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Career Nav #69 – Persevering as a Black Woman in Tech

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Written by WWCode TeamOctober 30, 2023

Florence Eghwrudje, a Data Analysis Trainee at OneCampus Academy, who is also the the host of the Lets Talk Tech with Florence podcast, and one of Women Who Code’s 100 Technologists to watch, shares her talk entitled Persevering as a Black Woman in Tech. She discusses her transition from HR to data science, and some of the challenges she’s had to overcome in the process. 

I'm an HR officer who recently transitioned into the field of data science during the pandemic. Over the past three years I’ve been studying and keeping up with the field of data analysis. A few months ago, I finished my 15 weeks data science mentorship program with KaggleX. I was also featured as one of Women Who Code’s 100 Technologists to Watch. That motivated me to launch my podcast, Let's Talk Tech with Florence which I started in April. 

This talk will follow a number of themes. The importance of representation of black women in tech and how that can be a source of encouragement. The unique challenges that black women face in the tech industry and how they can overcome that. And also I'll talk about the importance of building a support network for black women in tech and the benefits of doing so. Lastly, we'll look at the importance of self care for black women in tech and how to prioritize that

It's really important to emphasize the impact of representation in tech. One of the most powerful things about representation is a message it sends to others.

When black women see other black women in tech, it sends a message that they too can succeed in this field. It shows them that it is possible to achieve their goals and reach their full potentials. Representation is a source of inspiration. Seeing someone who looks like you can achieve great things, can incredibly motivate and inspire you.That is why representation matters. It can actually change lives.

One of the biggest challenges black women face in the tech industry is lack of diversity. This can lead to lack of role models and mentors who understands their unique experiences.

During my mentorship program I was given a mentor who lived in Germany. At first we were having communication problems because I was finding it very difficult to understand his English. But as time went on, I had to open up myself to him and he was able to mentor me in that aspect.

Black women often face discrimination and microaggressions in the workplace which can make it difficult for them to thrive. They may also be unfavorably compared to their white male counterparts.

However, there are ways to overcome those challenges. One, build a strong network support. Seek out mentors, and role models who can offer guidance and advice. Learn to advocate for yourself. Speak up when you're being undervalued or mistreated.

As a black woman, stay up to date on the latest trends and developments in the tech industry. AI has become a buzzword. We need to be abreast of the current trends happening in the tech industry so we can thrive in this industry. And seek out opportunities for continued education and professional development. Don't be afraid to take risks. Pursue new opportunities. I believe if we can do this, we can overcome some of those challenges we've talked about.

Lastly, I will talk about the importance of self care. Self care is essential for anyone working in the tech industry, but it is especially important for Black women who may face additional stressors.Self care can take many forms, such as taking breaks, having a work life balance, setting boundaries, or engaging in hobbies or activities that brings joy to you. Additionally, it is important for you to take care of your physical and mental health by eating well, exercising, and getting enough sleep.

And finally, it is important to build a strong sense of self worth and to know your worth. No matter what your journey looks like, remember you are capable of achieving anything you set your mind to as a black woman in tech. With hard work, perseverance, and a supportive community, you can achieve your goals in the tech industry.

Stay encouraged and never give up on your dreams. Keep pursuing your passions and making your mark in the tech industry.

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