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6 years ago…

6 years ago I went to Brunel University for a Computing Taster Day, having not decided what I was going to do at uni yet or what uni to go to, but that day I decided both those things!

Crazy how time flies, I’ve finished my degree and am working in tech, if it wasn’t for events like that I don’t know where I’d be or what I would have done. That’s why putting effort back into promoting STEM has best interest for everybody!

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This week’s #wamimh

My week summed up: Early mornings, awful drives home, free lunch and nice work campus walks 🤓

Now for the weekend, seeing my boyfriend and relaxing before doing it all again next week!

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#WAMIMH Day 1

Walk a month in my heels day 1… got to work early, 6 meetings done ✅, couple of powerpoints created and out for dinner and crazy golf with two other grads 👌 now off to bed 😴

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Walk A Month In My Heels

Many people ask what is it like to work in IT… what do I even do other than tell people to turn things off and on again? Well, as much as that is a common expression, that isn’t all it takes to work in IT!

So for the month of November, I am going to post up a photo and update each day, to share with you what it is like being a #WomaninTech and a graduate !

Follow the blog for daily updates, or on Instagram or Twitter using the handle: @TashaITGirl

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Your Help

It’s with great pleasure (and amazement) that I say I have over 1500+ followers over 4 social media platforms, but I’d love to grow this even further, so that IT Girl can try to help one more girl out there into STEM and to grow a bigger network at the same time. So please share http://www.TashaITGirl.com on any platform you see fit, or if you have any ideas it would be great to collaborate with 🤓 Thank you x

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First Journeyman Dinner

Great evening at the WCIT Journeyman Dinner, it’s great that a charitable and well established livery company and the men and women who make it so great, care so much about mentoring the younger members! Very appreciated and I look forward to giving back how I can too!

If you’re interested in learning more about the WCIT, then feel free to get in contact or check out their website 🤓

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Good Morning

How are you feeling ready for this week ahead?

My morning routine usually consists of a cup of tea and a scroll through social media, like a true millennial, before cracking down on the To Do lists I set myself containing both personal and professional tasks. What’s your routine and do you feel it’s working?

Be the best version of yourself this week 💪🏻

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Find Someone Who Understands

There’s a lot in the media about the film Oceans 8 at the moment (which I personally can’t wait to see!) but one of the worst things is about having a majority female cast is the rumours that the women all hate each other etc (🙄), which in pop culture happens a lot from Sex and the City to more recent TV and films. Whilst promoting the film Oceans 8, the actresses as part of their publicity are trying to shut down these rumours because they are apparently not true, and even if they were I don’t see how that makes a difference to whether they’ve produced a good film or not?

This is similar in business too, women are seen as “catty” and “bitchy”, and if they get passionate they are told they are too emotional. At the end of the day if you’re delivering your work and achieving what you want to personally achieve, you shouldn’t have to defend your actions because of your gender.

This is where having some one from a mentor to a colleague, who can relate to similar reactions from others or how you feel is important. Not just as a woman in tech or business, but in all walks of life it’s good to have somebody who understands you.

Sadly, there are many reports of suicide in the news at the moment of famous people who for unknown reasons feel that is their only way. There’s many more people every day who take their lives who aren’t reported about.

I personally want to aim to be approachable and personable for others around me, personally or professionally, so if anyone needs someone to understand them, I can try to be that person.

I encourage you all to do the same, because everyone needs that one person who understands.

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Imposter Syndrome

by Sarah Lewis

I was at a couple of tradeshows earlier this week and attended Women in Technology events and almost all the conversations I had were around imposter syndrome.  It really does affect more people than we realise, me included.

The term was coined in 1978 by clinical psychologist Pauline R Clance and Suzanne A Imes and is a concept which describes people who have an persistent fear of being exposed as a fraud.  People who exhibit the syndrome dismiss proof of success by claiming it was luck, timing or even making people think they are more intelligent or competent than they are.

I was introduced to this concept of the syndrome was about 7 years ago while having a session with a career coach.  I was trying to explain my lack of desire to progress my career further.  After chatting, we realised that this apparent lack of ambition was due to my fear of being discovered as a fraud.  The career coach promptly told me that almost every executive he had worked with felt like that from time to time, especially very successful women.

Just that one explanation had a massive effect on me, I wasn’t alone! So I started to look at myself, my career and my personal life and decided to make a change starting with “It’s time to fake it til I make it”.

I still class myself as being on the road to recovery but I wanted to share some of the tips that I wish someone had shared with me way back when.

1. Take time to learn and grow

It is not easy to take time out when we have such busy work and home lives but I found that taking the time to learn something new, work on a skill, understand the business better gave me more confidence and helped me to accept some of my weaker areas.  Strengths Finder is a great book to help this process.

2. Do not compare yourself to others.

I am fortunate to work with some amazingly strong, confident women and would always compare myself to those ladies.  I wasn’t as eloquent, I wasn’t as technical, I wasn’t as good at presenting etc etc.  So, instead of comparing yourself to others, look at your own strengths and focus on those.  You are good at what you do because you are you, and you don’t have to be anyone else.

3. Find a mentor

If you are lucky enough to find a mentor who you respect and admire and who believes in you, you are on to a winner.  You just have to remember, not to try and “be” them and to accept those compliments you are bound to receive.  Please don’t fall into the trap of excusing successes as “lucky breaks” or “team work” – another classic Imposter Syndrome symptom.

4. Learn as you go

There is nothing wrong with taking on a project and feeling out of your depth.  You are smart, you are talented – there is no reason why you cannot research, learn and practice as you go. You’d be amazed how many women just “fell into” tech roles and do not have a tech based education – please don’t let the lack of a technical degree damage your confidence.

5. Speak Out

It’s ok to talk to people about how you are feeling.  Try talking about your imposter feelings, it can help.  I discovered so many women in my circle feel the same way as I do and it really helped me feel less alone.  Try it out!

I’m not psychologist nor an expert on this subject but I hope that some of my tried and tested techniques give you some food for thought.

You can find more of my ramblings as well as curated news from around the web and details on our events at https://twitter.com/TheTechieGirls

Sarah Lewis is Director Field Marketing at Ivanti and the spearhead for Ivanti’s Women in Technology movement.  Sarah started off her tech career in an internal IT support role, moving on into IT Asset Management and was finally lured away into a marketing role where she happily combines technical knowledge with a sprinkle of creativity and indulges in her passion for supporting the women in technology community.