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Women Empowerment, Mentorship & Growth

Masa Abushamleh
Developer and passionate about women's empowerment. My current favorite technologies to work with are OpenShift and Tekton.
・4 min read

Women empowerment has always been something that I’m passionate about. Being surrounded by a community that helped me grow to become the reliable and strong developer I am today is something that I am truly grateful for and I wish the same for every woman out there! To find the support system to help her grow and become someone extraordinary and remarkable in what she does.
In the light of International Women’s Day, I decided to highlight some of the key factors in empowering women (and everyone) everywhere from my own perspective and experience.

Mentorship

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One of the most important parts of my life is getting my first mentor when I was a sophomore, it helped shape the path I took in my career afterward and I’m really grateful for my first mentorship experience and for our conversations on leadership and how to improve my social skills. It really opened my eyes to focus on my goals in life and how to achieve them.
As a result, I did not only focus on my technical skills but I also worked on my soft skills, so I took speech classes to boost my confidence and writing classes to improve my communication skills in addition to participating in extracurricular activities. All of these, and more, helped me shape who I am as a person today. After all, leadership and soft skills are essential in a developer’s career, and as a woman, they helped me pave the path of my career journey.
So I would like to highlight the importance of mentorship, whether you were a student, newly grad, or a professional, mentorship is essential to your career! Grow your connections, find the right mentor for you, and get started with your mentorship journey! You will be surprised with how much you can gain through mentorship.

Tackling Imposter Syndrome

Imposter Syndrome has always been a challenge that both women and men deal with. Feeling like a fraud and dealing with those negative thoughts on a daily basis while doing any task can be really challenging. Imposter syndrome will always be an issue that we will deal with as it’s something that’s coming from within and we have to fight these doubts! And that’s why it is important to spread awareness of Imposter Syndrome and always remind ourselves that “I’m strong, I’m enough”.
Imposter syndrome can be born from several factors related to personality traits like anxiety or perfectionism or could be related to behavioral courses affected by the surrounding environment.
There are several ways you could tackle imposter syndrome, and I’m not an expert, but there were some practices that helped me stand strong against it, like talking to a mentor or someone I know about it, organizing my thoughts, and reminding myself that I’m doing fine and that no one’s perfect, having a reasonable list of tasks to achieve on daily/weekly basis, and finally taking a moment to reflect on myself, my achievements and giving myself pep talks so often to encourage myself.
Now.. take a moment to reflect on your own achievements and how far you have gone from a personal or professional point of view.

Growth

Now that I have mentioned imposter syndrome, it is essential to bring up growth. Each person grows at their own pace and this year I learned how to grow.. patiently. Patience is essential to growth and it is okay if we take our time growing. One time I was listening to an episode of the TED Radio Hour podcast titled “It Takes Time” and I loved it! and I have been thinking of it almost every day! It reminded me that some things do not need to be rushed to reach their full potential.
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One of my favorite parts was when they talked about sloths! (my favorite animal) and it changed my perspective a whole lot! We always perceived sloths as lazy, but in fact, they are not.. They are just taking their time doing things their own way and I think that’s amazing!
Sloths might be slow, but they are built differently (in fact, they are strong), which allows them to stay hanging on trees the entire day or pull heavy items (an adult sloth can be 3x stronger than a human).
Sloths are built differently, so we cannot really say that they are slow because they don’t meet our usual pace (or expectations) as humans. I could write many facts about sloths but then it would be a long list of facts. So I hope that my thoughts on growth gave you a new perspective on the topic (and sloths).
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Essentially, community, mentorship, and allyship are all part of growing as a person. And so I would like to encourage you to take on the opportunity to be part of a community whether as a mentee or a mentor.
Allow yourself to challenge and be challenged, but always remember to pace yourself and grow patiently. And with that being said, I would like to give some room for the question “How can I grow? How will I grow patiently”
Happy International Women’s Day!

Discussion (1)

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sylwiavargas profile image
Sylwia Vargas

“How can I grow? How will I grow patiently?”
I really love this question. I'll use it when I talk to my students!