As a global celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, International Women’s Day means a great deal to us at The Hopper. With this year’s theme urging us to #ChooseToChallenge, we’ve asked some of our own female role models to share their personal challenges and inspirations.
In this interview, Melanie Webb shares how she dealt with juggling a new job in lockdown with motherhood.
1. Tell us about the biggest challenge that you have personally overcome?
Starting a new job during the first lockdown with a toddler at home was pretty challenging… I had to be fairly creative about how and when work could be done but I received brilliant support and understanding from my manager and colleagues. My girl sat in on so many meetings she will probably be able to do a project plan by the age of five!
2. What is the most important lesson a manager has taught you?
I’ve been lucky to be managed by some very strong and supportive women over the years. They showed me that the stereotypes we still hear about women leaders are worthless.
3. What would you #ChooseToChallenge to make the world more inclusive?
The gender divide in our industry. Tech is not the only industry with fewer women in the workforce but we have to fight the misconception that games and computers are for boys only so we can get more girls into STEM. There are also brilliant opportunities for non-technical people – you don’t have to be a coder or an engineer to have a fulfilling career in tech.
4. Who is the woman that most inspires you and why?
Greta Thunberg. She is so young yet not afraid to speak her mind and challenge world leaders about their lack of action around the climate crisis.
5. If you could give your 16-year-old self one piece of advice, what would it be?
You don’t need validation from anyone but yourself.
We’re The Hopper - a new tech incubator helping startups at the seed and pre-seed stage, across ideation, incubation, and acceleration. We’re especially keen to close the funding gap for female-founded and female-led startups, but equally open to hearing from anyone with a great idea.
Visit www.thehopper.tech to find out more.