{ Pick My Brain! is fixed price service tailored to early stage startups, gender wage gap adjusted for female founders. }

7361158970_af05da4ccd_o
7361173672_5ba30c3d80_oFlickr CC: Photo1, Photo2, Photo3

Inspired by the greatest meme to date, Texts From Hillary, I made a photo series to remind us all of all the work still left to be done for women in tech. Even if we already rule the Internet.

I have been a woman in tech for the past 12 years. It’s been a thrill from the day one, and I wouldn’t change the experience for the world. At age of 34 I didn’t go to work with risk management and international marketing, instead I went on to develop the first digital CMS for the largest online newspaper in the Nordics. Back then it may have seem like a naive choice, but it never even occurred to me, that the field of technology still was a man’s world. Add to the mix the traditional media heritage with strict culture of hierarchy, and I was headed to throw myself against thick glass ceilings. I also came to learn that power has no gender.

“There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women” – Madeleine Albright, fmr U.S. Secretary of State

It’s a famous quote by former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who, I’m positive, had more men than women to “worry about” during her career. Here’s a TED talk by her, well worth 13 minutes of your life. It’s quote and a guideline I live by.

Ironically, women lie behind the best and absolute worst experiences in my professional life, why in 2009 I was excited to co-organize the first Geek Girl Meetup in Stockholm, Sweden, to help share the tremendous wins of helping instead of fighting each other. It’s an unconference for women by women, that in three years has spread to four more countries to embrace women in tech.

The Top 100 Women in Tech in Europe

The first Girls In Tech UK conference was recently held in London, announcing a list of Top 100 Women in Tech in Europe. I’m very humbled to be on it. According to co-founder Roxanne Varza, the list was created to promote fellow women, why they also chose not to rank the list. I couldn’t agree more with her, why I was saddened when Venture Village, while doing great job profiling women in tech in Berlin, chose to have a competition to rank the German women on the list. I find it highly counter productive to have women in tech engaging in competitions against each other; seems like the best way to make sure there for ever will only be few women in the room.

The day we stop paging female tech founders and asking where the women in tech, venture capital and boardrooms are, please do go ahead and start ranking in a hunt for page views. Until then, there’re enough challenges to have any time to waste on popularity contests. We can only support each other.

Rails Girls – Get Excited And Make Things! 

7074153307_4ef9ef5e59_oFlickr CC: Paula Marttila

 

I was in all awe after having joined first Rails Girls Berlin event earlier this spring. Having experienced the empowering results of many Geek Girl Meetups, I’m deeply impressed by the Rails Girls concept, masterly put together by co-founders and fellow Finns, Linda Liukas and Karri Saarinen. As Linda puts it:

“I don’t want to leave building the future of Internet to 25 years old males.”

It literally jumpstarts women to start coding in one day. Really. Only requirements: A laptop and enthusiasm. Trust me, to pull that off is so much harder than it sounds. As a valuable side effect of welcoming both female and male mentors, it also creates a fantastic group of ambassadors in the male tech world, helping to change attitudes and discover the benefits of having more women in tech.

Please check out the global event schedule to get started, join as mentor (both female and male welcome!) or to organize your own conference. And hurry up to sign up if in Paris, Kharkov and Buenos Aires this upcoming weekend June 15th – 16th! Next stop San Francisco on June 29th.

Berlin Geekettes And Girl Geek Dinner Berlin
6885371716_d70db600dd_o

Meanwhile, women in tech in Berlin are empowering each other with help of Berlin Geekettesnewly started by Jess Erickson, where besides sharing experiences we also find time to build lego together, as with always great talks at Girl Geek Dinners Berlin, started by Nicole Simon

Bougie_geek_girl_dinner

There’s no greater feeling than winning together: Stay humble. Help a sister out.

Shout out: Thank you Rails Girls team Pia Henrietta Kekäläinen, Anna Bessonova and Jemina Lehmuskoski for awesome photo shoots! And those who didn’t have a saying in participating – the men. Thank you John Airaksinen, Arvid Janson of Hoas Tool Shop and Per Jonsson of Omnicloud!

Paula is Digital Product Advisor and Top 100 Women in Tech in Europe, focusing on Product, Go-to-market, and Internationalization strategies. Rated as one of the very best startup mentors in Europe, she has to date mentored over 150 digital technology companies on product, marketing and growth. Pick My Brain! is her fixed price service tailored to early stage startups, gender wage gap adjusted for female founders. Contact Paula for digital strategy work or book her as keynote speaker about #Startups #WomenInTech #GenderEquality #Entrepreneurship. Read more about her work and connect @Twitter, @LinkedIn. “You never learn anything when you speak, only when you listen”Roelof Botha / Douglas Leone, Sequoia Capital

Advertisements