Technology is advancing at an unprecedented rate. It seems like there is always something new hitting the market: a smart device for your home, a gadget, or an app that promises to make life easier. There is always something that we can see as new coming in the tech space.
The pace and intensity of development in the technology industry can charm anyone into considering a career in it. We’re living in a transformed world courtesy of smartphones and the internet. Today, technology does not only offer the thrill of keeping up but also promises a flourishing career with a wealth of opportunities.
For long enough, technology has been a male-dominated industry. While this is gradually changing, there are still some roadblocks that stand in the way of women who actively pursue a career in tech. Women in technology, even today, are vastly outnumbered by men.
The gender make-up in tech does not look good. Women hold only 25 percent of computing jobs, according to this 2016 study. And, this number has been in steady decline for years. The turnover rate for women is twice as high as it is for men in the same industry, according to the same report: 41 percent against 17 percent.
According to Statista’s report on gender diversity in major tech companies, female employees constitute 27 percent of the workforce at Microsoft, and 47 percent at Netflix. The percent drops even lower when it comes to holding key tech jobs.
A few reasons why women are underrepresented in technology roles are:
If you are a woman striving to break into the field, you can use these tips to overcome self-doubt and fear. These are lessons to help you blaze a path into the technology industry.
When it comes to women in technology, you might encounter biases of some sort. It is empowering to accept the fact, and resolve to do something about it when you see bias in the work environment. Whether you are being interviewed for a key tech role or entering a new organisation, focus on what you bring to the table rather on what you might need to improve. Speak about bias directly when you see it and bring attention back to values, skills and expertise, which are all that matters in a job.
Women in tech might feel threatened to speak up for themselves or express opinions in a male-dominated workplace. Take it upon yourself to deal with this fear head-on and proactively engage in opportunities without second thoughts.
In moments of doubt, act, and know that you will be appreciated for your work. There is no shortage of opportunities and challenges in the tech industry. Proactively immerse yourself in challenging projects that help you and the organisation to move forward.
Women who wish to succeed in a group environment must first earn the respect of their group members. You need to remember that you know your stuff and you want to deliver it for the advancement of your team – not only for yourself. As a woman, you might find it a survival necessity to do everything you can for yourself, but be careful of coming across as arrogant.
Instead, loosen the strings on yourself and know that you will be recognised for the work you do for your team and organisation. Be prepared to speak up in meetings and ask helpful questions. Make it your goal to work toward the shared goals of your teammates and organisation.
Often women find themselves alone and stranded in the tech industry. That sparks their “fight or flight” responses when they encounter criticism. It is essential that you know your work will be critiqued by several people with more influence, knowledge, and experience than you.
Handle criticism with grace and make it a point to turn criticism into stepping stones for development and learning. When handled in the right manner, constructive criticism can act as a catalyst to your growth.
It’s worth repeating that the tech industry is advancing at a skyrocketing speed. Therefore, to stay relevant to the market and not get side-lined, women in technology should be invested in continuous learning.
This can make you stand out from peers, give you a confidence boost, and make sure you offer value to your organisation for a long time. Be driven by curiosity and take your learning hat to the workplace every day.
Identify other women in your workplace who seem to be doing their best. Reach out to them for direction when you need it. If this isn’t something you are comfortable with at your workplace, hire a career coach.
The importance of mentor-ship cannot be stressed enough. Try multiple mentors for various skills; possibly one for tech expertise, another for leadership and someone else for communication. Your mentors will guide you along paths and prove to be your ideal source of inspiration and learning.
To sum up, women hoping to enter the tech field should:
If you are seeking that vital next step to advance your career, get in touch with LynxPro. We are a specialist ICT recruitment agency that matches highly skilled experts with leading businesses in technology.