In our final episode of the season, we sit down with Avery Francis to discuss diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Avery opens up about the current gender inequalities in STEM, salary negotiations, and the power of mentorship. The three also chat about Avery’s group “Sunday Showers”, which seeks to empower women by celebrating their career success. Click here for the full episode.
Our top three takeaways from Avery Francis:
“In terms of representation, I think that seeing yourself represented in not only just in tech but beyond tech just in work, at work in general throughout an organization, at every single level of the organization. It’s so important to have representation because when you see yourself in leadership, when you see yourself in a senior engineering role, when you see yourself leading a great project or crushing a new client engagement, then that will motivate you to believe that you can actually do it yourself. So I think that I actually don’t rely as much as people think on tech to be, to be fair, to build more diverse teams and to have more representation within organizations. But there are tools out there that exist that help to complement the strategies that companies have in place to bridge that gender gap that exists currently within the workplace.” – Avery Francis
“Maybe trying out a new industry, trying out a new role now for advice for people that are actually looking to do this, I think that you’d have to work a little harder like anything when something’s new, you’ll have to work a little harder within the role, once you get there, it’s going to be no different when you actually applying to try to get that new opportunity. So you’ll likely have to work a little harder outside of the realm of your resume to show how you do have relevant skills and experience to actually apply for that role and to shine in that role, to thrive in that role. And I think that that means not sending the resume you send for every other role. It means not sending out a canned message. It means looking to connect with people at that company. It means telling a story about your background experience and how you ended up here on your cover letter within the email in which you apply. It also means perhaps positioning yourself in a different way. So maybe on your resume at the top of the of the of the of the of the page put, you know, you know, marketer now looking to pursue whatever … that actually helps for you to highlight your skills in a unique and interesting way, mainly because one applicant tracking systems are going to are stacked up against you because they use really, really terrible artificial intelligence that will completely make you invisible once you’ve applied for the role. And the second thing is, is that oftentimes hiring managers spend about six seconds looking at your resume. So look at things like your name, your title, how long you’re at a company and some of the brands or like company names that you’ve worked with, that’s where they that’s as far as they go. So if you don’t have all the things that they’re looking for in their mind and this is again, that’s where we talk about the company side really getting to the core of what you’re looking for, then you’re going to be you’re going to be dismissed very early on before you even get a chance to interview for the role. So you have to do everything you can to market yourself to that company into that role.” – Avery Francis
“Anything that fuels your growth is a good thing to do. And I think that mentorship can come in many different forms. I think that if you have a specific individual that you see doing a thing that you want to do and regardless of their age or how long they’ve been working, there’s something that you feel you could learn from them. I think that it’s fantastic to connect to that person and to gain insight from them. I personally don’t actually have a formal mentorship relationship or coaching relationship with anyone, but I learn a lot from people that I consider distant mentors. Like I read a lot of books and I follow a lot of folks that are doing very cool things and I learn from them and through the conversations I have with them or just from the moves that I see them making in the industry or the content that they share or the blogs that they post. And then also from books, I feel like I have mentors in all sorts of different people living and dead that teach me new ways of approaching things I think that no one knows it all. And I think that as we’re in this this transformative and ever evolving space, regardless of what industry you’re in, I think that there’s a lot of evolution that’s been happening even just as a shift to working to remote being remote. That’s a big shift for a lot of people. And this is this is new for all of us, right … So my short answer is anything that fuels your growth is good. And if you have the opportunity to partner with, work with, collaborate, learn from a mentor, then do it. And if it’s something that you can do for free, even better.” – Avery Francis