She Speaks: The Next IT Girl Women In Tech Panel

Kendrea and I speaking on the panel

Last Tuesday, I had the pleasure of being a part of the Women in Tech Panel hosted by The Next IT Girl. There were two of us on the panel. We had a great time talking about how we each viewed the past, present, and future of women in technology. The panel consisted of myself and Kendrea Williams, who is the founder of Pitchfeast and a current student at Eleven Fifty Academy. It was moderated by Napiya Nubuya, founder of The Next IT Girl.

When originally asked to be a part of the panel, I was skeptical.

Out of all the women in Indianapolis, why me?

After that quick bout of imposter syndrome I agreed to be apart of the panel. I am glad I did. It was great to be able to connect with aspiring and fellow women in technology. I walked away from this panel with renewed passion for my craft as well as inspiration to keep looking for ways to make an impact in the community.

Here’s a brief recap of some of the main points I made during the panel.

  1. College Degree vs Coding Camp

    Here are a few scenarios where I think attending a coding camp is preferred:

    • Transitioning into the technology field from another industry
    • Needs to start earning money quickly
    • Knows exactly which area of technology they want to pursue

    That being said, I don’t think you can exchange the breadth of knowledge you receive from getting your degree by attending a coding camp. Keep in mind that I’m personally biased because I have a computer science degree. Also, I think it would be harder trying to move into certain senior level positions or more specialized areas in technology if you lack a degree.

  2. What are your practices on being your whole self at work?

    I’m completely aware that there could be consequences for being your whole self at work. My advice is to know your values and your vision. That should determine which parts of yourself you are willing to compromise on while at work. I’m proud of who I am. I make it a mission to try to live my life out in the open and that includes being myself while I’m at work. Everyday I walk into the office with my dreadlocks and my country twang with zero shame. I do this because one of my values is freedom and if I feel like I’m being confined or suppressed, I can’t produce my best work.

  3. Do you feel that companies favor a certain group over the other?

    It depends on which group is making headlines. When the Religious Freedom Restoration Act became headline news, Indiana based companies started being more vocal and involved in the LGBTQA community. Uber has been in the news because of their issues with sexual harassment. Naturally, you start to hear about them donating to women causes and hiring more women.

  4. What is one tweetable takeaway that you want to share with the audience?

"I am willing"

Being a women in technology definitely comes with its challenges. Some days are better than others but I’ve learned a few tricks that help me get through the work day. This statement is one of my daily affirmations. It helps prepare me to tackled the day.

I am willing to continue learning.

I am willing to be bold.

I am willing to be challenged.

I am willing to accept change.



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