Women outnumber men at elite colleges, law schools, medical schools and in the overall work force, according to the New York Times. With that being said there is a large gender gap in the tech industry that is hopefully slowly closing with the increase of women pursuing tech careers.
Many issues in the tech industry and the workforce overall directly affect women such as sexual harassment and the gender pay gap. These issues are finally making headlines over the past few years; this is a reflection of how women are changing the tech industry, according to NBC News. Women aren’t just sitting back and waiting for men to tell them what steps to take, they are taking charge of their own future in the industry as a group.
Step up and become comfortable with being uncomfortable
It is important for women in tech to become comfortable with being uncomfortable. It is important to be outside of a comfort zone. Taking risks and doing what it takes to move upward in tech is a great way for women’s worth to be seen more clearly. Discomfort can be a sign that someone is on the right track. Women also shouldn’t shy away from telling others that they want to be successful. This is a great way to gain momentum and meet people with common goals. This can open up the door to career advancement and creating a discussion.
This goes for everyone. The desire to learn shows ambition and a kind of confidence that will excel careers. There are many ways to do this in tech, especially with tech constantly changing. There are courses offered online for a variety of topics such as html review/advancement courses, CPA review courses and video/photo editing courses. Courses can be found on a variety of topics and platforms. A way to keep up with these trends is by following women tech YouTubers and bloggers. Taking new concepts on could be what sets candidates for a position apart from each other.
Finding a mentor
In all fields, pursuing a mentor is an excellent way to find guidance and expertise. Look to someone in a position of power who went through all the hardships and discrimination to get to where they are now. Odds are that they are more than willing to assist and give advice where needed, according to Forbes.
A great way to connect with a mentor is by attending networking opportunities. If there aren’t many opportunities in a city, maybe be the one to start a “women in tech” group. This is a great way to use resources and even create resources where needed.
Find not only a mentor, but teammates and coworkers
This applies to anyone intending to climb up the job ladder. It is more likely that someone will climb the ladder quicker if the people they work with enjoy their work ethic and teamwork abilities. Word travels fast and someone will have a hard time getting promoted with a bad attitude and lack of teamwork abilities.
This mentorship ability is something that can be taken advantage of when someone has children. Girls often shy away from video games and allow their brothers to do the bragging and technical games. Girls should be empowered and taught that they can be interested in technology. Mentoring children to pursue their interests can start at a young age.
It has been said that women often appear more humble than men in interviewing situations. Women should have the confidence that they are qualified and act accordingly. It is easier said than done, but confidence can go a long way. Especially when interviewing with someone who may expect a woman to be timid. Women should make it a priority to state their accomplishments with pride and the numbers to back them up. Don’t say, “I was in charge of that project.” Say “I was the lead on my companies top-ranking campaign of the year (if that is true, of course).”
A Time article discusses that women often hope if they stay quiet and work hard, that their time for a promotion will come. The article claims that this might allow the women to get passed over and others who are vocal about their accomplishments might get promoted instead.
Take advantage of the growing opportunities for women
There are many resources out there for women such as sites like PowerToFly that connects women in tech with remote jobs. This was founded because there was a bias against women in the workplace due to being mothers. Companies such as this one offer ways for women to work remotely while staying at home and tending to family.
The Guardian wrote an article about how there are many opportunities for women in tech, but we still need more women in tech. There are more meet-ups for women in tech than there are for men or other groups. Working in tech takes the curiosity to learn and that is about it. There are many free courses that can be done remotely online, which is a great way for mothers to get involved in tech. It just takes a passion for tech and taking the time to learn and take advantage of the opportunities that are out there.