Yas DesaiIn this ongoing series, we speak to our winners about life after winning a TechWomen100 Award.

Now in their fifth year, the TechWomen100 Awards recognise and celebrate the achievements of women in tech – the emerging tech talent and role models for the future.

We spoke with Yas Desai, who won a TechWomen100 Award in 2020.

After starting a small company at university, Yasmin decided to pursue a career in start-ups upon graduation. Yasmin has worked 7 years + in tech startups including Catapult, Revolut, and Impala. Yasmin is a board member of InnovateHer and Queen Mary Business School and in her spare time, she mentors young females and guest lectures on topics around entrepreneurship and innovation at Birkbeck, Kings and Queen Mary University

How did you feel when it was announced that you’d won a TechWomen100 award?

I had applied the year before and made it as a nominee so naturally, I was a bit gutted when I didn’t receive the award (in 2019). I reapplied in 2020 and was ecstatic to find out that I had made it as a finalist.

Please tell us what has happened in your career since winning the TechWomen100 award?

Since winning the award, I feel like it my career opportunities have propelled me, I was made a Board Member of InnovateHer, which I thoroughly enjoy! I’ve done more public speaking and more lectures at universities too! I’ve taken some time to give back by mentoring young Muslim women.

What advice would you give to someone else going through the award’s process?

Firstly, don’t doubt yourself, try and apply and see what happens. Don’t be afraid to nominate yourself and if you get to the nominee stage, make use of your network! Draft up a text/whatsapp with a link asking for your friends/colleagues to vote for you. Even if you don’t make it as a finalist, the awareness will do so much for your professional profile!

What tips would you give to our other members to enhance their careers? 

It’s easy to say ‘I want to be promoted/I want more money.’ Take time to work out what you really want in the short term vs medium time and focus on just one thing. Write out a plan for how you believe you will make it to the next level and enlist mentors/colleagues to guide you through the process. Lastly, be vocal about it! Don’t be shy in saying ‘I want a promotion/ I deserve a pay rise’. More times than not, if you don’t ask, you won’t get it!

The 2021 TechWomen100 Awards will open for nominations on 02 August 2021. Our awards focus solely on women working in tech below director level. We hope that by highlighting the accolades of up-and-coming inspirational female tech talent, we can help to create a new generation of female role models for the industry, and a pipeline of future leaders.

Discover what happened next for some of our other TechWomen100 winners:

Kulvinder Panesar“I leveraged this award with further a role of a Speaker Manager alongside my current AITN ambassadorship at AiTechNorth.   My role was to enable a dialogue with potential speakers who were business leaders, senior executives, and technologists, and to discuss their talks to find an amicable for the AI Summit Theme.  I have further hosted an AI Tech North – innovation exchange fringe event – AI for Business with two renowned experts on Thursday 18th June.  I feel my personal brand is developing as an academic delivering AI courses, pursuing my conversational AI research and widening my knowledge of the AI space.  My AI tech North activities I feel have enriched my academic delivery.”

Kulvinder Panesar, TechWomen100 Winner 2019

Lisa Ventura“I was in total shock when it was announced that I had won a TechWomen100 award, I couldn’t believe it! I was so honoured to win this award and to be alongside so many other amazing women in the technology industry. It was a dream come true! I was so very sorry not to be able to make the ceremony and meet everyone, my father was in ill health at the time and I couldn’t leave him – I so wish I could have been there to meet all the other amazing and inspiring women who won a TechWomen100 award.”

Lisa Ventura, TechWomen100 Winner 2019