Mentor Details

Mona Sabet
General Manager, Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing
Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology

Mona Sabet, is an engineer, lawyer, entrepreneur, business executive and diversity advocate. Her experience ranges from corporate executive leadership roles in the Intellectual Property business, Financial Valuations and Product Marketing, to tech start up - she is the founder of Viblio. Mona is passionate about supporting other professional women via the Anita Borg Institute & the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, & her own non-profit, Leading Women in Technology, HiPower & the ChIPs Network to advance women in IP. She firmly believes that women need to ‘step up and become spokespersons for other women - shine the light on them and help them succeed the way we so naturally do with our children and our immediate family’.

Q&A

I'm always intrigued when women leaders talk about accepting failures. Attaining perfection - whether it is in looks, relationship, parenting, etc are all around us all the time in media and society. Expecting to fail is a healthy notion for an entrepreneur but it isn't even a remotely accessible idea for a woman. How do you learn to brush off failure when everything around you is signaling otherwise.
Mona Sabet : You raise some really important points. I have tried to deal with the judgment by building small communities of like-minded women who I lean on and who I'm unequivocally there for. I really do believe building strong communities gives us the strength to push ourselves farther than we can push alone. We have built this society where women are expected to be amazing wives, mothers and productive contributors to other organizations and at the same time we've taken away the village that we all used to rely on to make that happen I could go on and on... But I love this community. I think Talking Cranes is a great example of what we need to create!
Mona, in your interview, you talked about the importance of women getting succour from other women or a community of women is so true. We do it all the time in our personal lives but don't do it so well in our professional lives. Is that because for most of us a job is just that, a job, with family taking precedence, not a career to be built and nurtured like it is for men?
Mona Sabet : In my experience, women are incredibly nurturing in their jobs. We take on the messiest projects because we know they need to get done and we don't say no enough when we're asked to take on that one more task.... Have you seen this too? What I think we don't do well is step up and become spokespersons for other women - shine the light on them and help them succeed the way we so naturally do with our children and our immediate family! I know that I a constantly reminding myself to do this more than I'm naturally 'inclined' to.