Meet our new board member Molly Rosenthal Swagler, who is currently senior marketing manager for Compass. Molly is thrilled about the opportunity of giving back and helping more women to find their voices in the tech world. She believes in the power and importance of diversity, making her role on the Board even more valuable, as she works to put programs in place to maximize her efforts and passion.

Baan Alsinawi, Girls in Tech (GIT) Washington, D.C., managing director, was fortunate enough to chat with Molly recently and get her thoughts on GIT and where she sees the organization going in the near term. Read the full interview below, and feel free to ask Molly some of your own questions at one of our upcoming events!

What role will you take on with the Girls in Tech board?
It still remains to be seen exactly what role I’ll take on with the board, which is part of what I find so exciting about the opportunity. With my background in marketing, I hope to advance our reach to get in front of new women and girls who may not yet be aware of the access and resources GIT can offer them.

What do you hope to accomplish in your new role with GIT D.C.?
I was a benefactor of strong women mentors early in my life and career, and still today. They taught me hard skills related to my job and, equally as important, soft skills like how to navigate male-dominated workplaces to have my voice heard. My hope is that in this role I can extend the invaluable support I received  to women across the DC area so they can have similar doors opened for them and eventually help the next generation of women after them.

What attracted you to this organization?
I love the mission of eradicating the gender disparity in tech because representation is SO important. If you can’t see anyone who looks like you or approaches solutions like you, it’s going to be very hard for you to reach your full potential. Tech is no longer the “wave of the future,” it’s the foundation of most businesses. I’m attracted to GIT because empowering women to get into these careers will not only help these individuals thrive, but will add much-needed diversity of thought to many industries that desperately need it.

What advice can you share with women entering the field?
Trust that you deserve to be here! So many women struggle with imposter syndrome and it holds them back from sharing ideas or taking up space. When you are given an opportunity, it’s because someone saw something in you — so speak up, make your ideas heard, and add the value you know you can.

What are the top three things you learned from being a part of the tech industry?

  1. The only constant is change — in tech, companies are constantly changing direction. The role you are hired for won’t likely be the exact job you end up doing day-to-day, and the more you can adapt to that and come to anticipate it, the more successful you will be.
  2. Ideas can come from any person at any level, and don’t have to be related to your specific role. If you see an opportunity to add efficiency or improve outcomes, share your solutions because you never know what kind of impact you can have until you try.
  3. Seek out perspectives different from your own. Even if you feel you have the best solution to a problem figured out, take the time to understand how others might see it, and in the end your work will be even better.

How can we positively influence young girls about careers in tech?
I think the best way to influence young girls when it comes to careers in tech is exposure to lots of women in tech-related fields. Seeing the array of incredible women with different interests and skill sets will help girls picture themselves in these roles, and encourage them to think about how they can apply their passions to the tech world. We have an incredible opportunity with GIT D.C. to provide this exposure and help create career dreams for girls that they’d otherwise never know were possible.