L'Oréal USA Women in Digital's Next Generation Awards

Back in the early 1990s when I sent my first ever email to a woman across the room at the Hamilton College Computer Center, the technology blew my mind! Fast forward to July 17, 2012 and I'm standing behind a Lucite podium, an executive in digital technology, announcing one of the most exciting projects of my career, the launch of L'Oréal Women in Digital.

The L'Oréal Women in Digital Program focuses on all women working in digital marketing, technology and IT functions that are revolutionizing the beauty industry. We are doing this by providing recognition, exposure and testing opportunities. Our vision is to address the beauty industry with technology created by women that targets our core female consumers. For our inaugural ceremony we awarded our "NEXT Generation Awards" to five innovative and amazing women.

As women, technology provides us with new ways to reach out, share our opinions, and get information in ways we never before could. Technology has provided us with a voice and a living.

When I started at L'Oréal, I thought the intersection of beauty and technology would be obvious, but I was surprised by the challenges I had to face over the past five years, and it's why I am so excited to bring this program to life.

Here are some ways women in digital can excel:

Find a mentor. It's important for women to seek out other women and men who can help them navigate the corporate world and empower them to reach the goals they've set for themselves. The women and men I have met along the way have propelled me to where I am today.

Start with the fundamentals. Learn to code, start a blog, do anything you can to participate in the digital world. Women of all ages need to encourage each other to pursue technology and stick with it.

Build a community. We need to support, guide, and educate each other as a collective force across all industries and functions. We need men to be mentors and women to support each other and, as Tina Fey said at our launch, "...throw the rope down."

At L'Oréal our core focus has always been about making women feel beautiful and empowered, and as the world's largest beauty company, L'Oréal has a tremendous opportunity to make a difference and to support women in technology. My advice for any woman with an idea is that your own determination combined with the help of others who value your thoughts can push your career forward. I am proud to be a part of L'Oréal and the amazing strides they have made in the name of Women in Digital.