5 Seriously Smart Women Leaders Share Their Best Advice for International Women’s Day

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All week at Trilogy Education, we’ve been highlighting the incredible journeys of women boot camp graduates who have shown grit, courage, and persistence on their way to rewarding careers in technology. These women have proven that tech needs what they bring.

But getting a foot in the door is just the beginning. We know these impressive coders, analysts, and UX designers will continue to break down barriers and climb up the ranks, hopefully opening the door for many more women to follow in their footsteps.

To help them on that path, we asked Trilogy’s own talented female executives for their best advice for the next generation of women leaders. We’re proud to say that over a third of our most senior leaders are women, and they touch nearly every area of our business.

In celebration of International Women’s Day, here’s what a few of them they have to say:

Find a company that values women’s leadership

“To me, women’s leadership means nothing different than men’s leadership. No matter who you’re leading, make them believe in you, in the business, in themselves, and in their abilities. Know that your job is to serve them, and they will perform.

Before a woman takes a job at any organization, she needs to assess early on whether leadership is a viable or likely route. Find out: a) How many women are in leadership roles? b) What is the maternity and paternity policy? c) What are women saying in Glassdoor reviews? d) Then, look at the executives’ social media pages (Facebook and other personal ones) to get a sense for their values.  

You’ve effectively chosen whether you have a good chance of being a leader in a company the moment you walk in the door.”

Jamie Farrell, Chief Business Officer

Don’t let your gender affect your career

“I think we as women need to take advantage of this exciting time that we are living in and continue to not only raise each other up, but challenge each other. Be confident, trust yourself, and don’t let anything stand in your way.

The truth is that I haven’t let my gender affect my career. I have attacked every opportunity, project, presentation, and interview without the thought that being a woman could affect the outcome. If I don’t let being a woman influence the journey, then no one else can.

Be fearless. No one is stopping you but yourself. Find a mentor that you relate to and learn everything you can from them to make you confident in your skills and ability to raise your own self up. Then… go do it!”

Alana Rose, Vice President of University Relations

Get comfortable with being uncomfortable

“Never wear cheap shoes. Or a bag. OK…maybe that was my Grandmother. Seriously—be courageous. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. The further up the chain you go, the more uncomfortable you will get. That’s what you are paid for…step up to it.

Be real. Be humble. Show tremendous gratitude for those on your team who go the extra mile, are extraordinarily talented, and candidly, make your life a lot easier. Take the time to mentor and connect—and don’t forget to laugh, a lot.

The pressure can be intense to consistently outperform others and show up strong. Embrace this pressure—feed off of it—don’t fear it. Use it to drive you to work harder and overdeliver. Go crush it. And find a great network of close female confidants to boost you up when you need it most.”

Shadee Barkan, Chief Partner and Development Officer

Understand the business impact

“An important aspect of women’s leadership is embracing the responsibility to mentor, support, and empower other women. While it sounds cliché, it’s not enough to get a seat at the table. Participate, and be heard! Make sure you know where the money is made. That means take the time to understand the business impact.”

– Sheryl Friedman, Vice President of University Relations

Have the courage to ask for what you want

“In most cases, women leaders carry a lot of weight on their shoulders every day, which they hide very well. Their world is very wide and deep, and sometimes, the pressure of making sure everyone is happy and has everything they need, and having to prove yourself every day is…hard!  

I believed that I had to work harder and take more responsibilities to prove myself so I would look for the most challenging projects and strategies and ask to lead them. Trust your instinct, believe in yourself, and have the courage to ask for what you want!”

Nirmeen Hasan, Executive Vice President, Learning Solutions

International Women’s Day has been occurring for over a century. As we stop to celebrate the incredible victories and achievements women have made over the past year, we must recognize that we still have a long way to go. That’s especially true in a field like technology, where less than 20% of U.S. roles are held by women. This International Women’s Day, and every day of the year, Trilogy Education is doing its part to #BalanceForBetter by giving more fearless women a path forward to thriving careers in tech.

Interested in starting your own journey to a tech career? Take the next step.

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