This blog is part of our series entitled, The Looking Glass. In this series, women from around Level 3 share their experiences, inspire others, and offer insight into successfully navigating the telecom industry.
I absolutely love a challenge. So this year I bought my first motorcycle, a 2010 Triumph Bonneville. Yes, even though I am into fashion, designer shoes and handbags, I do have another side to me.
Part of it is that I prefer riding my own motorcycle rather than sitting on the back – along for the ride. According to the AMA (American Motorcycle Association), only 10% of females own and operate
motorcycles. It’s similar in telecom, where the statistics continue to show that women make up only a small percentage of the industry.
Just like taking an active role in my new and challenging recreational activity, I chose to take an active role in my career development. I realized that empowering myself by leveraging all the support as a woman in IT is key. I joined WICT (Women in Cable and Telecom) and participated in their mentor program which enabled me to discover and advocate my talent and strengths. As a result I was promoted during the 6 month mentoring period. I also joined an internal mentoring initiative here at Level 3 where small groups of women join mentoring sessions. These sessions provided me with great cross-functional networking opportunities with women and also contributed to working on developing my personal brand.
Just like I want to go places in my career, my Triumph is promising to take me places. The first exciting place it will take me is through the Eiffel Region in Germany. In order to prepare for this trip I have to put a lot of miles on my bike and am also watching YouTube videos and listening to advice from experienced bikers. In doing so, I’ve definitely become a stronger rider. Similarly, my goal as a gal in IT is to prepare, practice, and learn in an effort to become ever better at what I do. I have multiple mentors – both male and female – and I was just accepted into our company’s emerging leaders program giving me yet another opportunity to grow and surrounding myself with some of our organization’s best and brightest. My objective in all this is to be in the driver’s seat in my career, responsible for where I’m headed next.
I would like to encourage women in IT out there to utilize available resources in order to secure a spot at the table. And, don’t be shy- advocate your talents and strengths within your organization. No need to buy a bike though.