I have to admit I feel uncomfortable exposing myself as a woman in tech. Yes, I’m a woman and I indeed work in IT. It appears completely natural to me and I don’t see myself working in any other field.
According to Women Who Tech, 25 % of IT of tech positions are filled by women (source) and out of them, only 11 % hold a leadership position. A 2018 Women in Tech Survey reports the top three challenges women in tech are still facing are not being taken seriously due to the gender perceptions (63%), having no female role models to look up to (42%) and the gender pay gap (39%).
I think it’s a pity I hear more and more women around me calling themselves “not-technical”. I feel sorry for women my age who regret their study choice as they realized they have limited career options and are now stuck. I wish that my sister would be as excited as I am when she tells me they’re using robot arms at the pharmacy where she works (instead of being absolutely terrified of them). And I would prefer my friend’s girlfriends to get involved in our geek discussion instead of rolling their eyes 😉
Fortunately, my experience as being “woman in tech” is generally positive and rewarding. In my opinion, IT is a wonderful place where creativity meets technology and I would like to encourage more women to consider it as an exciting career opportunity since it has many benefits:
- Working in tech doesn’t necessarily mean coding
In IT there’s an important spot for less technical skills as well: product planning, UI design, UX research, digital marketing, social media strategy… Management! A career in technology can bring you anywhere.
- Possibility of Remote Work
Not all professions have the privilege or possibility of remote work, but IT-related jobs definitely do. Remote work gives us a wider pool of opportunities and the possibility to work internationally.
- Unconventional Lifestyle
Working flexible hours and working from home office allowed me to improve my lifestyle. I can go to the gym in less crowded hours and I don’t eat in restaurants anymore because I can cook lunch every day. Work on a rainy weekend and go skiing on sunny Monday? Why not?!
- Constant opportunities to grow
With constant change and improvements in technology, it’s almost impossible to fall into a routine. You’re always pushed to upgrade your skills which means constant learning and discovering your new strengths (both professional and personal).
- Exceptional community
Tech world is full of unbelievably smart and talented people who are mostly welcoming and willing to help or mentor. It’s simply inspiring to be part of such a community.
- You can make a difference
It’s empowering to be able to transform cutting-edge ideas into the real world. You can be part of something actually meaningful to you and work on projects that are aligned with your values. The work is mentally challenging and the tangible results are rewarding (and appreciated!) so the chances are small that you’ll ever get bored.
I’m thrilled the Corteza project is making a step towards fixing a problem of diversity in IT with a majority women in the board of directors and I’m excited to be part of the organization that truly breathes and lives its values.