Don’t be afraid to think differently.

By: Donna M Navedo Sexton
Manager-Corporate Communications

Top Tips for Women in Tech Series with insights and advice from Yoli Stancil, VP of Network and Field Operations.

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No matter how you look at it, a more gender-diverse workforce is better for business, especially in technology.

Technology is about creating solutions, taking action and meeting a need. How can we do that without representation from all walks of life? And yet, in 2020 only 25% of technical roles were held by women, and in engineering that number was even lower at 20%. When considering racial diversity, the numbers are even more glaring: The National Center for Women & Information Technology reported that of the 25% of women working in tech, just 5% are Asian, 3% are Black, and 1% is Latina.

Diversity is critical in tech, as it enables companies to create better and safer products that take everyone into consideration. This is why we encourage girls to participate in STEM programs — like Verizon Innovative Learning — to create more innovative next-gen technology-infused lessons while empowering girls to lift each other up. Verizon Innovative Learning is part of Verizon’s larger Citizen Verizon responsible-business initiative to move the world forward for all through economic, environmental and social advancement.

At Verizon, we are proud to celebrate our women tech leaders who can share their real-life experiences and advice to encourage more women and girls to pursue their interests and careers in technology. This month, we’re sharing advice from Yoli Stancil, VP of Network and Field Operations:

Don’t allow being a minority to make you self-conscious.  When you are the only woman in the room don’t think of it as a disadvantage, remember the skills you possess and the fact that you are worthy. Reinforce your drive. In addition, think about the other women you know and the skills they possess that would be a great fit when there is another opening on the team.

Don’t be afraid to think differently. Technology changes fast which means the best ideas haven’t even been thought of yet. You may have the next one. Don’t sell yourself short.

Being your authentic self is your superpower. When you need a gentle reminder, do a quick power pose to remind yourself you are worthy. Don’t be afraid if you don’t fit the stereotypes. Being your authentic self just might help encourage others that are afraid of not fitting in to try tech.

Get a mentor and lean on your tribe. Everyone needs a strong support system and someone to talk to. These relationships can be formal or informal, but remember you can learn a lot from others, especially if they can help you gain a broader perspective.

Pay it forward. You may be the first in your role, but you won’t be the last. Find the time to mentor and share your knowledge and experiences with others to help them navigate their own challenges in identifying an opportunity in tech. Together, we lift each other up.

Thank you to Yoli for sharing this awesome advice.

As we continue this series of articles focused on inspiring and uplifting women in technology, we want you to get involved.

  1. Share these inspiring words with a friend or family member.
  2. Encourage someone to go for a new opportunity.
  3. If you can, be a mentor. There are plenty of women and girls out there who would benefit from your advice.

Stay tuned for more and share your thoughts. What resonated with you the most from this advice? Let us know at

About the author:

Donna is part of the Corporate Employee Communications team, focused on our socially responsible business practices through Citizen Verizon's Diversity, Equity & Inclusion initiatives and the Women's CoLab.

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