Women Talk Tech and Innovation: Featuring Bette Ceccoli

Bette Ceccoli discusses her unconventional path to tech, highlighting her experiences as a woman in the industry and emphasizing the role of continuous learning in her professional development.

In today's technology-driven world, discussing gender diversity within the tech industry holds significant importance. Increasing the representation of women in tech not only impacts team dynamics but also influences technological advancements. Let's delve into the realm of women in tech, shedding light on the gender gap, the challenges and successes, and celebrating trailblazers like Bette Ceccoli. Their narratives have the power to inspire change, promote greater female participation in tech, and foster an inclusive environment for all. It's not solely about acknowledging disparities; it's about progressing toward a future where everyone has a voice in the tech domain. 

In a recent enlightening interaction with a trailblazer in the tech industry, and with the intent to focus on this message, we explored the unique and inspiring path that led Bette Ceccoli from the classroom to the cutting edge of technology. Transitioning from being a teacher to navigating the complexities of the tech world, Bette Ceccoli, an IT Project Manager here at ACF Technologies, shares her insights on overcoming challenges, advocating for women in tech, and the importance of continuous learning. 

"Our greatest growth comes from facing our fears and stepping into the unknown," she remarks, emphasizing how overcoming self-doubt and imposter syndrome was crucial in her career shift. It's a testament to her resilience and dedication to personal and professional development. One of her most powerful tools in this journey has been the mantra, "Everything is Figureoutable," a reminder that challenges are not insurmountable but opportunities for growth and learning.

She underscores the significant role companies play in fostering an inclusive environment, "Implementing mentorship programs, providing equal opportunities for career advancement, and creating a supportive work culture are essential steps companies can take to support women in technology." 

To young women just starting in tech, her advice is straightforward yet powerful: "Believe in yourself, never stop learning, and don't be afraid to speak up and advocate for your ideas." Surrounding oneself with supportive mentors and a community that uplifts and guides is crucial in navigating the complexities of tech careers.

This conversation also touched on the most exciting developments in technology today — artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data analytics. These innovations hold the promise of revolutionizing industries and improving lives, marking an exciting era for the tech industry.

Looking ahead, she hopes for a tech industry that champions gender diversity and inclusion, with women holding leadership roles, receiving equal pay, and being valued for their contributions.

Beyond the technological advancements and the push for gender diversity, her passion lies in the transformative power of education. "Promoting digital literacy and STEM education in schools encourages students to think critically and solve complex problems," she explains, highlighting the importance of early STEM exposure for young girls to inspire the next generation of women in tech.

In conclusion, her message to future generations of women in tech is to "be bold, be confident, and never underestimate your abilities. Your unique perspective and contributions are invaluable to shaping the future of technology." Her story, insights, and advice echo a broader narrative about diversity in tech—a conversation that's increasingly crucial as technology becomes more intertwined with every aspect of our lives. It's a call to action for all stakeholders in the tech ecosystem to foster an environment that champions diversity, encourages mentorship, and celebrates the achievements of women in the field.

Gain further insight into what being a woman in tech means to Bette by reading her interview Q&A below or connecting with her on LinkedIn

Check out our socials for more to come on Women in Tech and Women's History Month!

Q&A with Bette Ceccoli

1. Can you tell us about your journey into the tech industry? What inspired you to pursue a career in technology?

My journey into the tech industry was a bit unconventional. As a former teacher, I always had a passion for learning and adapting to new challenges. I started delving deeper into project management as a potential career path, as it was a natural fit for my organizational skills and problem-solving mindset. The more I studied and learned about the project management field, the more I became intrigued by Agile methodologies and the software development life cycle. This passion is what led me to strategically upskill and pursue a role as an IT project manager.

2. What challenges have you faced as a woman in tech, and how have you overcome them?

I've mostly encountered challenges with self-doubt and imposter syndrome about belonging in the industry. Transitioning into a new field was scary. I was moving from a field where I felt like an expert and thrown into an entirely new career that, at first, was overwhelming with unfamiliar information and terminology.  Initially, I feared making mistakes and felt inferior to more experienced colleagues. I would shy away from speaking up because I lacked confidence in my ideas. However, I've overcome these challenges by staying resilient, seeking mentorship and support, and continuously educating myself to remain competitive. I occasionally battle imposter syndrome as I take on new challenges, but I often remind myself of a mantra I keep posted on my office wall, “Everything is Figureoutable.”

3. How do you think companies can better support women in tech roles?

Companies can better support women in tech by implementing mentorship programs, providing equal opportunities for career advancement, and fostering a supportive work culture where women feel valued and empowered to thrive.

4. What is one piece of advice you would give to young women just starting their careers in technology?

My advice to young women starting their careers in technology is to believe in themselves, never stop learning, and not be afraid to speak up and advocate for their ideas. Surround yourself with supportive mentors and peers who can help guide you.

5. Are there any specific individuals in the tech industry who have been a source of inspiration for you? If so, why?

I am inspired by the females who work alongside me at ACF. I work with some of the brightest, most hard-working, and supportive women.  I am so incredibly grateful to learn from their mentorship.

6. Can you talk about a project or accomplishment you are particularly proud of in your career?

I'm proud to work with cross-functional teams to implement complex and customizable client solutions. It requires strong communication, problem-solving, and facilitation skills, and seeing the project come to fruition and its positive impact on the client’s organization is immensely satisfying.

7. In your opinion, what are the most exciting developments or trends in technology today?

The most exciting developments in technology today include advancements in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data analytics, which have the potential to revolutionize industries and improve people's lives in countless ways.

8. What changes would you like to see in the tech industry over the next decade, particularly concerning gender diversity and inclusion?

Over the next decade, I hope to see a significant increase in women occupying leadership positions, equal pay for equal work, and a culture that values and respects the contributions of all individuals regardless of gender.

9. What topics are you most passionate about in tech, and why?

As a former teacher, I understand the transformative power of education and the importance of equipping students with the skills they need to succeed in an increasingly digital world. Promoting digital literacy and STEM education in schools encourages students to think critically and solve complex problems that will help them develop the confidence and resilience needed to tackle real-world challenges. Furthermore, by introducing young girls to STEM concepts early, they can explore their passions and expand their skills, which, in turn, could inspire more girls to pursue careers in tech. Doing so enriches the talent pool for the future workforce and creates opportunities to bring diverse perspectives.

10. Lastly, if you could address future generations of women in tech, what message would you share with them?

My message to future generations of women in tech is to be bold, be confident, and never underestimate your abilities. Embrace challenges as opportunities for growth, and remember that your unique perspective and contributions are invaluable to shaping the future of technology. Don't be afraid to dream big and break barriers.