a professional seminar? Express how insightful it was and that you look forward to applying what you learned.  Use the internet as a marketing tool, emailing newsletters and posting on social media about what’s moving and shaking in your world.  Doing so only continues to draw attention to you and why you’re worth hiring.

If you are underpaid, it’s time to take the bull by the horns.  Learn what your rate should be, price yourself accordingly, and keep your clients informed.  Closing the gender pay gap is challenging, but you’re worth it.

Written by Lucy Reed.

Lucy Reed created GigMine to help like-minded entrepreneurs take advantage of the growing sharing economy.


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Q&A with Rachel Beauvais https://phoenix.girlsintech.org/2019/02/22/qa-rachel-beauvais/ https://phoenix.girlsintech.org/2019/02/22/qa-rachel-beauvais/#respond Fri, 22 Feb 2019 23:07:38 +0000 http://phoenix.aprilrieger.tech/?p=823
Rachel is the Director of Customer Success at IrisPR Software. She describes her professional focus as: Looking to make our technology as easy to incorporate into everyday life for our customers as possible. My goal is to make it incredibly easy for our customers to be our customers.

Tell us about your first job in tech. Who did you work for, what was your role, and what excited you about the work you did?

Bluemedia – I was a Project Manager to the VP of Sales. What excited me about the job was the chance to help create tangible products for our customers, and facilitate an enjoyable experience for them along the way. I enjoyed the relationships I developed with our customers, and felt a sense of pride when I knew that they trusted me with their projects and their visions.

Describe your job in technology today.

I am the Director of Customer Success at IrisPR Software, which means that the main parts of my job include onboarding and training our new clients, as well as providing ongoing support & troubleshooting. I also work closely with our Dev and leadership teams to ensure that our software is growing in a way that matches what our clients are asking for. I strive to be as proactive as possible in this regard, so that our clients are “wowed” when a new feature rolls out.

If there was point in your childhood when you first became interested in technology, describe that event or experience.

My dad created and ran his own computer software business when I was really young, and especially during the beginning when our home was his office, I got to see a lot of his work. He would enlist my help in putting together his manuals and training booklets, and I enjoyed seeing his work – however foreign it looked to a child me at the time. He would also create really simple computer games for me to play when he had the chance, and over time this developed into time we would share playing computer games together. This fostered an early sense of familiarity and ease with computers for me, so I was never intimidated by them growing up.

What do you love most about working in the tech world?

I think that tech can be intimidating to most people, especially new technology. As with anything, we get comfortable with what we know, and this can lead to becoming complacent. What I love about my job is helping show people that our technology CAN fit into their world and that it doesn’t have to be scary. In fact, it’s pretty easy to learn and it’s going to make their work lives a whole lot simpler. I want to show our clients the human aspect of technology.

For more information on Rachel Beauvais, connect with her on LinkedIn or follow her on Twitter @RachelIrisPR.

Don’t forget to subscribe to our email updates @ phoenix.girlsintech.org

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The Girl Boss Guide to Small Business Finances: Everything You Need to Know to Manage Your Money https://phoenix.girlsintech.org/2019/02/13/girl-boss-guide-to-small-business-finances/ https://phoenix.girlsintech.org/2019/02/13/girl-boss-guide-to-small-business-finances/#respond Wed, 13 Feb 2019 03:04:48 +0000 http://phoenix.aprilrieger.tech/?p=818
small business finances

Women entrepreneurs face unique financial challenges. According to 99designs’ 2018 Women in Business” report, the difficulty women entrepreneurs face raising startup capital cascades into a series of problems that make it harder to compete and contribute to women-owned companies generating $68,000 less annual revenue on average than companies headed by men.

Stereotypes about what an entrepreneur looks like play a big role in this credit gap. However, just because you can get pushback from people who think you’re not cut out for entrepreneurship, you don’t have to listen to it. If anything, it’s one more reason to pursue your goals and prove to the world — and yourself — that entrepreneurship is for everyone.

Funding Options for Women Entrepreneurs

Unless you’re independently wealthy, you’ll need funding to start and grow a business. Venture capital is an important source of funding for many startups, especially in the tech industry, but it’s also heavily male-dominated (women raise only 2% of all venture capital dollars, according to Quartz). Thankfully, VC isn’t the only option.

Traditional term loans, short-term loans, and SBA loans

Small business loans are ideal for major investments into your business. A loan provides a fixed amount of money for a specific purpose, with a set repayment period. Traditional term loans are the standard, while short-term loans offer faster processing and shorter repayment terms when less money is needed. If you struggle to qualify for traditional loans, look into SBA loans. These government-backed loans offer advantageous terms to small business owners.

