Mentorship is a two way street and the mentor gets as much out of it as the mentee (if not more). It’s different for everyone: from learning to communicate clearly or deepening your own knowledge to feeling a sense of joy at other’s achievements, mentoring others is truly rewarding.
Stefanie Meier, an engineering Manager at Estonia’s Energy, a founder at Digital ZEN, and a mentor at Women Go Tech says that mentoring women has been a fulfilling and unique experience she doesn’t want you to miss out too.
Could you tell us a bit about your journey into becoming a mentor?
My journey into tech was somewhat unconventional. I don’t have a background in software development; my experience is more in managing positions within tech environments. I believe my coaching background and my studies in cultural science and international management have uniquely positioned me to understand and guide others in this field.
That’s quite a diverse background! How has this influenced your approach to mentorship?
My diverse background has taught me the importance of understanding individual struggles and team dynamics. As a mentor, I focus on helping mentees zoom out to see the bigger picture, ask the right questions, and approach their projects with confidence. It’s not just about technical skills; it’s about building resilience, confidence, and understanding one’s value.
Speaking of value, what challenges do you see women facing in the tech industry?
One of the biggest challenges is the gender imbalance in tech teams. Women are still a minority, especially in leadership roles. This can be intimidating for women entering the field. Additionally, many women struggle with recognizing their own value and confidence, which is something I often address in mentorship.
How do you think mentorship programs an help address these challenges?
Mentorship programs provide a unique inside view of the industry. They allow women to connect with experienced professionals, gain practical advice, and see real-life examples of successful women in tech. This exposure is crucial for building confidence and breaking down the barriers of entry into the tech world.
Can you share a success story from your mentoring experience?
One of my mentees from Ukraine, amidst the challenging times in her country, transitioned from teaching to project management. Despite the difficult circumstances, she applied the skills and insights gained from our sessions, secured a job in her new field, and demonstrated incredible resilience. Witnessing her journey and success was truly humbling and inspiring.
That’s incredibly inspiring! Lastly, what advice would you give to women considering a career in tech or looking to advance in this field?
Surround yourself with the right people. Connect with those who can see and articulate your strengths, push you out of your comfort zone, and inspire you. Remember, there’s always a solution to a problem, and a slight shift in mindset can significantly influence your actions. Embrace opportunities, try new things, and let your experiences build your confidence and resilience.
Watch or listen to the full conversation with Stefanie here.
Take on the challenge of helping women transition to tech and grow professionally and personally. Become a mentor.