Women Wednesday: Learn from Deb Pimentel, IBM

By , Partik Dullat, and Ella Hough | 3 minute read | April 13, 2022

IBM Canada STEM for Girls presents “Women Wednesday,” a video series that gives youth and young women the insights that demonstrate their aspirations are possible, and their futures are full of potential.


Dream big, have courage, and believe in yourself! 

Career advice from IBM’s Deb Pimentel


Deb Pimentel is the IBM Technology Market Leader for Canada East. During her 27-plus years with IBM, Deb has gained valuable insights on how to build a successful career. During our interview, she shares life-defining moments, helpful lessons, career advice, and encouragement for young women just starting out in their careers – and the qualities that can ensure success along the way.


01 Overcoming Challenges     (1:05)
02 Change in Perspective (3:48)
03 Change in Personality (6:10)
04 Dreams for Youth (8:51)
05 Advice to Youth (10:17)
06 Learning Recommendations (12:01)


Deb’s Top 6 Career Tips:

  1. Don’t let others define who you are: Deb shared a story from Grade 10 when a teacher doubted her abilities. At the time it was a devastating blow, but Deb decided at that very moment that she wasn’t going to allow that teacher to define who she was, and she never again let others define her. When someone tells her she can’t do something, that’s the moment she decides to prove them wrong.
  2. It’s okay to be scared: Although Deb says she can come across as very confident, she says that everyone gets nervous. When you start something new, you’ll be nervous. That’s normal. Being scared simply shows that you care and that you want to do a really good job. The trick is to embrace the nerves and persevere through the fear.  
  3. Believe in yourself: Believe in yourself and don’t let others pigeonhole you. Admit you don’t know everything about a new situation but have the confidence you can figure it out. Remember, employers love that kind of confidence.
  4. Put yourself in the other person’s position: Everybody has a story, so taking time to understand others makes it easier to work with them as colleagues and as customers.
  5. Always have a plan: Even more specifically, always have a workback plan. If you have an outcome or destination in mind, consider all the things you need to reach your goal and then work backwards, setting targets to keep you on track.
  6. Learn how to work in teams: Ask yourself how you can bring the best out of everybody on your team, recognizing that each person brings something unique to the table.

Bonus words of encouragement

One day during her career, Deb decided that she no longer had to be like everyone else to succeed. She began to focus on being her authentic self and pursuing what she was passionate about – and she encourages everyone to do the same.

Deb’s dream for the future is that one day, we won’t have to talk about women in STEM. For now, she encourages every young woman starting out to build strong networks, keep learning, and confidently pursue careers in technology. “Dream big, have courage, and believe in yourself!”


Learn with STEM for Girls (SFG) on IBM SkillsBuild!

Youth are telling us they want to learn and grow for greater representation in STEM fields. (And we know it’s hard to find representation in STEM fields!) We’re here to help knock down those barriers so you can see yourself one day as an engineer, doctor, physicist, and more. The possibilities are endless, and your future is bright.

  • Learn more about STEM for Girls here
  • Start building your future today, join IBM SkillsBuild for Students here
  • Once you register, you can earn the SFG Certificate on IBM SkillsBuild here

Curious to learn more? Read:

Partik Dullat, IBM STEM for Girls Canada, Program Leader

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/partik-dullat-792001140/

Ella Hough, IBM STEM for Girls Canada, Intern

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ella-hough/