By Zaria Clemmons, Technovation alumna ’13
This spring, Uber invited Technovation Girls alumni to spend a day at their offices in the San Francisco Bay Area for job shadow days, where the girls could experience a typical day at a large tech company, meet women working in tech, and connect with volunteer mentors. Seventeen alumni attended the job shadow days, and one of them, Zaria, shared her reflections with us!
Part of Uber’s Week of Service, the Uber Job Shadow Day with Technovation Girls was an awesome way to get an exclusive view of a tech giant in such a special time in the company’s history – weeks before its IPO. The day was filled with candid conversation, professional gems of advice, and meeting some of the amazing women that make Uber what it is today. Seeing Uber employees actively engaging and volunteering their time with Technovation helped me see Uber’s mission in action – igniting opportunity to set the world in motion.
Arriving at Uber’s Job Shadow Day, I did not know what to expect (although it was not my first time visiting the company’s office). I was relieved to quickly realize that this would be a relaxed, safe space to talk with women about our careers. Laughing and reconnecting over lunch really set the tone for the rest of the day and put me at ease. The opportunity to connect with the Uber employees right away helped me get past the shock value of the beautiful office, awesome perks, and cool factor of the overall Uber experience and allowed me to engage deeper with the agenda at hand. The agenda was full of opportunities to learn from women of diverse backgrounds and led me to see that tech truly has no face. As an early professional, I am constantly reminded of less than encouraging diversity statistics and culture scandals of companies that are doing it wrong. It was refreshing to connect to and hear from women, who much like me, are underrepresented and have less conventional backgrounds yet are succeeding in their roles. I learned that there is so much value in spaces that honor and promote women, their leadership and their contributions and that company culture plays a big role in that. This was an important lesson for our group to learn as many of the Technovation alumnae were in transitional professional places.
Technovation inspires and empowers young women to become leaders and innovators by solving problems in their community. The job shadow day was an incredible ode to that mission, by connecting participants to mentors who are currently reshaping the world of tech, one solution at a time. The coming together of two communities – early or pre-professionals and established professionals – was synergistic and valuable for all involved. I look forward to seeing both the missions of both Technovation and Uber transform the world through technology, innovation and social impact.
I am Zaria Clemmons, a 22-year old native of San Francisco, California and an alumna of Technovation ’13. Technovation Grils was my first introduction to the world of business and technology and greatly influenced my professional development and the possibilities I believed were achievable in my career. After participating in Technovation, I went on to study Business Management at Agnes Scott College, and secured highly competitive internships with the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission and Facebook. I am now pursuing a career in Social Impact in technology. As an alumna of Tehnovation Girls, I have been exposed to professional development opportunities, like participating in Uber’s Job Shadow Day and volunteering at the Junior Regional Pitch Day. I am happy to reconnect with this community and give back!