Career Advice from 5 Powerful Silicon Valley Women

5 impressive female leaders in the tech world give their ceiling-shattering advice.


Meg Whitman

Career Advice from 5 Powerful Silicon Valley Women“Remember that you can do anything you want to do. Don’t let anyone say, ‘You’re not smart enough… it’s too hard… it’s a dumb idea… no one has done that before… girls don’t do that.’ My mom gave me that advice in 1973. And it allowed me to never worry about what others were saying about my career direction.” – Meg Whitman

Meg Whitman has built her reputation in a corporate world still largely run by men. She worked for a number of companies doing brand management and strategy including Disney and DreamWorks, Procter & Gamble, and Hasbro. After that, she served as CEO of eBay. During her 10 years at eBay, she oversaw its expansion from 30 employees and $4 million in annual revenue to more than 15,000 employees and $8 billion in annual revenue.

In 2008, she was cited by The New York Times as among the women most likely to become the first female President of the United States. She is the fourth wealthiest woman in the state of California and she spent more of her own money running for governor of California than any other political candidate spent on a single election in American history. After failing to win the California governor’s race in 2010 she was tapped to run computer giant Hewlett-Packard. She is now the Chairwoman, President and CEO of HP and, in 2014, Whitman was named 20th in Forbes list of the 100 most powerful women in the world.

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Avatar of Hilary Rowland

A writer, artist, and designer since she was young enough to put pencil to paper, Hilary taught herself code and created Urbanette when she was a teenager. Currently, she lives in Monte Carlo, but spent the past decade living in NYC, still considers herself a New Yorker, and visits regularly. She's always traveling, looking for hot new topics, destinations, and life hacks to bring to Urbanette readers.

Reader Discussion: 172 Comments

  1. Avatar of Jodi Thil

    Men are so annoying in the office. They’re very discriminating against women and would only lean towards other men in helping with bigger projects.

  2. Avatar of Valerie Fritz

    Valerie Fritz

    I’ve been with companies that only looked at men as the only way to boost their company’s income. I had to resign because I knew I was in the wrong place.

  3. Avatar of Monique Malick

    Monique Malick

    There are companies who support women no matter what. You just have to find the right company that fits all your ideals. I know that this can be hard because work is work and career is career, but when you’re not in the right place, you won’t bloom because your roots won’t reach deep and you won’t be as strong. Choose the perfect place for you to be “planted”. Women are strong and even back in the days, we’ve always been capable of so many things.

    • Avatar of Laronda Walker

      Laronda Walker

      Yep, you can’t grow with just any company. It has to be THE company.

  4. Avatar of Linda Bowman

    Linda Bowman

    Yes! Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it. It’s one of the reasons why you should DO IT.

  5. Avatar of Bonnie Bailey

    Bonnie Bailey

    Women are great beings. We’re very independent and we’re really motivated people.

  6. Avatar of Louise Summer

    Louise Summer

    I super adore audible. Anyway, great recos! Definitely going to check them out ASAP.

  7. Avatar of Jenni Morgan

    Jenni Morgan

    Don’t be afraid to take risks. Sometimes, it’s the risk you take that will take you in higher places!

  8. Avatar of Roze Carloze

    Roze Carloze

    If you happen to be with a company that doesn’t support women in the upper management, start questioning about where you are.

  9. Avatar of Jean Eide

    Jean Eide

    If you want to be as powerful as them, you have no choice but to let go of your fears and just embrace the thrill.?

  10. Avatar of Karen Cooper

    Karen Cooper

    In life, you can’t be ready. I also think that if it doesn’t scare you, it won’t help you grow. Life is all about making big decisions and making crazy ones that are out of your comfort zone. If you’re always living by the rules and all you do is do whatever everyone expects you to do, you are being mediocre. You will never stand out and you will never achieve anything beyond your dreams. Not to offend anyone but that’s the truth. We have to do more in order to achieve more.

    • Avatar of Louise Summer

      Louise Summer

      I totally agree with you. Getting out of your comfort zone is probably the best thing that you can do.

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