WTF’s guest post this month was created by Mandy Yoh, the Chicago Campus Director of Flatiron School, and a leader who invests in female tech founders and technologists. Here’s Mandy’s insight and inspirational advice to women considering a tech career:

The best investment you can make is in yourself. Yes, that sounds like a cliché, but it’s true. I’m surrounded by a supportive Flatiron School community who took an incredible chance and, boy, has it paid off. 

I can give you countless examples of women who have invested in themselves and are now helping others do the same. These women are paying it forward. Enriching a community and making tech more inclusive. One person who comes to mind is a Flatiron School alumna who is now a Software Engineering Coach with us. 

Sarah, as a single mother, set aside the time and resources necessary to go to a coding bootcamp. She called it a “huge risk,” but she knew she had to take that leap. “Investing in myself was the best thing I ever did,” she told me. “Flatiron School helped me launch a career that allows me to achieve that elusive work-life balance we are all searching for.”

She’s now a beacon for others who didn’t believe that, by investing in yourself, you’re investing in a better future for yourself, a community, and an industry.

Her advice for women who want to enter tech is to seek out other women in the industry and begin to network. You’re creating your own community and support system that you can turn to when you’re facing a challenge.

I recommend attending a local event you’re interested in and see what the community is like. Be an active participant, introduce yourself, and don’t be shy! I know just how painfully awkward it can be to talk to strangers, but I do it because I know I’m going to get something great out of it. Whenever I see someone new on campus or at one of our events, I introduce myself and make them feel at home. That small gesture goes a long way. Great things happen when you invest in yourself. By investing in yourself, you can invest in others to create an inclusive tech community where everybody has a voice.