I will start by saying that this blog is going to be a bit different. You might have already guessed that by the title.
The other day I watched a TED Talk by Girls Who Code Founder & CEO Reshma Saujani. If you are unfamiliar with TED Talk, it is a non-profit organization that spreads worthy ideas. While I find something to take away from many of the talks, this one in particular by Saujani really hit home. The reason, I'm a girl who codes.
A lot of what Saujani said resonated with me. In the last few years, I've been told by a number of people how brave I was to leave my job to pursue a long held dream of running my own company. I didn't know how to do it and at the time I was scared to death that I would fail. I don't feel that I was particularly brave when I did it. For me, I felt the bravest when I walked into my engineering classes in college to find that I was the only female or 1 of 2 females and not allowing that to stop me. I was, and still am lucky that my parents and grandparents have always encouraged me not to see barriers. My dad was a systems analyst back when I was preparing for college and talked with me about his work. My mom enrolled me every after-school and summer program she could that helped me to grow my passion for technology. I was lucky, scratch that, I AM lucky.
Fast forward to today. Two engineering degrees and an MBA later, I own and run Danico Enterprises, a web and marketing services company. I manage Joomla User Group Chicago North (JUGCN) that meets monthly in Palatine, IL and this year I'm the 2016 JoomlaDay Chicago technology conference chair. I got here because of the support system I had and have.
While I'm lucky, I'm also not perfect. It has been a hard journey (some days harder than others) to accept when things are not perfect no matter how hard I try. I said earlier that I didn't feel brave when I started my company. While that's true, I'm learning to be brave each and every day I work with my clients and colleagues to grow the business.
Many girls are not so lucky. I see organizations like Girls Who Code and they give me hope that more girls will cultivate a passion for technology, along with the courage to pursue it. Please take a few minutes to watch this video and honor Saujani's request to "tell every young woman you know to be comfortable with imperfection." It makes a difference!
For more information on Girls Who Code: www.girlswhocode.com