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Lessons learnt from a self-employed female working with tech

Two Black Tech Start-Up founders looking at a laptop in an office

ARTICLE SUMMARY

Kate Kurdziej, founder of Olivier consultancy, is on a mission to empower female startups and entrepreneurs.

She helps them to strike a better work/life balance by running their online businesses more efficiently with the best tech, eradicating the burnout and stress that can hold so many people back.

Today, she’s exploring how it feels to be the only female at a tech networking event, her top three tips to help you get noticed in a male-dominated industry and how to explain to your family and friends what it is you actually do.

KATE KURDZIEJ, FOUNDER OF OLIVIER CONSULTANCY

LADIES, PICTURE THIS: I WALKED INTO THIS TECH NETWORKING EVENT, AND INSTANTLY I FELT OUT OF PLACE.

Why? I was surrounded by over 30 guys, I couldn’t help but feel unsure of myself. 

Not one other female in the room. 

Usually, I’m pretty confident, but being the only female at an event focused on the latest platforms for online startups, it was making me self-conscious. But you know what? I wasn’t going to let that stop me. 

I wanted to be there, and I deserved to be there, plus I’d paid an extortionate city-centre parking fee so I wasn’t going anywhere. Tech platforms fascinated me, and I had this itch to start my own business. 

So this is what I did: I decided to be brave and approach the organiser, who was setting up the presentation screens. I introduced myself and confessed that I’d never been to an event like this before and was feeling a little nervous. To my surprise and relief, he was super welcoming and introduced me to some colleagues. Suddenly, I was part of the group, and they weren’t intimidating at all. We hit it off, and I completely forgot about being the only woman there. It’s crazy how these things shouldn’t matter, but once you notice it you can’t unsee it.

I truly believe that we need more women in tech, showing up to events, learning, and growing their knowledge. We can’t let this male-dominated field leave us behind. As a woman working in tech, I know how tough it can be to stand out without having to highlight the fact that we’re not male.

So, if you’re a woman trying to make your mark in a male-dominated industry, here are my top 3 tips for getting noticed:

1. Refine your niche: Know who you want to help and be crystal clear about your ideal client. When you can talk directly to them, addressing their aspirations and pain points, you’ll stand out from the crowd. How can your skills make a difference in their lives?

2. Show off your social proof: Don’t be shy to share your results! Focus on the transformations your clients have achieved and how they feel now, instead of using complicated jargon or just selling the process. Let the proof back up your services and pricing, and it will help banish that imposter syndrome that affects so many women.

3. Network like a pro: Get yourself out there, both in person and online. Be visible, get involved in groups, and raise your profile. You’ve got to talk about your business to have a business, so start chatting with people about what you do.

    Now, one thing that used to struggle with was explaining to my family and friends what exactly I do. They always said, “Oh Kate does something with computers.” But it’s so much more than that, isn’t it ladies? To simplify things, I started giving them an example to set the scene.

    I’d say, “Imagine you’re starting a business online or freelancing remotely. How would you send a contract to a new client, set up payment subscriptions, or book appointments? And how would you keep all your important business stuff organised and use automations? That’s where I come in! I help female entrepreneurs build and grow successful online service-based businesses.”

    By ditching the tech jargon and focusing on real results for clients, my family now gets it and even brings me new clients by promoting my business properly. My mum said she should get a commission!

    So, remember, you’ve got what it takes to rock the tech world! Stay confident, be true to yourself, and let your success do the talking. You’ve got this more than you know 🚀

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