Maria Arnone

Tell us your story.

“One of my first digital mentors was Susan Anderson, who founded MIDWESTOCK in the early 90’s. MIDWESTOCK was a Kansas City-based stock photo agency that cultivated midwest photographers and subject matter. The combination of her business acumen, her entrepreneurialsim, and her early adoption of various technologies were inspiring. She transitioned with her photographers from PC to Mac, she developed early digital cataloguing systems, and she revelled in the current and expanding photographic technologies. We later crossed paths when she and I worked at the same custom media agency. There, as content director, she worked with the digital experts to develop online guides, publications, and seek an understanding of early social media trends.

All along my career timeline, I worked to learn the digital space, trying to implement on a budget the new concepts of web sites, digital advertising and other custom online tools for the magazines I worked on and clients I worked for. I loved the newness of digital and took her fearlessness as a dose of courage.”

What do you most want other women and young girls to know about being a woman in our digital culture?

Let people know you’re interested. Let them know to what part of the spectrum you think you can (or learn to) contribute. You may not be a born programmer: maybe you’re a great marketer, relationship cultivator, or teacher in the digital world. There are opportunities for everyone who wants to have a place in the digital culture.

Pass it on! Who has inspired you, and who do you hope to inspire?

Who has inspired me (besides Susan!):

— Entrepreneur Editor-in-Chief, Amy Cosper, with whom I had the pleasure of working for a few years, and was recently named one of the 25 smartest women on Twitter by Fast Company

— President of CNTV (Convention News Television), an up-and-comer who has built a custom video business integrating social media as part of their marketing initiatives. (@carrieferenac)

— My 80-year old mother, rockin her iPhone.

— Non-girls:”Thomas Sanchez and Anthony Shop.

The Women in Tech campaign exists to help redefine what women in technology means in the 21st century. Started independently by a group of professional women who, after many impassioned discussions about women in tech knew we wanted to expand this definition beyond ‘traditional’ technology skills. To us, it includes most every current, emerging or evolving role within an organization. By featuring leaders and emerging leaders across industries who embody this we hope to collectively ‘stand up’, be proud of our place in the digital world and inspire young women or those new to the ‘tech space’ to get involved.

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