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first_imgAs children, our dreams and aspirations are far-reaching, but as years go by, those dreams for many women fall short. Why is that? As children we saw no fear, heard no evil; we felt anything and everything was possible.As adults, we can learn a lot from the fearless child we once were. If we did, would there be more than a 12 percent female mix working in technology? Would society be more inclusive overall?As a female working in the tech industry, I often wonder why so few women take the risk to embark on careers in technology. Last year I project managed a mentoring program called STEM Aspire at Dell which aims to motivate, inspire and empower females studying technology at 3rd level.The students are matched with female Dell role models with the objective to encourage these students to remain in third level and assure them of endless opportunities in the tech industry. The program helps to boost confidence to perform at third level and ultimately succeed in careers in STEM. I am passionate about this program and hope we can inspire and empower female students in STEM to push themselves out of their comfort zone, to challenge norms and to be successful.This brings me to ask, so is the real issue that girls are more conservative when it comes to taking risks and making decisions?  Why not take the risk? Why not become the next IT guru or entrepreneur? Why not become the scientist, the engineer or data scientist you dreamt of being when you were a child?The fact is that unless we as females take the risk and make the choice to work in the STEM field, then society will never change. To quote a line from a STEM Aspire book club book author, Susan Jeffries, “Feel the Fear and do it anyway…take the risk and it’s ok if you feel you don’t succeed because the real success is taking the risk.”Last year I also attended a VMWare Diversity & Inclusion event which answered many of my questions as to why women take less risks in careers. The bottom line is that women tend to be more self aware and less confidant. However when women are treated equally in the workplace, when they are included in social groups; they tend to come out of their shell, speak up and gain more confidence. We as employers need to be mindful of this and inspire women to progress equally their careers.As Susan Jeffers says, “Pushing through fear is less frightening than living with the underlying fear that comes from a feeling of helplessness.” Don’t let the margins between men and women in STEM continue to grow, make that childhood dream come true, take that risk, challenge the norm in society and achieve your potential. Find out more about Dell’s efforts to involve girls and women in STEM fields.last_img read more

first_imgSteph Sherrodd is our guest on episode 46 of The CUInsight Experience podcast with your host Randy Smith, co-founder of CUInsight.com. Steph is the President and CEO of TDECU in Houston, the largest credit union in Houston and the 4th largest in the state of Texas. Their purpose is to improve the lives of their members, employees, and communities.Steph is very passionate about developing team members to become leaders of the future and adapting to the changes to make sure they get the greatest talent in the right positions. She knows from her experience that great mentors are necessary when making great leaders. Steph feels that when employees see other employees being developed, getting promoted, and working on great projects, it tends to lead a culture of positivity for advancement.She speaks about how being involved with national credit union boards allows her to see what’s going on outside of her credit union. She gets exposed to other parts of the industry, best practices, new technologies, and new perspectives to bring back locally. Being around other top leaders across the country helps keep her mind sharp, keeps her energized, plus it increases brand awareness.Steph believes that credit unions need to find a compelling way to tell their stories and let people know all the good they do to help their communities. She chats about the ways building a team has changed and that leaders need to have experience with change management. She says that young leaders tend to make the mistake of thinking the job is about doing when it is actually about building.Listen to this insightful conversation from someone with a lot of experience and knowledge in the credit union industry, and we are lucky that she is taking the time to share with us. Get ready to take notes because this is an episode you can learn from. Enjoy!Subscribe on: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play, StitcherHow to find Steph:Steph Sherrodd, President and CEO of [email protected] | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram Show notes from this episode:Check out all the amazing work Steph and her team are doing at TDECU.Shout-out: Denise Wymore at NACUSO where Steph is currently on the board.Shout-out: to our friends at CUES.Shout-out: Mollie BellShout-out: Tansley StearnsQuestion Steph asks often: “What does great look like?” for Cy Wakeman’s book – No Ego.Shout-out: John SpenceAlbum mentioned: Queen – Greatest HitsBook mentioned: Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl (one of my all-time favorites too)Sorry Steph about you Astros. It was one heck of a World Series to watch.Previous guests mentioned in this episode: Tansley Stearns, Mollie Bell, John Spence, Jill Nowacki (episodes 4, 18 & 37)You can find all past episodes of The CUInsight Experience here. In This Episode:[01:36] – Steph, welcome to the show![02:37] – She talks to us about mapping development for the team members to help them succeed.[04:22] – Developing employees allows a feeling of positivity in the workplace; it’s not just another dead-end position.[05:52] – They discuss having a learning and growth plan to help the development cycle.[06:34] – Steph explains the credit union’s vision and how that ties to the development of leaders.[07:48] – How does your credit union benefit by you being involved nationally?[09:57] – Steph says that focus on what offers the most value and keeping it simple for the members and employees.[11:58] – She talks about finding the right niche in the marketplace, and finding a compelling way to tell the credit union story is a way to keep them relevant in the future.[13:27] – She says what motivated her to take the position at the credit union is to enable the members to sleep better at night.[14:33] – Has your inspiration changed with your time on the job[16:03] – Her leadership style has evolved in the way she builds a team and working with the team.[18:07] – Having change management experience is crucial in the industry today.[18:30] – The most significant strength her team has is their enthusiasm and optimism.[18:58] – “What does great look like?” and “Don’t ever confuse activity with results” are two quotes that she uses a lot.[19:59] – What mistakes do you see young leaders make today?[21:31] – She holds onto advice from a former leader who said, relationships don’t happen in meetings, its what happens outside the sessions that make you more productive[22:21] – How do you clear your head if you are hitting a wall and can’t come up with the answer[23:19] – She keeps her message fresh by being consistent and tying it back to what they are doing and where they are.[24:45] – When she has a day off, she cycles with friends and runs.[25:52] – The first time she got into memorable trouble was jumping into wet concrete.[26:40] – She works out every day, or her routine gets messed up, and she needs coffee.[27:11] – Best album of all time?[27:46] – Favorite book that you give out the most?[28:20] – Perspective on the gift of time has become more critical, and having a clean house has become less important.[29:24] – When she hears the word success, she thinks about her husband.[31:06] – Steph’s final thoughts are GO ASTROS! 18SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Randall Smith Randall Smith is the co-founder of CUInsight.com, the host of The CUInsight Experience podcast, and a bit of a wanderlust.As one of the co-founders of CUInsight.com he … Web: www.CUInsight.com Detailslast_img read more