Jody-Ann is a Senior Consultant in Protiviti’s Technology Consulting practice. She recently participated in a book club that Protiviti sponsored to read and discuss the book “Geek Girl Rising: Inside the Sisterhood Shaking Up Tech.” Here, Jody-Ann shares her perspective on the experience.
It is no secret that women are phenomenal creatures who are filled with vitality and vigor. They have climbed many a ladder in order to break barriers and be trendsetters. Although the “tech” culture has caught fire for women, it remains an area which has yet to fully evolve. The book ‘Geek Girl Rising’ addresses several of the many technological disciplines within which women have sought to be trailblazers. Ranging in content from corporate leaders to entrepreneurs, financiers, techies, crusaders, coaches and work-life warriors, the book not only breaks down some of the struggles that women have faced and endured, but shows how much they have persevered to achieve their goals.
After reading the book, it was truly a privilege to participate in a webinar with one of the books Corporate Advisors, Lori Harmon. Lori , the Vice President of Global Inside Sales at Blackberry, and four Protiviti leaders joined our team in a healthy discussion on how to apply the book’s lessons within our respective careers. Our discussion was focused around three main tenets: work-life, support, and factors to being successful.
Mrs. Harmon shared several words of encouragement that I took to heart.
- Find what you are passionate about. Once you have found your passion, work on enhancing those skill sets. Additionally, do not be afraid to ask for help. You will never know everything. Lastly, seize all opportunities that given to you, even those that are outside of your comfort zone.
- Understand your company’s support structure. Seek mentors within and outside of your company. Your mentors do not have to be your direct supervisors. Follow-up with the contacts you make. Understand your personal/home structure. Communicate, communicate, and lastly, communicate.
- Do not be afraid of failure. Have heart, hustle, and passion. Stop trying to be all things to all people. Be a mentor to others. The best leaders are the best followers.
After reading the title of the book, I must admit that I was a bit skeptical. I was concerned that this was just another book that would point out issues without a means to resolve them. After completing the book and participating in the webinar, I was truly impressed by the courage that each of these women demonstrated, despite all the odds stacked against them. It gave me hope that life within this tech journey is well worth the risk. To Mrs. Harmon and the other “Geek Girls” who were inspired to share their stories — thank you!