Black Girls Tech Summit Berlin - Key Takeaways

In collaboration with Girls Talk Corporation, we hosted the Black Girls Tech Summit at our Berlin office. Our speakers and panelists were Black women in tech and their allies sharing experiences and insights. We asked them for their key insights and tips!

3 min
28 November 2023

Hosted by Zalando in collaboration with Girls Talk Corporation, our Black Girls Tech Summit was a testament to the power of sharing experiences and insights. Our speakers and panelists were Black women in tech and their allies. We asked them directly to share their key insights and tips with us:

What would you have loved to know at the beginning of your career?

"It's okay to make mistakes" is Flora's powerful statement to those who are starting their careers in tech. Embrace mistakes as an important part of learning and growth. 

Kave added that she would have loved to know that there is no straight path to your career. "As long as I'm happy with what I am doing and making full use of my potential then I'm on the right path" 

Mark-Ivan summarized what many panelists touched on: "You will have to manage yourself and figure things out on your own, much more than you're comfortable with, but keep reaching out to people you look up to for help and allow yourself to be inspired from anywhere and everything." He pointed out the fact that your ideal mentor or teacher is most likely outside your company and may not even be in your specific field. Mark-Ivan told the audience to be creative and picky with who you learn from at the beginning of your career.

What’s the best way to keep growing in your career?

"Keep learning!" was Jennifer's immediate response. Continuous learning throughout your entire career is the best way to keep growing according to most of our panelists. 

"Stay curious and leverage mentorship," said Hildah. Networking and leveraging mentorship were emphasized as another important way for sustained career growth.

"Prioritize value creation and master the art of storytelling" was Amanda's immediate response. Communication combined with mastering skills that make you unique rounds out the skills that our speakers see at the core of a successful career.

Finally, we asked our speakers to share some insights with us about the key career takeaways from their talks and workshops at the Black Girls Tech Summit.

What are the three key career takeaways from your talk?

"Mentorship within an ERG can really improve your experience," said Océane. She emphasizes the benefits of active mentorship in an Employee Resource Group (ERG), the importance of self-worth and a healthy work-life balance. 

"The power of sponsorship and allyship in the workplace," said Henrique, is an important way to influence change. 

Agnes suggests an intentional 3 to 5 year vision for your career. "Keep it top of mind," she added, while also emphasizing the importance of managing energy wisely to maintain focus and leveraging our collective strengths.

Stephanie adds to both with hands-on tips on how to own your career and invest in yourself. "Be proactive with your career progression," she said, "while seeking out your sponsor or mentor to empower you."

About the Black Girls Tech Summit 

Hosted in collaboration with Girls Talk Corporation, more than 250 Black women in tech attended this year's Black Girls Tech Summit at our Berlin campus. After an inspiring day of workshops and networking opportunities, our speakers shared their knowledge and experience on the power of ERGs on the Black tech experience, advice for a career in tech, and how to bounce back from career setbacks. 

Learn more about the ERGs at Zalando who amplify our employee voices in our Employee Resource Groups. 

Do you want to learn more about careers in tech at our company? Zalando Tech has all the information you need.