At Abeo, we count ourselves lucky to work with a team of intelligent, hard-working and inspiring women. As we continue to honor Women’s History Month, we want to spotlight another woman in tech who inspires us – Danielle Steck, Head of Product Management at Ready Set Rocket. We’ve asked Danielle a few questions about her experience in tech and how she maintains self-care in such a demanding industry.
Abeo: What advice would you give to a woman considering a career in the tech industry? What do you wish you had known?
Danielle: It can be intimidating, understandably so, and I definitely hovered around the edges of the industry for a long time trying to decide if it was the right place for me. In the end I took a chance, with no formal background or experience, and never looked back. I think one of the most important things is a bit of self awareness or “knowing what you don’t know” and not being afraid to ask questions. Not only is this industry so full of brilliant, passionate people that are willing to share knowledge, but the way that digital products get better is by asking those questions and challenging the current solution and being comfortable with a little trial and error. One thing that initially surprised me about product work was how many different ways there are to achieve the same end result – it’s actually a very creative field in this way, and for me that’s what keeps the work so exciting day to day.
Abeo: Is there a particular woman leader that you look up to and are inspired by?
Danielle: I remember starting my very first job at a digital agency and just being in awe of these producers that were running meetings and leading teams with such agility and expertise. I don’t think I would be where I am now without one of these women in particular, who became my mentor over the years I spent there. Not only was she the first person to explain to me how a website is built, but she always made sure I set aside the time to pursue my own passions and maintain a work-life balance. She understood that inspiration isn’t always found inside the office or behind a computer screen, and opened so many doors to new experiences I would never have had otherwise. In my career I’ve been lucky enough to meet many women that made me stop and say to myself “I want to do what she does one day,” whether thats been managers, colleagues, or members of client teams. I owe so much to the women that have created space for me and others like me by owning their roles, being confidently outspoken, and lifting up the other women around them.
I owe so much to the women that have created space for me and others like me by owning their roles, being confidently outspoken, and lifting up the other women around them.
Abeo: How do you prioritize and practice self-care?
Danielle: I think the last year has probably taught a lot of us about being kinder to ourselves. It’s easy to measure the success of your day by how many emails you sent or tasks you completed, but it’s so important to remember not to attach your worth to your output. For me, self-care is made up of conscious and intentional pauses throughout the day or throughout the week. Sometimes this is just turning off my screen and notifications for 15 minutes in the middle of a busy day and going out for some fresh air. Other times this is balancing a long working day with a shorter day the next. It’s all about understanding where your boundaries lie and how to respect them, so that you can give yourself the room to breathe, restore, and grow.
As Women’s History Month comes to a close, we want to take this moment to thank Danielle and all of the women making strides in tech and beyond, for serving as our mentors, providing inspiration, and for carving out a space for women in the generations to come.