Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to work in tech and build things that would make the world a better place for everyone. But, getting into a field largely dominated by men was intimidating. Worse, I had been taught that I needed a degree or at the very least, a passion for math and sciences, and frankly, I was allergic to both. As I got older, I subscribed to the notion that in order to succeed in tech, I needed to be a code-writing, app-developing genius, which pretty much meant that I kept most of my fun ideas (shoppable, Pinterest-like wedding registry app, 2012 & “save to folder” organizer for Instagram, 2013) to myself. Instead of pursuing my dream, I stuck with what I was good at: writing and communications, specifically advertising and social media. I worked with cruise lines, baby products, consumer goods and retail; essentially everything but tech. And yet, I still spent my days dreaming of a different tomorrow and my nights solving problems that didn’t have solutions.
Eight years later and I’m now deeply immersed in all things tech. Today, I work with software consultants, developers, and engineers who are making the very products that power our everyday life. And guess what – it’s not so scary after all. And the best part of it all, I didn’t go to coding school. I didn’t have to get hired by a tech giant. And I didn’t become an overnight Steve Jobs… although that would’ve been pretty stellar.
So, how did I get here? I’d love to say that it was easy, that I simply clicked my ruby heels together and a-la Beyonce woke up like this. But the truth is, there is no magic formula. It takes a lot of hard work, dedication, courage and creativity to get here.
Before stepping into this role, I wore more hats that I can name and did everything from writing about relationships, to building social media communities, to managing crisis communication, and finally to working in product innovation. Instead of following the steady, linear path that they teach us in school, I created my own. And I did it living in a city known for its hospitality and nightlife. A city with a lot of passion but no infrastructure to support a career in technology and innovation, which meant that I had to source my “tribe” elsewhere. Luckily, I had Sheryl Sandberg (COO of Facebook), Sara Blakely (Founder of Spanx) and Lori Greiner (Entrepreneur & TV Personality on Shark Tank) to lean on. Sheryl invited me to sit at the table, Sara encouraged me to take a chance on myself, and Lori taught me about investing in my future.
In 2018, I partnered with Gallardo Labs and everything changed. I met an incredible team of strong, courageous men and women who were willing to support one another’s dreams and do amazing things. With this team of extraordinary changemakers, I learned that I didn’t need a degree in engineering to work in this space. Instead, all of the skills– strategic thinking, creative problem-solving, storytelling and emotional intelligence–that I had been honing over the last decade were enough. And better yet, they were what made me different and valuable to an industry largely dominated by engineers.
Through my work with Gallardo Labs, I’ve learned that the tech industry needs more communicators, writers, designers, and storytellers. That it needs people with big imaginations that are ready to put pen to paper and bring a product or company vision to life. And that it needs strategists and community builders to take complex ideas and turn them into something more universally understood and embraced. And finally, I learned that being a woman in tech is not a setback, but rather an advantage. Women tend to use their whole selves — their intuition, imagination and EQ when doing anything, whether it’s solving a problem, innovating, or making a decision — skills that can help transform what is perceived to be a cold and distant corporation into a caring, more human and accessible brand that people can relate to, connect with, and grow to love. Imagine the possibilities.