May 19, 2020 aartiksmith

Aarti Smith on Mentoring for Girls in Technology

When it comes to a great experience, it is never too late to share. In a recent conversation with colleagues, we were discussing the value of mentorship and I was compelled to capture my experience as a 2019-2020 Mentor for Girls in Technology, a committee led by Women in Technology (WIT) members.  

There were numerous fulfilling aspects of being a Mentor. For example, participating on a panel, sharing my own journey in STEM, sharing advice on how to navigate highly competitive STEM environments, and meeting wonderful fellow-mentors. However, the true joy I experienced came from listening to all the wide-eyed, smart, and very motivated young proteges.  They were inherently confident and asked challenging questions. For instance, one young girl, who was a freshman in high school, asked me a fabulous question during a panel for Leadership.  She asked, “In a STEM industry dominated by men, how does a woman in STEM show her female side?” My response, echoed by my fellow panelists, was that the lines between male and female workers are blurring.  Employers like myself want smart people and gender is no longer a part of that equation.  In fact, women bring many advantages to an organization, like advanced multi-tasking talents and a heightened sense of emotional intelligence that is revered by their male colleagues.  

We women need to let our female qualities shine and be as girly as we want because girly means we are smart, capable, confident, and get it done! So, cheers to all the girly girls out there! May you reach all your STEM goals and may you thrive throughout the journey! See you all again at the 2020-2021 Girls in Technology Kick-off!