Allison Esposito explains how Women In Tech Are Already Here
the Founder & CEO of Tech Ladies talks about finding solutions to being underrepresented in a world where women have already arrived.
Allison Esposito, CEO and Founder of Tech Ladies
Occupations, affiliations, and projects.
PEOPLE WHO DO FOCUSES ON THOSE WHO TAKE ACTION TO PURSUE MEANINGFUL LIFE PASSIONS. WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO YOU TO “DO”?
I can't imagine not doing. I've always been a little worker bee, even as a kid I was dreaming up projects, organizing people, and staying busy. I always wanted to do work that mattered and made the world better, and it took years for me to find the proper mix of passion, ability, and need and I feel like I've finally found that with Tech Ladies.
Tell me more about why it was important for you to create Tech Ladies?
Women and non-binary people in tech really benefit from community, information exchange, and career support that Tech Ladies provides, so it feels like important work. We're still really outnumbered and underrepresented in tech but instead of dwelling on that, we are always working on solutions. Something I've learned since starting Tech Ladies is that there is a lot of pain at work and it's not unique to individuals, and sometimes just hearing that there are others who have gone through the same negative experiences can really help and validate our own experiences.
What's the biggest takeaway that you want people to know about women in the tech industry?
That we're already here, we're here in large numbers, and we're doing really interesting work. We just don't get the glowing profiles, or the same number of speaking gigs, or the automatic networking/connections that our male counterparts enjoy. We also tend to come into tech from nontraditional backgrounds. I think there's a myth that women in tech "just aren't out there", but we've grown to 30,000 members in a short amount of time and our events are packed with women and nonbinary people in tech, so it's more lack of visibility and connections, rather than lack of numbers.
What’s your favorite thing you’ve learned so far this year?
How to ruthlessly prioritize and how to say no, and how to delegate (I guess they're all inter-connected) and I am STILL learning them every day.
#1 motivating mantra to get through tough moments.
If you want something you've never had, you have to do something you've never done.
To date, what accomplishments are you most proud of?
Our community was our first accomplishment and will always be our biggest, no matter what else we do. The community helps each other out daily, and is such a deep resource. Building a community first and a business second came about naturally, but it's proved to be such a successful way of launching something. We are laser-focused on what Tech Ladies need and want and we only build products/services based on that feedback, which is ever-evolving. So now matter what accolades we get, what press we get, or what cool things happen to us, nothing will ever be as cool as seeing ladies connect and help each other through the group.
What's your go-to song to put you in a better mood?
Lately it's been Bronx Season by Cardi B.
Favorite method for logging any kind of inspiration.
The "Notes" app on my phone!
Top 5 people you would invite to a dinner party.
There are so many but I think this would be an interesting mix:
What’s the best piece of advice that you can give someone right now?
Fortune favors the brave!
What’s your favorite lesson you’ve ever learned?
Speak up for yourself. I have made the mistake in the past of thinking others would protect me, or that reason or justice would prevail, but found out the hard way that you are the only one who can really advocate for yourself, so even though it's uncomfortable, you better learn to get good at it.
3 words that you want to be remembered by.
Kind. Scrappy. Strong.
What’s the next goal?
More. Just keeping growing Tech Ladies more and keep finding ways to give back to the community.
By "do-ing", you create your own unique legacy. How do you want your legacy to look?
I think all any of us can hope for as individual human beings is that we used whatever tools, privilege, and talent we had to make the world a little kinder, and a little better.