Girls Talk Tech: Encouraging Women in STEM

girls talk tech panel

Dozens of NYU Tandon students and young women from high schools around New York gathered in the MakerSpace last week for the Girls Talk Tech event. Students had the opportunity to meet with representatives from some of the top industry companies — including Google, Facebook, Morgan Stanley, GrubHub and Goldman Sachs — who also happen to be women. 

Geared towards encouraging young women to join and stay in STEM, the event brought students from across the boroughs to learn more about education and career opportunities in the world of science, engineering, math, technology, and business. Organized by NYU Tandon School of Engineering and the Google Anita Borg Scholars Community, the evening featured a resource fair and a panel discussion.

Moderated by Angie Gonzalez ’18, the panelists shared how their current positions employ technology, engineering, and science to make things better for people, and also addressed the ways in which they deal with people who doubt their abilities. The panelists encouraged the young women in the crowd, who are just starting their STEM education or embarking on careers, to listen to their voice and understand the power of speaking up for themselves.

Words of Wisdom

Panelists spoke to how they discovered their love of STEM, their paths from high school to college to their current industry, and the hurdles they overcame to reach this point in their careers.

Tamara Waye, Vice President of User Experience at Goldman Sachs 

“Imposter syndrome is real, regardless of what stage you’re at,” shared Waye, who told students that while it’s hard to overcome she advised them to “remember where you’re at and why you’re there. You’re there because you earned that spot, regardless if you’re a student or a new hire. Another thing is to anchor yourself and follow your own north star. Keep in mind what is your end goal, and don’t compare yourself to anyone else.”

Whitney Levine, Lead Software Engineer at Grubhub

Levine echoed Waye, encouraging young students to know their worth, in school and in jobs, and to ask for raises and new opportunities when they’re ready. She also shared how exciting it is to build products people use daily. “At Grubhub, it is so fun to build something that I use, so that if I find a bug, I can fix it. If there’s an experience I don’t like, I can change it or make it better. That’s really powerful, that the thing I’m using, my family is using, and my friends are using is something I built.”

Anjali Menon, Vice President of Wealth Management Technology at Morgan Stanley

“If you’re in meetings and sitting at a table with your peers and managers, remember to speak up and be assertive. You have a voice at the table, so don’t be discouraged,” Menon said, offering examples of times where she recognized the power of speaking up to earn opportunities to advance.

Britt Hykal, University Programs Specialist at Google

Tapping into resources right here on campus, like a career center or visiting recruiters, is essential, Hykal said. She also encouraged students to find a community of support. “Make sure you have a good network for people, whether it is your CS club, or a class, or professors, learn from their experiences and lean on each other for support. When you start out in industry, look for a company where you have a voice.”


Camila Ryder
Graduate School of Arts and Science
Master of Arts in English Literature, Class of 2018