Pledge 1%’s #WomenWhoLead series celebrates female leaders who are changing the world. Our leaders come from a variety of backgrounds and industries, and are all doing their part to have an impact in their communities and at their workplace. We’ve asked them to share a bit about their background and path to success.

What is your name and title?

Andrea Perdomo, Senior Project Manager of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Techstars.

Briefly (1-2 sentences) describe your current role.

My role is to ignite Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives across the Techstars Network. Every day, I work to achieve our vision to create a global entrepreneurial network that reflects the diversity we see in the world.

What’s the best decision you’ve ever made?

Asking for what I want. I have adopted a mentality of hoping for the best and planning for the worse. What I have found is that the worst-case scenario is never as bad as you think.

What’s the number one challenge you face as a woman in your industry?

The societal perceptions of what success and a leader look like.

Do you have any mentors? What does mentorship mean to you? 

Yes. Mentors to me are people that I can always go to for guidance during tough times and to celebrate the big & little wins. They are a part of my support system that helps me with my career and, more importantly, my mental health.

What advice do you have for women who are just starting their career?

Take risks. Be proud of what you know. Admit what you don’t know and ask for help.

What women inspires you the most? Why?

Maya Angelou. Her words of courage and radical compassion guide my day-to-day life. Maya called courage “the most important of all the virtues” and lived her life accordingly. She once said, “My life has been long, and believing that life loves the liver of it, I have dared to try many things, sometimes trembling, but daring still.”

Maya had many roles including poet, novelist, educator, producer, actress, filmmaker, dancer, mother, and civil rights activist and ultimately broke the long silence for Black women. Although she passed in 2014, her words live forever and inspire me every day.

Are you reading/listening to anything interesting at the moment? Please share your most recent favorite book or podcast!

Hidden Brain is one of my favorite podcasts. I love learning about the science behind human behavior. I am also reading The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap Between Rich and Poor in an Interconnected World by Jacqueline Novogratz. It is a great book, I highly recommend it.

What is something coming up that excites you? 

Hope. Over the last year, I have met inspiring people who are working hard every day to support underrepresented communities by creating access to opportunities.

I have hope that together we can create positive social impact worldwide that transforms the world, one great leader at a time.