One of Nikole's secrets for inspiring young women and girls? Be real. It's better to share struggles than triumphs.
One of Nikole’s secrets for inspiring young women and girls? Be real. It’s better to share struggles than triumphs.
So now here you are in your seat at Techbridge Girls, heading a great organization. What are some of the secrets that you have learned about inspiring girls and young women to pursue tech interests? And interesting, complex, challenging careers?
I think the first thing that I have to say is be real and authentic. Girls can look straight through when you are not being genuine. And if you want to inspire a girl, you have to be vulnerable with her. And so I think that oftentimes, you know, we as adults can walk into rooms you know, thinking like, "Oh, I'm going to impart all of my, you know, expertise and experiences on these folks that are just, you know, green."
Yes, "From my big throne."
"Yes, exactly. And we forget that we also need to be a listener and a learner in that process, because actually our girls are brilliant. They are so incredibly insightful about the world and the experiences that are around them. And we, too, need to stop and pause and learn from them. So I think being authentic and genuine and real, being able to be a good listener and learner in collaboration with them definitely helps inspire them. And then, you know, telling your true story, you know, I don't talk about all the time the triumphs of my story. I talk about the challenges and how I navigate the insecurities and the doubts, the missteps. Because I think that too often our girls can feel like they have to be perfect in their path and in that thinking can prevent them from pursuing things that may be scary for them or they think they're going to fail at it.
Vy Tran learned a tough lesson as a first-time manager – you can’t please everyone. Having to “drive accountability” while also being a self-described “people pleaser” required Vy to dig deep and re-think how she communicates with her team.