What is the best career advice for young women in tech who are just beginning their careers? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by Nancy Wang, Founder of Advancing Women in Product, on Quora:

My biggest advice for young women in tech when they first start out is to find a strong female mentor who can give you advice that is relevant for where you are in your career, and be a good listener for when you inevitably encounter challenges at work. I've been very fortunate to have had mentors in my career who have advocated for me, put me in stretch roles (I started managing teams at Google at the age of 24), and who have been a great coach for when I have had my tough moments.

Unfortunately, the world is not a fair place - especially for young women who are in tech. It's not a coincidence that we've been inundated with numerous cases of workplace bias and/or harassment cases. In any situation, when you are outnumbered, it is very critical that you act confidently and assert your opinions. Especially as a young women in tech, it can also be difficult to find female mentors - that's why I started Advancing Women in Product (www.advancingwomeninproduct.org), so that we can establish a safe place and community for women in tech who are seeking executive mentorship.

When you look at successful women leaders, such as Sandy Carter (VP at Amazon Web Services), Sheryl Sandberg (COO at Facebook) - it can be hard to relate, because it seems that they are so far above where we are when we first start our careers. That's why it's super important to have a defined goal of where you want your career to go, and plot out the milestones to get there. Every step along the way, keep yourself motivated and in good company with your peers, but also develop relationships with folks who are where you want to be in 3-5 years.

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Published on: Apr 1, 2019