We had the good fortune of connecting with Sepideh Nasiri and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sepideh, what do you attribute your success to?
There are many factors to success, a few to mention are resilience, consistency, having a good network, great work habits. Contrary to what most people think or believe success comes from learning from mistakes and failures. Throughout my entrepreneurial journey I have taken failures as lessons learned! I have grown as a person, as an entrepreneur, as a leader. It’s important to recognize how far we have come and which path has led us there. Women Of MENA In Technology’s success is consistency and professionalism. Staying true to our mission and brand, not getting distracted or sacrificing the mission and focus has paid off and created trust with our community, corporate partners and donors. In the past 5 years we have grown as a brand and are known for our work that has been consistent. It is important to not lose sight of WHY we are here and what we want to ACHIEVE with our work and aligning everything to it.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
As an entrepreneur and immigrant, we all confront and are faced with many challenges, I have always looked at challenges as an invitation to overcome them. To me nothing is easy and hard work and resilience pays off. I never looked at my shortcomings or things I didn’t have, I looked at the impact I can create in this world. We all have a “WHY” for what we do, how we approach life or our career path and for me I think, I differ where I want to always see an impact in what I do for others. If what I’m working on, what I create or what I do, does not translate in bringing change, in making the world a better place or leaves a legacy to inspire others to start something or be part of something, it doesn’t translate into value for me. As an entrepreneur it has always been the “WHY” on how I have chosen my career path. What am I doing that is going to make a difference. What I have seen as a result is millions of people getting inspired by our work at WoMENAIT, getting inspired to start their own impactful work, believing in themselves, knowing they are enough as an individual to make a change. Pushing others to become change agents has been the proudest moment and achievement in my life.
My current company, Women Of MENA In Technology, is a Non-Profit 501(c)(3) Organization established in Silicon Valley in 2015 with a mission to close the diversity and gender gap in STEM by connecting, mentoring, educating and elevating Middle Eastern and North African women in STEM globally. We have over 20,000 community members, 90% of whom identify as technical and self-reported as engineers, data scientists, researchers, founders, intrapreneurs, entrepreneurs, innovators and investors. Join us to elevate, support, and catalyze diverse Women in STEM. WoMENAIT’s vision is to be the destination for Middle Eastern and North African Women in Tech, where they can learn, inspire, connect, and thrive as a global community. With a mission to empower Middle Eastern women and girls around the world to strive in the fields of technology, STEM, innovation, and entrepreneurship despite the conventional beliefs, societal pressures, or inequality challenges. We want our women and girls all over the world, regardless of what the media, flawed societal narratives, and unfounded perceptions, have the equal opportunity to THRIVE. As technology becomes more integrated in our society and creates a new paradigm, it is up to us to be intentional about equity, inclusion, and diverse representation in the space.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Due to the pandemic, its challenging, and of course giving the best tour for visitors. I love hanging out at Soho House, whether you are in Downtown or in WeHo the spots are a great gathering, food and entertainment spot. I love to bring my friends especially if they are visiting for a week to co-work and hangout at the Wing (sadly due to COVID-19 its been closed). I love taking my friends to places that have an outdoors and LA of course has so many, IVY is always a great place whether for lunch, brunch or drinks!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to give a shout out to many people, including my family who supported me throughout my career, my past bosses and coworkers who have given me opportunities to thrive, and to the Women Of MENA In Technology and Persian Women In Tech community, for supporting our mission through volunteering (100++), helping us through their network, their skills, their knowledge and donating to create impact currently in 17 global cities. A special thank you goes to the following people and companies who have been continuously with us and empowered our organization’s journey:
Thank you to our current Board of Directors: Shadee Barkan, Kamelia Aryafar, Khashayar Shahmiri,
Thank you to our donors Amazon, SAP, Babak Parviz (Amazon), Payam Zamani (One Planet Group), Bobby Yazdani (Cota Capital), IBM, Cisco, Juniper Square, PG&E.
Thank you to a few volunteers who have been long time supporters: Mahtab Ghamsari, Radin Rahimzadeh, Samira Saffarzadeh, Shahrzad Yavari,
Thank you to our allies: Soso Sazesh, Ali Kashani, Pirouzan Parvine, Iranians@Google, Iranians@Amazon, without the support of many community members we couldn’t have been able to come this far!
photo credits: Pooya Miri, Ailar Rahimly, EventGraphers.com , Women Of MENA In Technology