Most of us know Karlie Kloss as the impossibly tall supermodel with some equally famous friends. What some of you might know, but we should all know is that she’s even more passionate about Coding than she is Clothing. In fact, the model believes that that the secret to women of the future breaking through the technology ceiling is to teach young women and girls to code today. it’s the reason she set upcoding camp, Kode With Klossy.
So can coding be cool? She shares her thoughts on coding, succeeding in a male-dominated field, and why it’s important to get into your panic zone.
On the importance of women backing one another:
“I feel really lucky that I’ve had the guidance of my sisters, my mom, the strong women in my family my whole life. But also throughout my career, I’ve had the support of friends, whether they’re my peers or mentors, women older than me who have been incredible friends and advocates. They’ve really shaped who I’ve become. It’s important to share that kind of friendship and mentorship. It’s like this amazing gift that keeps on giving, because when you are that friend or mentor to somebody else, that is a gift that they then want to share.”
On what she has learned from being in her comfort and panic zones:
“It’s such an important lesson in life to be aware of your comfort zone, but also to not be complacent or afraid to go into your panic zone. When you go into your panic zone, it actually makes you want to keep learning and be open to new ideas. Sometimes that’s scary at first, but eventually the panic zone is no longer scary, and the things that were challenges become things that you conquer. So what used to be your panic zone is now your comfort zone. It’s this amazing analogy for life that is applicable in so many directions. What’s important, too, about the panic zone is that even when you’re in it, in the classroom or in life, you’re never totally alone in the deep end. You know you have the support around you of a teacher, a TA, or the person next to you, whom you can ask for help or relate to the fact that they’re also struggling with the same thing.”
On who inspires her:
“My Kode With Klossy girls very much…. I’m inspired by strong women who are fearless leaders, whether it’s in tech or in other industries. Diane von Furstenberg inspires me. She’s strong and passionate.”
On her best advice for young women interested in the tech industry:
“A lot of people — myself included — are afraid to even attempt to be in the classroom because they don’t see others like them. Self selecting out is limiting your potential before you even start. I’d say my biggest advice would just be to take a chance. Put yourself in your panic zone.”
To read the full Teen Vogue article click here.