Female Innovators at Work

DANIELLE NEWNHAM

Posted on October 12 2016

 

As yesterday saw us celebrate both International Day of the Girl and Ada Lovelace Day, it seems appropriate to take today to tell you about my new book - Female Innovators at Work which comes out in December.

When we talk about the reasons we started Tease and Totes, and why we do our Wednesday Woman interviews each week, we always mention the need we felt to shine a light on inspirational women who have overcome challenges in their chosen field. But what some of you might not know is where this passion to shine such a light came from.

I started working in tech in 2006 and, having worked in music and fashion prior to that, it became painfully obvious to me how few women existed in some fields, and how the lack of visible role models can really affect an industry as a whole.

I very quickly fell in love with technology and the exciting opportunities it offered everyone, especially women. But where were the role models? It felt like there were so few of us and, added to that, the press weren't covering us so how could we possibly attract more women into the field?

From that moment, it became important to me to change the face of role models in tech, and beyond. And that is how Tease and Totes was born - to give the world new role models to follow. To empower the women who wear our clothes; to make them stand out, and to show young girls what opportunities are out there for them.

So back to Female Innovators at Work. In this book, I have interviewed twenty incredibly inspiring founders and innovators in tech. From women who worked at the dawn of the internet age, to women who are creating underwater drones to map the ocean’s floor. There is a myriad of awesomely pioneering women doing incredibly important work in the world of technology and I wanted to share their stories.

The book will be on sale this December (you can pre-order here now) but in the mean time, I thought I would share some of my favourite quotes:

 

“Technology needs women because women surface ideas and approaches that men don’t think of. And women seeking to get into the technology space can be highly successful; you just have to have the grit to persevere through. It’s a male dominated field, but like the Marine Corps for me when I was younger, you just have to focus on the joy of the things that you love in your work and not get distracted by the fact that you may be the only woman in the room.” Ramona Pierson, founder of Declara

“If you really want something, go out and get it. Don’t let anyone tell you what you can or cannot do because it is important to know that your work is something you will spend all your life doing. So pick what you really love. It will be hard and you might fail many times, but the most important lesson I have learned doing my startup is perseverance. Go for what is yours in this universe.” Sampriti Bhattacharyya, founder of Hydroswarm

 

“Don’t believe things that you hear or read, because a lot of it is wrong. So rather than accepting “this is the way things are” and memorizing that, exploring alternatives often leads to innovation.” Radia Perlman, software designer and network pioneer

 

“I had nearly given up. I didn’t really know if I would be able to succeed in this life or contribute anything and then I entered this competition and people recognized my work, and they thought it was good, and they thought I could make a difference. And that made me think, OK, I actually can make a difference, and I shall always go on knowing I can make a difference, irrespective of what is going on in my life.” Judith Owigar, founder of JuaKali and AkiraChix

 

“You know in TV shows and movies, it always seems like it is going to end perfectly? Well, I remember being young and thinking, “Why aren’t things ending perfectly?” So I would tell a younger me that life is not like that, and that no matter how much you plan things, life has its own plans and the key is to know that and adapt. You can still have plans but really life, work, relationships, it’s all about adapting.” Yasmine Mustafa, founder of ROAR for Good

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For more info on the book, or the interviewees featured, please reach out to Danielle on Twitter.

If you would like to nominate yourself, or someone you know, for our Wednesday Woman feature, please drop us a line on tease and totes at gmail dot com.

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