26 Inspirational Quotes from the Women in Tech Speakers at Elevate 2019, our International Women’s Day celebration

March 21, 2019

On Friday, March 8th, 20 senior tech leaders & engineers came together to celebrate International Women’s Day with over a dozen tech talks & panels during the Elevate 2019 virtual conference. Everyone here at Girl Geek X had a blast learning, laughing and sharing with our speakers & over 2500 live viewers! A huge thank you goes out to all who participated!

And while the video recordings and transcripts will be released in the coming weeks, we just couldn’t wait any longer to share some of our favorite advice & inspiration with the world! Enjoy some of our favorite quotes below. 

To be notified when the Elevate 2019 video recordings and transcripts are made available, subscribe to the Girl Geek X mailing list.

Sandra Lopez, VP, Intel Sports

“What makes us super special is our individuality. Embrace your individuality.”

“I’m the middle child of a Mexican-American family. Growing up, I never felt like I was American enough for my American friends, and I wasn’t Mexican enough for my Mexican friends. That stayed with me, but I knew it was important to accept my ‘never enough-ness.’ I had to accept that I would never be enough,  and acknowledge that maybe in this world, I was never going to fit in. Yet… I wasn’t going to let that stop me.”

“You’re the CEO of your own career.”

“Be fearless, be the CEO of your career, be unapologetically you.”

“I attribute 30% of my success to brain power, 10% to luck, 60% to networking. All the jobs I’ve secured are because of my network.”

“Network inward, outward, and wide.”

“Discover the power of ‘NO.'”

Leyla Seka, EVP, Salesforce

“Hearing ‘No’ is the beginning of a conversation.”Leyla Seka, EVP Salesforce, Girl Geek X Elevate Quote about Women In Tech - Hearing NO is just the beginning of a conversation. Always ask for more.

On why we make time to mentor others: “If we don’t help each other, it won’t change.”

“I didn’t settle for anything. I pushed and pushed and pushed. It wasn’t always easy, but I pushed. I don’t sit around and ask ‘What if I’d asked for this or what if I’d asked for that?’ anymore. That’s different. I used to do that, but now I always ask for more.”

“We are all defining new archetypes of women. When I look at Millenials and younger generations, their expectations are at a different level when it comes to equality. Young people expect equality today, and that gets me fired up!

Lili Gangas, CTCO, Kapor Center

“37% of surveyed professionals left their careers in tech due to some for of injustice or unfairness. To directly help create a more level playing field, executives can focus on several things, especially equal pay and equal opportunity (promotions) for ALL employees.”

Read the Kapor Center’s Tech Leavers study.

Heidi Williams, CEO, tEQuitable

“Psychological safety is the idea that individual members of a team feel safe to be themselves, to share ideas, to take risks and to fail. All employees should be valued, respected, encouraged to participate and given opportunities for advancement. If you’ve created a space that’s psychologically safe, people feel comfortable speaking up when they see or hear something wrong. They’re empowered to be better allies and better coworkers.”

Check out Heidi’s slides here.

Jayodita Sanghvi, Director of Data Science, Grand Rounds

“Do something that matters. You’re smart and capable, so apply it to something you believe in. If you do that, you’ll start each day knowing you want to be at work. That positivity impacts everything you do in your career.”

Shanea (King-Roberson) Leven, Director of Product, CloudFlare

“I fail all the time. Shanea King-Roberson Leven, Director of Product at CloudFlare Girl Geek X Elevate QuoteEvery time I start a new job or a new thing, right at the beginning, there’s always a setback. I took the risk, and after seeing it through, I kind of failed up… and that’s okay. It’s okay to fail forward. I was challenged, and I couldn’t be happier that I did it. But every day, it felt like the worst struggle ever.”

“Take bold steps. They are scary. But ask really bold questions and do really bold things, because you can completely surprise yourself.”

“I ask for more all the time. I had no idea what the context was for asking for more when I worked at Google. Then I realized I felt like I was underpaid. I’d missed my opportunity, and I swore I’d never let that happen again. So the next time I was able to negotiate for salary, I asked for a lot more, and I got it. The time after that, I asked for a lot more again. And again, I got it. Ask the bold questions, and ask the right questions.”

“As a PM, it’s kind of a skill to keep asking for more, and more, and more all the time.”

“You never know how people will respond unless you ask. Dare to put yourself out there.”

Angie Chang, CEO & Founder, Girl Geek X

“We hear from a lot of people who are looking to break into a new career and keep hitting a wall. There are smaller companies you should look into — look somewhere like AngelList. Startups and smaller companies are often more willing to take a chance on someone with different work experiences, life experiences — a less traditional background. Think about trying those roles for a couple years to get experience first.”

Rosie Sennett, Staff Sales Engineer, Splunk

“Build a network of people who you know from cocktail parties and business conferences. You might not be close, but you do one day get to call them up and say ‘Hey, I’m looking to hire this person and you’re connected, do you know them? Would you work with them again?’ It’s a good thing to have those common connections. I’ve helped people get jobs.”

“If a role is of interest to you, boldly go forward. Push through. We live in a world now where you can just teach yourself stuff. Teach yourself enough stuff to boldly say ‘I know how to do this.'”

“It’s just women who think they need to know ALL of it in order to say ‘I know how to do that.’ You can go forward just saying you know how, and then eventually, you WILL know how to do it.”

Shawna Wolverton, SVP Product, ZendeskShawna Wolverton, SVP of Product, Zendesk, Girl Geek X Elevate Quote about Women In Tech - Success is like pi, not pie.

“I spent the first 20 years of my life thinking I was going to be a physician. There was no Product Manager Barbie when I was a kid.”

“A lot of women look back and find an acceleration in their careers after having children. The J curve in my own career was certainly after having my daughter.”

“Success is not a limited pie, its more like π — an infinite amount that can be grown and shared with others!”


Find your dream job, working for a company that values inclusion! Check out the dozens of newly posted mission-aligned job opportunities from the Trusted Partners who made Elevate 2019 possible.

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