Arizona State University Women's Empowerment Day

Arizona State University; March 2016

By Joy Ivy | 03/22/16 9:30pm

As students of color are urged to take advantage of the rapidly growing spaces for them in the engineering and business world, Candace Mitchell shared her experiences as a successful CEO and woman of color. 

Mitchell, who was recently included in the Forbes 30 under 30 for Retail and E-commerce, is co-founder and CEO of Techturized, which serves as a parent company for Mitchell’s venture Myavana, a personalized database to help women of color find hair products.

As part of the Fulton Schools' Womyn Empowerment lecture series, Mitchell spoke to students about her newfound success as an entrepreneur in the $500 billion hair care industry.

“Something I am very passionate about is exposing more women of color to technology,” Mitchell said. “I feel that we could be valued for our intelligence, we can be valued for the fact that we build amazing companies so it’s really about changing the narrative.”

The event was the second of its kind, hosted by the Fulton Schools of Engineering at ASU to encourage an active voice for female students at the school.

Jade Silva, senior coordinator of Undergrad Student Engagement at the Fulton School of Engineering, said the lecture series was kicked off earlier this month in celebration of Women's History Month.

“With the Womyn Empowerment series, our main goal is to to advance our female students in engineering to build their self-efficacy, to feel confident in the classrooms but then also educating our male students about the ways they can support women in the engineering field,” Silva said.

During her lecture, Mitchell stressed the importance of inclusion in the growing technology driven business industry with so few female minorities venturing into tech-based startups.

Aerospace Engineering sophomore Christian Price shared that he admired the “fearlessness” of those like Mitchell who are brave enough to enter the business and technology stratosphere.

Mitchell detailed her experience building the ideas behind Techturized as an engineering student at Georgia Tech.

“Some of my hardships dealt with always feeling isolated and always feeling like I didn’t belong,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell relates her experiences as a woman of color in the engineering field to “being a fish out of water,” but urges ASU engineering students to take advantage of the many growing opportunities for women of color in the STEM field.

Today, women like Mitchel are not only becoming more prevalent in the technology field, but are also being celebrated as leaders in the field at events like the BET Honors, where Mitchell was honored for the recent success of her business.

Before finishing her speech, Mitchell's advice to students was to "keep their vision in mind," and think outside the box for ways that their majors can be leveraged to jump start their own careers.

"There's a winding road that you're taking, eventually you get to that end mark, but you'll never get to that end mark if you don't keep your vision in mind," Mitchell said.