Tell me you’re a woman working in tech, without telling me you’re a woman working in tech. We’ll go first––only 5% of leadership roles within the tech industry are women.
Historically the tech industry has struggled with gender diversity in the workplace. With high numbers of men in leadership positions and a lack of emphasis on hiring women for those leadership roles, you can see the issue here.
The good news is, with the tech sector rapidly growing, women’s potential to get their foot in the door and a seat at the table is substantially increasing.
To celebrate International Women’s Day, we asked some female FastSpringers what it’s like to be a woman in tech and how can the industry improve.
1.Why do you think it is important for more women to want to have a career in the tech industry?
The great thing about tech is that you become so well-rounded. Even if you are specializing in one field, often, you’re engaging with team members from other departments and learning about their skillset, tech stack, goals, etc. There’s a lot of knowledge to gain from peers or managers, which can help set you up for your next role or career. – Sarah McCarty, Senior Customer Success Manager
Women have been discouraged from moving into tech because, historically, men have dominated the industry. However, women have just as many skills as men and provide 50% of the prospective workforce. We, as women, should not be discouraged by a male-dominated society. We should empower each other to take charge and leadership of our own careers and not stray away from industries by the previous employee gender gaps. The more women see other women in tech, the more we will bridge this gender gap for the growing industry. – Chelsea Cianciolo, Customer Success Manager
As people’s internal biases are broken down, we start to understand that so many structures of gender roles don’t mean anything! Why does a toy need to be gender-specific? Why does a job need to be gender-specific? Why does an industry altogether need to be gender-specific? In my opinion, it doesn’t, and it shouldn’t! Society thrives when leadership is diverse, more people are represented, and their needs can be addressed and met. Diversifying gender in tech means that we can build an industry that serves a larger market of people. It’s exciting to bring a diverse opinion to the table, and you offer a perspective not currently met! – Claire Shuman, Revenue Operations Analyst
Technology is more ingrained into everyday lives across the globe than ever before. It is for that reason that the Tech industry must reflect the beautiful diversity of this world. Otherwise, the industry is missing out on endless perspectives and intelligence that can enhance products and services for underrepresented backgrounds. If 50% of the globe is female-identifying, 50% of the Tech workforce should be as well! – Caylee Burditt, Junior Technical Writer
There are so many moving parts within the tech industry, so many different career paths. You could join a scrappy startup or be employed by a massive tech company. There are places for women to bring their unique set of skills and flourish in tech. – Anna Mroczkowski, Community Engagement Specialist
“The reality is that there is still an under-representation of women in the tech/IT sectors. Many studies have shown that superior innovation is achieved by having diverse teams where people can challenge each other and bring new perspectives. Having more women in technology will help close the gender gap and creates more female mentorship opportunities.” – Elizabeth Faddis – Recruitment Manager
2.What advice would you give a woman just starting her career in tech?
“One of the best things I’ve done in my career is to seek out a mentor. I honestly wish I had done it a lot sooner. I have several peers and former managers that I consider my mentor, and their perspectives, advice, and occasional tough love have helped me immensely in my career. Keep in mind that maintaining a mentor/mentee relationship takes a bit of commitment from both sides, so make sure that you are coming to your mentorship meetings with a purpose, question, or idea that you and your mentor can explore together. This will help ensure both of you get the most out of the experience!” – Caitie Gonzalez
“You are allowed to take up space, so take it up! Lean in and take criticism in a way that helps you to grow your base and strengthen your position.” – Claire Shuman
3. What are your favorite books, podcasts, or websites you follow?
“I am part of a community called Women in Revenue for the past year. It’s a great space to learn, grow, and connect with fellow women in Marketing, Sales, Rev Ops, and Customer Success roles. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for advice, inspiration, and mentorship!” – Caitie Gonzalez
“LinkedIn groups – (any industry of interest). 7 Habits of Highly Successful People by Stephen Covey. The Art of Persuasion by Bog Burg. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. NPR by Planet Money.” – Chelsea Cianciolo
“Witty, Women in Tech Talk to Yaz. It is a podcast that talks to female leaders in the tech industry. There is a small number (but it is growing) of C-level female leaders in the industry, and this podcast highlights these incredibly talented women.” – Anna Mroczkowski
4. What role can male team members play to best support their women peers in tech?
“Be patient. Don’t speak over a peer. Ask open-ended questions to the group to dissuade from possible gender-biased decisions.” – Chelsea Cianciolo
“Men, challenge your thoughts of your peers. Why do I think of someone positively or negatively? Are the traits the same, but when gender is introduced, my opinion changes? Research shows that men speak more in meetings – bring yourselves to awareness and ask for others’ opinions! Create a space where everyone has a say and is respected for speaking. Make sure that your advice and mentorship are not dictated by gender. Ultimately, include the voices and opinions of those who do not look like you and be quick to question if your opinions are gender-biased”. – Claire Shuman
“Support hiring women. Support female leadership. Be a part of the discussion around gender biases in the workplace”. – Anna Mroczkowski
5. What can companies do to support their women employees?
“Place women in leadership/executive positions. Provide Mother’s rooms in the office. Provide feminine products in bathrooms”. – Chelsea Cianciolo
“Bring awareness to breaking down gender biases and roles. Look at what women earn in a role to what men earn. Look at how raises and performance scores vary across genders. Build and sustain an environment where certain genders don’t slip into gender-specific roles around office housekeeping – note-taker, meeting coordinator, etc. Ensure that all employees receive mentorship and opportunities regardless of gender. Help leadership to build an equitable environment.” – Claire Shuman
“Support hiring women. Support female leadership. Be a part of the solution and start the conversation of removing gender-bias within the organization. Give credit when credit is due. Paid maternity and paternity leave. Pay women and men equally. And please move past the “it’s always been done this way” saying.” – Anna Mroczkowski
Are you interested in starting or expanding your career in tech? FastSpring is hiring.
Come and join our incredible team of talented women. We have positions available in Santa Barbara, Halifax, and Amsterdam. Visit https://fastspring.com/company/careers/ to see our open positions.