Today is International Day of the Girl, and the theme is 'Digital generation. Our generation' so in the spirit of shining a spotlight on young tech trailblazers, we chatted to the talented Michelle Akhidenor.
Michelle is the CEO and Founder of podcast agency The Peers Project and producer of our very own podcast The Red Tales – here we pick her brain about her experiences in the digital sector.
Tell us about your experience as a trailblazing girl/woman in the tech field…
My experience as a young woman in the tech/digital sphere has been challenging, yet extremely rewarding. In the early days, when I’d approach company leaders about working with them, I’d often struggle to have them take me seriously.
As a young woman of colour in particular, I experienced additional biases which I’ve had to work to overcome. It wasn’t easy, but I’m extremely grateful that I persisted and never gave up on my dreams because today, not only do I run Australia’s only BIPOC, female-led podcast agency, but I truly love what I do and am proud of the impact we’re making.
How did you get into production in particular?
By accident! In 2017, I decided to leave my corporate finance career to study abroad and start a podcast (as a side hustle). I really had no idea that that decision would ultimately lead me to get into podcast production and start a business. But I truly loved it. I’ve always enjoyed presenting, public speaking and being on stage, and so, when I rediscovered my passion for this through podcasting, it became a no-brainer to take this passion of mine seriously and start out in production.
Do you believe there are still particular challenges/barriers for girls/women to overcome in the tech/digital arena?
Definitely. I think one of the biggest challenges is the inherent biases that people still have when it comes to girls/women in tech given that the industry is largely male dominated. In my view, to change those inherent biases, it’s extremely important that we continue to showcase, highlight and invest in women in tech, and work to educate and support girls who are interested in a career in tech/ digital.
Who are other girls or women you admire in the digital/tech space – and why?
One of my OG podcast guests, Ally Watson - CEO of Code Like A Girl. Ally is one of a kind and someone I truly admire. She’s a passionate young entrepreneur and woman in tech who works to support other women/girls in tech for a living. Ally’s company, Code Like A Girl, creates coding career pathways for girls and women, and also showcases women tech leaders across the country. She’s a true inspiration!
What advice do you have for girls considering a future/career in this area?
Be brave and give it a go! The rewards of a career in tech/ digital truly are endless. #goforit
Unfortunately, despite Michelle’s experience, there are still 2.2 billion people under 25 who don't have internet access at home, and, according to the United Nations, girls are more likely to be cut off, less likely to own a device, or to be trained for a tech-related job.
But there are still stories of teen tech trailblazers defying the odds. Check them out here: https://www.unicef.org/stories/tech-trailblazers
Want to help? Education helps girls take control of their lives, but in many nations, period poverty stops girls going to school.
Help us donate reusable period undies to girls in need via our Give a Pair program today: https://www.modibodi.com/products/modibodi-give-a-pair