Karen Worstell – Why are Women Leaving Computing Careers?


What are the six fundamental human needs?

  1. The need for security.
  2. The need for variety.
  3. The need for significance.
  4. The need for love.
  5. The need for growth.
  6. The need to contribute.

In 2016 I came to the end of a three-year sabbatical and I had a major decision to make. I had been the CEO of a Silicon Valley company. I was 25-year executive in the technology space.

I was a serial CEO or CISO, or Chief Information Security Officer for companies like Microsoft, AT&T Wireless and Russell Investments. I was also a strategic intervention coach with over 2,000 clinical hours working with people and things like crisis management, trauma, moral distress and grief – kind of like working in tech.

So I loved both those parts of me and I didn’t want to have to make a choice. I was trying to figure out how to integrate two very different things, and the skeptic in my head was like yeah good luck, trying to figure that out.

So as things go, at the same time, the AAUW, the Association for University of Women, came out with a report. It was called Why So Few. Why So Few was highlighting the fact that we had made marginal gains in STEM fields for women across the board, and we had made gains everywhere, even engineering, except in one area; computing.

What the report showed that in 1988, 34 % of the computing workforce was made up of women. By 2016, that number had dropped to 23% and as of 2018, that number has dropped to 16 %. I was shocked and then I got curious and I also got a little mad, because this felt very personal.

My own personal story, we don’t – have time to get into the whole thing here, but I went from being a mom of Tyler’s very, very broke, to being a Silicon Valley, CEO because of computing. It changed the trajectory of my family’s future.

It changes the trajectory of so many people’s future, especially women, and because women think differently. We are strategic, we have perspective and we innovate differently. Women have the opportunity in computing, especially these days, to change the trajectory of life on this planet.

So there I was. I was angry. I was angry because what this report told me was that women were still dealing with the same kind of cultural nonsense that I had dealt with throughout my entire career. So there I was, career technology executive and strategic intervention coach, and I found my answer, and it was at that time that Mojo Maker for Women in Tech was born.

We created Mojo Maker for Women in Tech with the purpose of helping women who are mid-career, staying and technology thrive in technology and reach their peak in the chosen path that they have picked for themselves.

The women who work with us are telling us that this is making a big difference for them in a very short period of time. We have an intensive and a lot of coaching, so it’s, a very high supportive environment with a lot of community.

We know that women who are comfortable in their personal power. They have a clear that clarity about them and where they want to go, and they have that mojo maker secret special power sauce and they’re unstoppable.

So in the next one minute I’m going to just take a second to let you know a little bit about this because you can apply this in your own career. Mojo maker is based on something called the six human needs.

It was developed over many years of experience and research by Tony Robbins and Chloe Madonna’s and basically it is founded on this principle. Every single human being on this planet has six human needs.

Just six.

You have a need for certainty and security. You have the need for variety, you have a need for significance for love and connection. You have a need for growth, because if you don’t grow, you die and you have the need to make a contribution.

So in the context of mojo maker those six human needs, they are the thing that drives every decision. You make every relationship, you have how you live their life if their base, they are there derived or they’re formed from the basis of your human experience and from your values and your belief system, and for many of us having that kind of six human needs how that manifest for you really works well in your life and everything’s going perfectly.

For some of us, maybe the majority of us It doesn’t work so well, and what we’ve learned is it’s, changeable and so in mojo maker? What we’ve, given everyone is the coaching and the support necessary to look at this whole context and find those bag of tools that will help them make any adjustments that they need to make in order to reach their peak in their career and the relationships and how the life they want.

Women are opting out of tech and mid-career right now and it’s happening at a time in history. When technology has the influence and the opportunity to heal the planet, we want women to stay in tech because it’s good for the planet.

It’s good for communities. It’s good for families. It’s, imperative for our daughters and it’s good for you. So I hope you’ll join us. The first step is a small one. It starts with you, so let’s, go

Becoming Smart!

It is said that with age comes wisdom. As a "senior" I would candidly say that were I able to live my life over again but retain all of the lessons that I have learned in my life, then the new, young me would enjoy a very different life than that which I have enjoyed. Experiences (good and bad) teach us life's lessons if you apply them. My intention with this blog is to provide a constant source of wisdom to you, gentle reader, in the hope that you can avoid some or more of life's mistakes and thus enjoy a better quality of life. My sources are global because applied wisdom is what counts.

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