The Cornerstone of Success
It was so good to read the news last week about a project where women with successful careers in STEM are mentoring school girls and renewing their confidence in studying Maths and the sciences.
I remember, back in the day, being one of only a handful of girls amongst three hundred or so guys studying for a degree in Maths at UCL and what an isolating experience it was. I felt like such an oddity in the environment but no support or encouragement was given beyond the usual student/tutor type of thing and I know it would have made a huge difference to the internal dialogue of not feeling good enough that plagued me for my whole three years there.
And I had the same experience when I was first starting out in tech over 10 years ago, when there were almost zero women around to bond with as peers let alone women who had achieved a high enough ranking to approach for mentorship.
But today is a very different story and, although the diversity problem in tech still exists and it's as critical as ever for women to find mentors, there is at least way more people to approach.
There's also a whole lot being written about why every woman should have a mentor at work and how mentors are key to women succeeding in leadership and finding someone that can support, encourage and challenge you to think and do better I wholeheartedly advocate, having benefited directly from the help of one of my mentors just recently.
So it has made me really happy to see the mentoring amongst women that is already taking place on Shello. More than one in five women in our community are self-employed, with a lot of them having set up on their own after achieving professional success in areas like career coaching and nutrition to finance, marketing and business management, and most of them after having children.
They've often answered members' questions on Shello, cheer-leading and giving their advice and support for free and even offering help beyond this with one to one private chats and calls, all the things that great mentors do.
So it feels really cool to have come full circle, having first been motivated to create Shello from thinking back to my own experiences at college and starting my tech career. And with women supporting women one of the cornerstones of Shello’s ethos, it's only a matter of time before our community takes over the world.