Getting started in STEM or even the Salesforce ecosystem can feel daunting. There is so much to learn; where do you even begin?
Back in 2001, Lisa Rau founded what was then called Confluence with a former coworker, Jeff Sullivan. Lisa started her STEM education at the University of California, Berkeley, with a BS in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science before moving on to an MS at Berkeley in Artificial Intelligence and a Ph.D. from the University of Exeter, also in AI. A story she’s shared often is that when she was at Berkeley, her email was firstname.lastname@example.org as if there would never be a second Lisa at the institution! She was that far ahead of the curve.
As a woman-founded, majority women-led company, we firmly believe women belong in tech. But according to the US Census, even though women comprise nearly half of the US workforce, they only account for 27% of STEM workers. Regarding gender parity in STEM, there is a lot of work ahead. According to McKinsey, it will take more than forty years for gender parity in tech roles to be achieved. But we are committed to changing the ratio – here are some tips for those interested in a STEM career.
- Start with the basics: Build a solid foundation by learning the basics of programming, data analysis, or Salesforce administration. Many free online courses like Codecademy, Khan Academy, and Salesforce Trailhead are available.
- Join a community: Connect with others who share your interests and goals. Join a professional organization or attend meetups and events. Women in Tech and Women in STEM are two great communities. Locally, explore MeetUp or local Salesforce user chapters.
- Find a mentor: Look for someone with more experience than you and who is willing to offer guidance and advice. A mentor can help you navigate the industry and provide valuable insights.
- Build your network: Networking is vital to finding job opportunities and advancing your career. Connect with others on LinkedIn, attend networking events, and participate in online communities.
- Keep learning: Technology constantly evolves, so staying up-to-date with the latest trends and advancements is essential. Attend conferences, read industry blogs, and take online courses to continue learning. STEM.org offers a plethora of resources in addition to credentialing opportunities.
- Support women’s rights organizations: While we can’t list every organization we’ve worked with that supports women’s health, careers, education, and more, we do want to amplify Women’s Refugee Commission, National Partnership for Women & Families, Malala Fund, Great Lakes Women’s Business Council, and Women Business Leaders of US Health.