Leigh Genetti

Tell us your story.

I first started coding websites back when I was 16 years-old (back in the days of MySpace and Live Journal) and have been hooked ever since. Growing up I always felt like a big fish in a small pond, so the thought of connecting with others instantly in a way I could personalize fascinated me.

Of course, this concept was completely lost on my parents at the time. Every time my mother told me "Get off the computer and go read a book. You're never going to use this website stuff." Perhaps it was adolescent angst or my teenage self knowing that she was simply wrong, but her misunderstanding of this new interconnected world pushed me to stay logged on.

Over a decade has passed and I like to think that my mom has never been so happy to be proven wrong. During my sophomore year at The University of Michigan, I started a digital marketing agency and still continue it today alongside a full-time position at InfoRelay. Satisfying my inner Carrie Bradshaw in DC, I've also formed a side career as a writer and event photographer for Guest of a Guest and Localeur. These positions have expanded my expertise, but most importantly introduced me to women who share my passion for technology and the digital space.

Washington D.C. has been the ultimate inspiration, however. The District is full smart, ambitious women who are more helpful than they are competitive. They work together to achieve common and personal goals, forming a real sense of community that is finally starting to overtake the tech space. It's never been a better time to be a woman in technology in the Nation's Capitol.

What advice to you have to share with other women and young girls?

The first step is always the hardest. So many people miss out on opportunities (personally and professionally) because they're too afraid to put themselves out there. Don't be afraid to be bold, speak up, and always bite off more than you can chew. I like to think it is better to choke on greatness then nibble at mediocrity.

Pass it on!

My grandmother Gladys, who mastered the art of online shopping long before my family owned a computer.

To my mother, who finally came around and got a Facebook.

To all the little girls out there that see something bigger for themselves and are not afraid to reach for it.

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.