“If this is what your passion is, find a way to do it.”

Our One-on-One with Bestselling Author & Leadership Expert, Gloria Feldt

At SXSW 2019, Cognizant Softvision spoke with leadership expert and long-time women’s advocate, Gloria Feldt. Gloria is also author of the bestseller, No Excuses, 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power.

As Co-Founder and President of Take The Lead, a nonprofit that prepares, develops, inspires, and propels women to take their fair and equal share of leadership, Gloria is passionate about what she does. During our interview, she reveals her reasoning behind starting her program and shares how the tech industry is changing to be more open to women.

Tell us about how you started Take The Lead.

Gloria discovered that women had been stuck in under 20% of the top leadership in every single sector. “In no sector had women broken the 20% mark, even in sectors that are heavily female dominated.”

Gloria discusses how changing the culture is a huge hurdle. “Women had ingested the same implicit biases that were in the culture…I Just had to do something about it.”

How would you say the technology industry is doing as far as inviting women in, changing the culture to be more open to women and making leadership positions more available?

Gloria shares that she feels there is not enough diversity in the tech industry right now. While there are a lot of organizations which are trying to create more women engineers, if the tech company culture isn’t welcoming, they will leave. This is why women only make up 40% of the tech degrees received and 45% of the tech workers.

The culture is a hurdle that needs to be dealt with in multiple ways. Gloria helps lets women know they can change the culture, and that they have the tools to do so and they can thrive in the game while they change the game.

What advice would you give to women trying to get into the tech space?

“The advice I would always give is if this is what your passion is, then find a way to do it. If there are hurdles in the way, then maybe that’s a good thing because you then have the opportunity to be the change you want to see, and that makes your life really worthwhile.”

To watch the full interview, click here.

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