Business credit cards and business lines of credit

Credit cards and lines of credit are types of revolving credit, which means you can access the funds as needed. As long as you pay it off on schedule, you can continue using revolving credit as a source of working capital. If you need a large amount of credit, choose a business line of credit. If you’re covering smaller, short-term expenses, opt for a business credit card.

Other funding options

Entreprenuers have options beyond traditional funding sources. If you need access to small amounts of working capital or need to buy new equipment for your business, equipment financing and invoice financing are two options to consider. Since these funding options rely on collateral, you don’t need perfect credit to use them. Also, don’t discount the possibility of free money. Crowdfunding is an increasingly viable option for women entrepreneurs and there are a number of small business grants targeting woman-owned businesses.

Managing Business Finances

After your business has launched, you need to keep it afloat. Staying on top of finances is a big challenge for entrepreneurs — financial woes are the leading driver of small business failure. Rather than falling into the same trap as many entrepreneurs and trying to do it all yourself, hire an accountant to handle these financial matters.

Keeping records and paying taxes

Accurate records are key to staying on the IRS’s good side. Records also give you the information you need to assess your business’s financial health. The basic records every small business owner must keep are gross receipts, purchases, expenses, and payroll records. In short: If it involves spending or receiving money, record it and keep it on file for three years in case you get audited. If you’re running a home-based business, you’re at an increased risk of getting audited.

Creating financial statements

Synthesizing records into financial statements allows you to assess finances at a glance. Financial statements also help you overcome the fear of failure that stops you from taking risks. When you have data to illustrate your success, it’s harder to get sidetracked by self-doubt. Financial statements also help you make a strong case when applying for funding. With financial records to back you up, financiers are less likely to pigeonhole you or write you off completely. Every small business owner should maintain a balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement. You can learn more about these essential documents at SCORE.

There’s a lot that goes into running a small business, from diving into market research to nailing down your branding. But with the right financial resources, you can set yourself up for success from the beginning.

By Jim McKinley of Money with Jim

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Encouraging the Girl in Tech in Your Life https://phoenix.girlsintech.org/2019/01/25/encouraging-girls-in-tech/ https://phoenix.girlsintech.org/2019/01/25/encouraging-girls-in-tech/#respond Fri, 25 Jan 2019 13:25:19 +0000 http://phoenix.aprilrieger.tech/?p=799 girls in tech

Do you have a girl or woman in your life who is passionate about working in tech, but you aren’t sure how to best support her? Here are some helpful tips:

  • Give Her Space to Fail
    There are bound to be failures when learning new skills or creating something new. It can be hard to face setbacks. First, give her time to grieve and acknowledge the frustration. Afterward, encourage her to learn from the situation and persist toward her goal.
  • Lend a Listening Ear
    Working in tech can be a roller coaster of emotion for anyone. Offer to meet up (IRL) just to listen. Taking the time to brainstorm ideas or solutions can encourage her to stay the course. It can also give you new insight into what challenges she may be facing on a daily basis.

  • Celebrate Other Girls/Women in Tech
    Making an effort to recognize and honor achievements of other girls and women in tech is empowering! Seeing someone like you succeed can inspire you to dream bigger. Let’s focus on celebrating the success of others and not comparing ourselves to each other.

  • Encourage Involvement in the Tech Community
    Look out for mentorship and female-driven networking groups in your community! Girls in Tech is a great resource to find community events that support women and girls interested or involved in tech and entrepreneurship. Events such as our Girls in Tech Startup Breakthroughs Bootcamp sponsored by GoDaddy or our new monthly mentoring meetup are a perfect place to learn about new resources and get connected.

Written by Roxanne Kirk

Roxanne Kirk is a member of the Marketing Committee for Girls in Tech Phoenix. She has experience in the HR/payroll tech space and is passionate about supporting women in STEM fields.

Want to learn more about Girls in Tech PHX? Sign up for our email updates here.

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Q&A with Elorie Widmer https://phoenix.girlsintech.org/2019/01/11/elorie-widmer/ https://phoenix.girlsintech.org/2019/01/11/elorie-widmer/#respond Fri, 11 Jan 2019 15:09:48 +0000 http://phoenix.aprilrieger.tech/?p=789
Elorie Widmer

Up until my freshman year of college, I had always dreamed of becoming an engineer. A computer science and calculus class later, and I discovered that I was much more passionate about communicating and marketing technical challenges than actually solving them.

Since then, I’ve been able to use my interest in technology and passion for marketing and turn it into an exciting career in the channel that I love. Today, I’m an experienced and innovative global B2B tech marketer who likes to think BIG and always keeps the customer in mind.

From converged infrastructure to IoT to electronic components, and everywhere in between, I thrive on driving creative and data-driven programs and campaigns that lead to brand preference and accelerate sales around the world. My expertise spans product and brand go-to-market strategy, online/mobile/social advertising, content creation, emerging media and demand generation strategy and execution.

What do you love most about working in the tech world?

