10 Powerful Quotes from Women in Tech

Short on inspiration? We’ve got you covered.

Too many think of tech as a man’s world, despite the fact that the first computer programmer was a woman. Yet more than 150 years later, the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields are still largely dominated by men.

A critical factor in getting more women into leadership roles in tech are positive role models in the field.

To that end, check out these words of wisdom from 10 women who are rocking the tech world in a variety of leadership positions.

Whitney Wolfe, co-founder and CEO at Bumble

In an interview with British Vogue, Whitney Wolfe talked about playing to your strengths:

“I’m very artistic and creative, disorganized-ambitious I would say, if that even makes sense. I’m definitely not the most mathematical person in the world; not scientific. I can’t even work out a tip, it’s really sad. But I’ve always thought play up your strengths and let someone else handle your weaknesses. It’s OK. Work together. You don’t have to do it all by yourself.”

Carly Zakin and Danielle Weisberg, co-founders of theSkimm

In an interview with The Cut, Carly Zakin sounded off on being a founder and CEO for the first time:

“The good and the bad of running a business is that every day is so different. A founder friend told us, ‘If you’re not uncomfortable every day, then you’re not doing something right.’ I am happy to say that we are uncomfortable all day.’”

In the same interview, Danielle Weisberg talked about time management:

In the beginning, we didn’t have a schedule. It was the two of us running theSkimm from our apartment, so we were basically working all the time. I don’t think that made us as productive. We still got an amazing amount done in those six months, but I think we ended up running around in circles because there was so much to do and we wouldn’t designate time for each task. We would start writing whenever. We would finish writing whenever. It didn’t really make sense.”

Leah Busque, co-founder and Executive Chairwoman of TaskRabbit

When asked about what it’s like to be a female founder of a tech startup in an interview with Elle, Leah Busque said:

“I’ve never thought of myself as a female engineer, or founder, or a woman in tech. I just think of myself as someone who’s passionate. Looking back at [my time at] IBM, I was surrounded by a lot of men but I never really thought about it because I loved what I was doing. I would love to see us get to a place where there are more women up and coming in technology and building businesses. It started when I was in high school and throughout my time learning, I always had a female math teacher, or science teachers, a role model—who made me not question if women could be successful in that field. Having more role models is really important.”

Sara Haider, staff engineer at Periscope

In a video for Recode, Sara Haider had this to say about being a woman in tech:

“Women often feel like, ‘Oh my gosh, these guys already know everything and I know nothing. How am I going to compete?” I think the playing field is a lot more level than people let on. So one of the biggest challenges for me has been realizing that…It’s very rewarding when you finally realize that everyone is just human.”

Vanessa Hurst, co-founder of Girl Develop It

In an interview with I Want Her Job, Vanessa Hurst talks about finding a higher purpose through her work:

“I’m focusing on this notion of why people are building technology and thinking about code in terms of humanity and of the people who are going to be affected by it. I think we would have a very different technology industry if we had people entering the industry with that motivation. That is my big dream. I don’t care very much about being my own boss, or having my own name on things, but if during my lifetime we saw a shift of why people worked with computers, all my work would be worth it. If that idea moves forward, it would feel like success.”

Jess Lee, co-founder and CEO of Polyvore

When asked about advice she’d give her younger self, Jess Lee told CNN Tech:

“I’ve always been a bit of an introvert, but just because you don’t fit the classic mold doesn’t mean you can’t be a leader. You just need to find your own style and someone with a similar style who you can learn from.”

Kathryn Minshew, founder and CEO of The Muse

When Lifehacker asked Kathryn Minshew what her best life hack was, she cited guarding her time as key:

“I find it’s been immensely helpful for me to pay attention to when in the day I’m most productive (what hours, under what conditions) and aggressively guard that time for focused work. I schedule meetings in the afternoons or late morning when I tend to be a little less likely to get in the zone.”

Poornima Vijayashanker, founder of Femgineer

In an article for Entrepreneur, Poornima Vijayashanker talked about finding accountability partners to help you meet your goals:

“While my accountability partners were professionals, that’s not always necessary to keep you accountable and help you get to the next level. Good friends or mentors can also perform this role. Ideally, the best partners are people you trust and who can be honest with you and want you to succeed. These people are invested in discussing new approaches with you, and know that what’s worked for them might not work for you.”

Danae Ringelmann, co-founder and chief development officer of Indiegogo

In an interview with VentureBeat, Danae Ringelmann sounded off on working at early-stage startups:

“I used to think I needed to be a Jack or a Jane all trades. But the best entrepreneurs I know are aware of what they’re good at and what they’re not. Bring on talent, and begin the process of letting go. To get a company off the ground, initially, you might need to roll up your sleeves and do everything. But when you’re larger, you’ll create more value for the company by leveraging the strengths of others.”

Whether you want to get started in tech as an engineer or developer, or your dream is to launch your own tech company, seek out the women who are already doing what you aspire to for inspiration. Judging from this list, there’s no shortage of that.