SANTA CLARA – Hundreds of young women and STEM professionals gathered today for the Young Women at The Tech Luncheon, with the theme Purpose: Aligning Careers & Values, presented by Intuitive Foundation at the Santa Clara Marriott. The event was held in person for the first time since 2019, providing mentorship opportunities and an important discussion featuring President and CEO of The Tech Katrina Stevens and Erica Lockheimer, Vice President of Engineering at LinkedIn, about building a pipeline of opportunities for young women in Silicon Valley.

“It was really lonely for a long time,” Lockheimer said of the early part of her career, sharing details of her impressive rise from community college to engineering leader at the world’s largest professional network. “Finding a community of women helped me build my confidence. Sometimes you have a war zone in your head with imposter syndrome, and they will help pull you through it.”

Students were also encouraged to embrace change and not be afraid of failure.

“If you’re doing everything so safely that you don’t fail, you’re not taking on big enough risks,” said Stevens, who encourages students to build a “personal board” of supporters.  “Challenge yourself to more.”

More than 100 high school students had the opportunity to talk with STEM professionals and learn about opportunities, building career connections and confidence.

“Our generation has the privilege of having women who have paved the way for us,” said Tia Quon, a member of The Tech’s Student Board, who said professional role models are crucial as a queer Asian American woman. “The best advice I heard today is there’s no one set avenue. Steer your own path and never be afraid to advocate for yourself.”

The event also featured remarks from Athena Totsidis of Intuitive, PwC Partner Courtney Blum, and Quon and her fellow Student Board member Olivia Herning.

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