Every day is something new. Technology is always changing and advancing, so your role usually is too. There is always an opportunity to learn something and grow.

What do you believe is the biggest hurdle women face in pursuing a career in technology?

Impostor syndrome. As women, I feel like we’re often prone to doubting ourselves and asking if we really have what it takes to excel in a certain position or career. Getting over the hurdle of believing that you are meant to be where you are and deserve that seat at the table is one of the biggest challenges that I see and that I have experienced personally.

If you could change one thing about your education or career path, what would it be?

I wish I would have understood the impact of mentoring and sponsoring earlier on in my career. Today, I have amazing mentors that challenge me and help elevate my career, but having those relationships earlier would have helped with confidence, building a personal brand and just provided an overall support system in my career in tech.

If you could give advice to other girls in tech, what would it be?

Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. If you want to explore a new area of technology, attend a conference, or if you want that promotion, ask for it. This is your career after all, and you hold the reigns. Go confidently after what you want.

For more information on Elorie Widmer, connect with her on LinkedIn.

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Q&A with Erika Feinberg https://phoenix.girlsintech.org/2019/01/04/erika-feinberg/ https://phoenix.girlsintech.org/2019/01/04/erika-feinberg/#respond Fri, 04 Jan 2019 22:51:44 +0000 http://phoenix.aprilrieger.tech/?p=781

Erika has been CEO of 3 small technology businesses and grew all 3 into multi-million, market-leading & nationally-loved brands.
Her latest business (Multi-Channel Medical Device Niche) generated over $90 million in revenue before she successfully sold it in 2014.

Tell us about your first job in tech. Who did you work for, what was your role, and what excited you about the work you did?

Logix in Waltham, MA. LOVED IT! I supported the top two producers in the firm who were also Ivy League and CEOs of technology firms. They were management and retained executive search consultants serving all the major technology companies in and around Boston, MA.

Describe your job in technology today.

Human Dynamics and Communications Specialist. I help plan new launches or invigorate existing assets; re-design articulations in the B2B and B2B2C market experience. I also work similarly with internal staff; I assess assets and train teams how to gleefully collaborate together, and how to better engage external ecosystems.

If there was a point in your childhood when you first became interested in technology, describe that event or experience.

(Some of this is in my book). I was switched to a private school for high achievers for my senior year and gravitated toward the geeks and the technology lab. I had never seen anything like it! Then, while attending Boston University, I lived on Bay State Road. All of the MIT fraternity houses were across the street from me. Guess where I spent all my time! (I didn’t realize how much they loved it and why they chose Bay State Road versus the MIT campus. Win-win:)

Who has been the most influential individual or mentor in your education or career and how did this person help advance your role in technology?

Ray Lane and Safra Catz. CEO and now CEO of Oracle Corporation (also in my book called Purpose, Passion & Profits.

What do you love most about working in the tech world?

Creation of dreams. Love seeing what’s in someone’s head turn into something that causes visual impact and that also moves/works in a way that helps make shit happen on many levels. (like this Q&A!)

What do you believe is the biggest hurdle women face in pursuing a career in technology?

Their own heads/mindsets…deeply rooted beliefs and self-talk that can be retrained….it’s DEEPLY rooted and not easy to displace, but it is worth it and is THRILLING!!

If you could change one thing about your education or career path, what would it be?

I would have gotten my Master’s degree sooner. My instincts were spot on, but now that I am familiar with the sciences behind it, I would have been even better.

I also wish I wouldn’t have let my fear get in the way of my passion to be a Mastermind trainer. I’m seeing how I’m impacting people (especially millennial women) and it’s time for me to see my own inner and profound value…and calling. Ironic!

If you have ever experienced sexism as a female in technology, and you think others could learn from this experience, please describe what happened and how you responded.

No, but me saying that has gotten me in hot water with other women (also in my book). The strong women I have met in tech secretly inspired me, and more deeply than I thought.

Who in the tech field motivates or inspires you and why?

Here locally, I’d say Mi-Ai, Heidi Jannenga and Lawdan Shojaee. They’re smart, support the community, and are “doing it”.

If you could give advice to other girls in tech, what would it be?

Spend time talking out loud with other TypeA/focused/motivated people, reflect on your life story, pick 3 notable things and 3 shit storms that have happened in your life and write a new story that is 100% productive and feeds who you want to be now. Then practice being it without fear or self-doubt. Deliberately live it…or “pretend” you’re ready if that’s what it takes, then surround yourself with the people and resources you need to get it done (with clarity and commitment). This type of pretending is as real as it gets. This is a model of happiness and success I teach. (“Mastermind Culture”)

P.S. Arizona has so many great programs and resources for creation and re-creation in relation to technology paths!  

For more information on Erika Feinberg, connect with her on LinkedIn or follower on Twitter @ApexOutcomes.

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