As a woman working in a STEM industry, I find myself thinking about issues of representation constantly. Why are women being overlooked for executive opportunities? How do we create a pipeline of women for the future of this industry? And I’ve come to the conclusion that if there is one thing that women must do to encourage more women to pursue careers in STEM fields, it’s this: Mentor them.
It is through the concerted efforts of about half a dozen mentors that I have made it from Arkansas to MIT, through raising a kid during grad school and now, to be a CEO.
During my hardest times in grad school, I used to call a former senior lab mate whenever I felt like giving up. I first met him when I was an undergraduate researcher in our group at the MIT Media Lab. In my phone, he is listed as “Department of Motivation,” because his perspective is what helped re-frame everything I was going through and give me enough ‘oomph’ to keep pushing. After I finished, I immediately went to work for him in San Francisco. I found a mentor early on, but not everyone has that experience.
To read the full article by Danielle Applestone, visit Time.