As we welcome 2023, it’s important to acknowledge the gender gap in the tech industry. Despite numerous initiatives and programs aimed at increasing the representation of women in technology, the number of women in leadership positions remains low. With the overflow of opportunities in the tech industry today, this disparity is astonishing and limits the potential for innovation and progress in the tech industry.
It’s time to ask why more women aren’t in tech leadership roles. Is it due to systemic barriers or a lack of mentorship and sponsorship opportunities? These questions must be addressed to create a more inclusive and diverse tech industry.
The Hurdles Women Face in a Male-Dominated Industry
Most would expect that, in this age of people advocating for equality and inclusivity, women would be forging ahead at the same pace as their male colleagues. This is not the case, especially in STEM-related industries, where women may find it challenging to be noticed by most employers.
The rise of women in the industry is still being challenged by gender discrimination up to this day. Ninety-four percent of women say they are expected to do more than their male counterparts while undervalued. Seventy-five percent of female workers confessed that they had to take on more administrative tasks than necessary. This included preparing room and refreshments for meetings and sending email invites.1
Women in STEM and the Tech C-Suite Today
Equality and diversity can be improved in the industry when women continue pursuing tech opportunities. In a 2020 research by the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), there are now 45 percent of women taking up studies in STEM, a significant increase from 34 percent in 1994.2
Training women to lead and advance in their tech profession can also benefit the company’s growth and culture. This is because women leaders tend to offer mentorship to their co-workers and initiate activities that prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). An example of a DEI activity that you may want to try at work is an organized potluck to introduce different cultures’ cuisines to each other.3
What Women Bring to the Executive Table
As a woman leader, you can challenge creativity and perspectives at your workplace by sharing experiences from your unique point of view. Here are the benefits of why companies should make space for women like you in managerial and executive positions.
Women leaders bring diverse perspectives and solutions.
You approach things differently. Hiring women like you, particularly in leadership roles, brings new eyes to overseeing the company’s services. Letting men and women work together on an equal footing can lead to the workforce’s flexibility in addressing your target audience’s needs through diverse solutions.
Women’s ideas contribute to creativity.
You can challenge established systems and improve them. The generation of ideas between people who think differently from each other can hone critical thinking and thus open to better innovation. This can lead to the development of new products and services and the improvement of older offers a business has. This results in an increase in revenue and better adaptation to technological trends.
Several women have contributed to the technological age we are now experiencing. Some of these great women in the tech field are Chief Digital Officer Jacky Wright of Microsoft and CEO Susan Wojcicki of YouTube. Both women have transformed their respective digital spaces into the convenient and valuable tools they are today.
Women in tech can help a business reach beyond their current market.
Hiring and promoting women leaders in the business can help a brand connect and reach a vast audience. Individuals need to be represented in brands and in positions of power within brands to see that corporations and establishments care about them. The more inclusive a company is when hiring all genders and ethnicities, the more genuine the purpose of its services turns out to be.
Understanding comes from knowing people closer and earnestly. You, a woman with the heart to lead, understand what it’s like not to be treated well. Having someone as you lead can help your team better understand the pains and challenges other members of the minority group experience.
How You Can Have a Place at the Executive Table
The first step you need to take when wanting to advance in the tech field is to look for a company that has the same ambition and vision as you do.4 Find an employer that will challenge you to grow while believing in your capabilities. This is one of the best ways, among others, that can help you get a seat on that executive table.
Build connections that matter.
The tech industry is a fast-developing world, and one effective way to intentionally build connections is by seeking mentors who can provide guidance and support. Attend networking events and industry conferences, and actively seek opportunities to connect with other professionals in your field.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to individuals you admire and ask for their advice. Building relationships with peers and colleagues in your workplace is also essential. Collaborating on projects and offering support can help you build strong working relationships and demonstrate your value to the team.
Learn to adapt to trends and work strategies.
To be a great leader in any field of expertise, you should work on becoming a good learner first. Ask meaningful questions whenever possible and observe the people leading above you. See how you can improve their processes by learning and understanding their whys and hows.
Lead the way you want to be led.
Be the person you would want to look up to. You can do this by addressing the needs of the minority by advocating for developing systems that can help them move with ease in their daily lives. Bridge the gap between who you were and what you want to be.
Believe in your worth as an expert.
You may find yourself stuck in a situation that underappreciates you. Know when to speak up or pursue other opportunities if your efforts go unnoticed. This can be your chance to move on to your next big opportunity.
Identify what your strengths are and where to use them best. It would be more fulfilling to find a job that shares the same values or advocacies you have to give more meaning to your hard work.
Mentor other potential women leaders.
Create a space of solidarity and inclusivity for every individual who needs an open door to a hopeful future. Women can help create a sturdier foundation in the technological field by standing arm to arm against discrimination.
You can do this by sharing your insights with others and allowing them to showcase their best skills.
FOX SEARCH GROUP WILL HELP YOU EXCEL IN THE TECH INDUSTRY.
Fox Search Group, a female-owned organization, will give you access to interviews with respectable companies that put their candidates first. You can get in touch with your potential next employer in an average of 10 days as Fox Search Group prioritizes helping you.
1 VB Staff, “Report: 94% of women in tech say they’re held to a higher standard than men”. https://venturebeat.com/business/report-94-of-women-in-tech-say-theyre-held-to-a-higher-standard-than-men/. Published last April 15, 2022. Accessed last February 3, 2023.
2 Mark Kantrowitz. “Women Achieve Gains in STEM Fields”. https://www.forbes.com/sites/markkantrowitz/2022/04/07/women-achieve-gains-in-stem-fields/?sh=451525735ac5. Published last April 7, 2022. Accessed last January 31, 2022.
3 Grace He. “Diversity and Inclusion Activities & Ideas for the Office in 2023”. https://teambuilding.com/blog/diversity-and-inclusion-activities. Updated last October 9, 2022. Accessed last February 4, 2023.
4 Jennifer Herrity. “5 Types of Work Environments (And How to Find the One for You)”. https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/finding-a-job/types-of-work-environments. Published last December 12, 2019. Accessed last February 3, 2023.