The gap between men and women studying and working in technology is enormous. Despite having a long history in the industry, it has taken decades to get participation in the leadership position for women. Increasing the number of women and their access to information and communication technology (ICT) jobs would enhance economic opportunities for women as well as help address the dearth of skilled workers for certain jobs and boost the digital economy.
Women are increasingly becoming active users of technology. Their participation in designing and developing tech products and services will improve technology’s relevance for females as consumers, further bolstering innovation and economic growth. In the technology landscape, strengthening women’s participation can increase females’ employment opportunities, enhancing gender equality. It also bridges the gender gap in tech jobs and helps address the incongruity between the supply and demand for jobs in emerging economies.
Here’s a look at the 10 ways women can land a successful career in technology.
Seeking Out Leadership Opportunities
Undeniably, there is a higher number of men than women in technology. As revealed by Gartner, only 22% of IT leaders are women. To change the status quo and increase the number, women need to focus on meaningful cultural changes. They must embrace their technical expertise and move to the next level through different paths. They should push themselves towards participating in the team within a company and leading the team or the community through their expertise. They must polish and improve their management skills to lead and contribute to the C-suite.
Advocate for Yourself
Women do not need to prove something in tech. They do not have to assess each move and vie with their male peers or weave illusions around their co-workers. A woman needs to advocate for herself in the way she expects her peers to admire her for. This is possible once she is aware of her strengths and weaknesses and uses them as an opportunity to enhance her skills and relationship with people. Moreover, knowing when to let others thrive and when to intercept is key to leading successfully.
Exploring Unknown Territories
Being a catalyst for change always augment knowledge, and enable a team to drive innovation. As the tech industry is experiencing exponential transformation, taking an early leap into indefinite territory can pave the way for opportunities. Women must ask questions, learn from others, and accept failure and being wrong. Becoming an IT leader is not just about excelling in a technical role; rather, it demands expertise in all aspects of the business. Hence, pushing herself in different roles and branches of an organization is an excellent way for a woman to progress without the demands that often come from staying on a linear path.
Be a Mentor
It is no wonder that everyone has their own strengths and aspirations. And at some point in career, everyone might experience imposter syndrome, fear of failure, or lack of self-confidence. Having mentors in such a scenario can be helpful as they have a knowledge of business processes, a network of business professionals, and can share who and what they know. For women in tech, mentorship can immensely benefit them as a means to build confidence, improve skills, and set achievable career goals. Thus, to be a mentor of herself, a woman must ask for advice from their seniors or from those who have more experience and knowledge in a subject matter they are interested in.
Raising Your Voice and Speak Up
Speaking up is one of the ways that distinguishes leaders from followers. Women must have their voice in the technology landscape to influence people around them. They must bring their ideas and opinions to the table to contribute to their companies’ growth. Having a strong voice is not just limited to expressing ideas and opinions. Women must not let their voices down in uneven situations or when mistreated due to their gender. Therefore, having a strong voice is one of the most imperative aspects to fulfill a successful career in IT as a woman.
Don’t Fear to Take Bold Decisions
It is a common stereotype that women are not able to take risks compared to their male counterparts. And this is why many don’t consider women to make bold and risky decisions for the business. However, to change this tech stereotype, women do not hesitate to make and take bold decisions if they have to succeed. For instance, taking the lead and developing a minimum viable product and then bringing it to the market can give a woman, leadership exposure within the team.
Enhancing Business Skills
Since the business environment is continuously changing and growing, keeping updated with changes will help grow and advance a person’s skills. This is significantly indispensable in the IT sector, as the industry is on the verge of transformation. So, suppose a woman wants advancements in her career, she needs to be equipped with skills in demand, always be ready to learn new things, know about both the business and technical sides, and understand critical business pain points to address technology needs.
Don’t Forget the Practical Side
The process of learning is not complete until a person implements what he/she has learned. It means women must put the things learned into practice to understand how things work. They must explore all opportunities they are presented with, to unlock innovative ways to craft their skills. As the modern business world demands constant improvements, women need to plan out things and go beyond their plans. In this way, they can also keep their skills polished and updated.
Confront Obstacles and Win Challenges
In the technology space that is largely dominated by men, women may face challenges to compete with their male companions. This lack of gender equality creates a major obstacle that pushes women in tech to enact like a minion to their male coordinates. To shrink the women’s talent gap in technology, the best way is to encourage more young women to consider technology careers. Enhancing tech skills can be key to address hindrances and overcome challenges in tech.
Setting High Goals
Planning and setting new goals for the future is crucial to improving personal and professional life with changing times. With a continual goal-setting approach, women in tech can bring advancements in their careers. In this approach, whenever an old goal is completed, a person has already started a series of new ones. Women also must get support from people across their companies and ask them for ideas on how to make progress to achieve their goals.
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