How can women overcome barriers and be successful as leaders and entrepreneurs? Daniela Binatti, co-founder and CTO at Pismo, discussed this topic during an AWS Startup Day in Brazil.

In a discussion panel called Confessions of Female Leaders, Daniela shared her journey in the technology industry and gave some advice to help entrepreneurs succeed: “If you want to change the world, you have to change yourself first,” she said.

Negotiation skills

Daniela observed that a critical skill that many women can utilise is negotiation: “It took me a long time to start negotiating well. Women typically negotiate less than men. Many women don’t question their salaries or working conditions, for example. It’s a cultural trait.”

This lack of negotiation can contribute to women earning less money than men in comparable jobs. “We have to increase our self-esteem. Typically, women only apply for a job when they meet 100% of the requirements, while men apply with just 70%. And men usually promote themselves better than women in job interviews.”

Fundraising challenges

These differences in behaviour may also prevent some women from being successful in entrepreneurship. Daniela recollects the first fundraising efforts made by Pismo five years ago: “It was a critical moment for Pismo. We had to deal with business plans and negotiate with investors. I had no experience with these activities,” said Daniela.

She remarked that if a woman didn’t apply for a job because she doesn’t feel prepared for it, she probably wouldn’t apply for funding for the same reason. “We made 45 pitches to investors. It’s easy to give up.” So this is probably one of the reasons there are many more male entrepreneurs than women.

A bright future

Despite these difficulties, Daniela has seen much improvement to the experiences afforded to women in technology and business: “It is great to see so many opportunities for women, not only at Pismo but also at our client companies, which are mostly financial institutions.”

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