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Hayley Leibson

August 2, 2017
Hayley Leibson at Institute of Code

I was fortunate to meet Hayley in a digital marketing course that we took together at The institute of code in Bali. When I found out she wrote a Tech and lifestyle blog I had to hear more. The Award winning blog started as a passion project, but in true Hayley style in just a few months it’s won awards and has been growing quickly. Hayley is a problem solver, she is extremely intelligent and when she puts her mind to something she is unstoppable. A lot of our interests align and I knew that she would be the perfect match for my readers. Hayley is passionate about empowering women in tech and has done an incredible job of this through her writing and using her voice and platform to inspire women in tech to “dream bigger and do big things.” I am so excited to share her interview with you.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do?

Hello Stay Curious Darling readers! My name is Hayley, and I am a technologist with an entrepreneurial drive aspiring to make an impact and pursue interesting work that matters to improve the world. I am the founder of Lady in Tech, an award-winning female tech & lifestyle blog dedicated to inspiring techies, creatives, and entrepreneurs everywhere to achieve their dreams and create a life that they love.

I believe that well-run, values-centered technology companies contribute more to society and the planet in more tangible ways than any other organization in society. I love working in tech because it gives me an opportunity to create new solutions to problems no one has even defined yet. I also love being a leader and stretching my skills. What I love most is what is left when you strip away all the other politics and human aspects that muddy the field: I love the spirit and joy and creativity in tech.

Why did you choose to start Lady in Tech?

I view technology and innovation as an imperative. I envision a future where the people who imagine and create technology mirror the people and societies they build it for. The idea for Lady in Tech was dreamed up in San Francisco, California less than a year ago as a personal passion project. I wanted to better understand why women, who make up 51% of the world’s population, just can’t manage to break into the most exciting field of human endeavour on the planet today?

I saw a lack of positive stories about women in technology and, in my mind, most books on women in tech seemed to be either one woman’s journey through tech or an analysis of the industry. I created Lady in Tech in order to provide aspiring female technologists and women in the industry with practical advice and inspiration.

What inspires you?

Stories inspire me. I firmly believe in Marian Wright Edelman’s quote: “You can’t be what you can’t see.” The best way we can encourage women to enter the tech field is the same way I am trying to help through Lady in Tech; by sharing stories! Stories are profoundly powerful. They broaden our vision and enlarge our soul. We saw an increase in the number of women in forensic science and law enforcement as the number of fictional female detectives increased on television because people were able to start envisioning themselves in the roles they saw.

Stories give us the ability to empathize and to put ourselves in the place of others. The more stories we hear of women in technology loving and creating solutions, the more likely we are to be able to envision women in tech, creating an amazing positive cycle!

What is your personal mantra or mission statement?

My mission is to inspire women to excel in technology careers, and empower aspiring female entrepreneurs everywhere with the inspiration and advice to achieve their dreams and create a life that they love.

What does happiness mean to you?

Happiness to me means making a positive impact and improving the world. I’m a lover of life and it’s infinite possibilities for us all.

What are your hobbies?

My passions outside of tech are learning new things, adventure travel, yoga, exploring the great outdoors, and cooking!

What are a few things you do every single day to keep yourself on track?

I religiously use Evernote and Google calendar to keep track of what I need to get done each day. I try my best to have an exercise routine and healthy diet in order to be as productive and focused as possible.

If you could give advice to someone looking to get into your field what would it be and why?

If you can, try to talk to people who have experience in the job you are considering. Ask them what they do and don’t love about it. When I was first interested in a career in tech, I didn’t know a single woman in the field. I reached out to women I didn’t know, and asked them if we could have a coffee and chat about their work. I am continuously amazed by the power of social media and the kindness of people. Reach out to people, and learn as much as you can from them!

I created a portrait series for Lady in Tech for which I interview inspiring female entrepreneurs and women in technology. For young women that don’t personally know another woman in technology, I hope by reading these portraits you can find out what these ladies love about their work while being honest about the challenges they faced.

What has been your most rewarding experience so far? Work or personal.

My most rewarding experience so far has been choosing an entrepreneurial career path. “A ship in a harbour is safe, but that’s not what the ship was built for. Go Sailing.” I choose to sail. I have a strong desire to explore the unknown and become the best I can be.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve overcome in your life thus far? What did you learn? Are you thankful for what it taught you?

I constantly set challenging goals for myself personally and professionally. The biggest challenge I’m working on is trying to increase the number of women interested in the tech field and starting businesses. That is no easy feat.

I believe that it is through challenging ourselves that we stretch our limits, break down barriers and realize we can achieve far more than we think. I see being great at something as a starting point, not an endpoint. I set goals I know I can’t reach. Yet. By stretching to meet these goals, I inevitably get further than I expected. Through innovation and iteration, I am to take things that work well and improve upon them in unexpected ways.

Who is your role model/ who has been the most influential person in your life?

The most influential people in my life are my parents. They are my biggest supporters, and are the most selfless and loving people. I would never be where I am today if it were not for the selfless help, support, and guidance from them.

When do you feel most inspired?

I feel most inspired when I am in a creative workspace or outside.

You can keep up with Hayley online and follow her here:
Blog – Lady in Tech
Instagram – @lady_in_tech
Twitter – @hayleyleibson
Facebook – /ladyintech