Women don’t exactly dominate the tech industry. In fact, the percentage of women that hold technology jobs has fallen to 26% (down from 35% in the early 1990’s). There are a lot of theories about why this might be, and plenty of ideas about how to fix it, but if you’re a woman brave enough to have already prepared herself for a life in tech, or you’re looking to move into a technology career, take heart. There are some inspiring women pioneers leading the way, and they have some advice for you.
Sheryl Sandburg, very well known for her book, Lean In, and equally remarkable for her position as Facebook’s COO, encourages women (or anyone, really) looking for a way to get ahead in their career to think about the path up the proverbial ladder differently. As she says in her book, “There’s only one way to get to the top of a ladder, but there are many ways to get to the top of a jungle gym. The ability to forge a unique path with occasional dips, detours and even dead ends presents a better chance for fulfillment,”
When the grind has you down and you just really need a vacation, Marissa Mayer, Yahoo!’s President and CEO, has your back: “I have a theory that burnout is about resentment,” she wrote for Bloomberg in 2012. “And you beat it by knowing what it is you’re giving up that makes you resentful.” In other words, know thyself and don’t deny yourself fulfillment in a variety of ways.
Just forget about your gender and be the very best suggests Privahini Bradoo, founder and CEO of Blue Oak, a company working to solve the problem of electronic waste. “I never believed I could or couldn’t do something because I was a woman,” she told Refinery29. “I remember something my mom always told me: ‘You are the best at whatever you do.’ … Focus on being the best that you possibly can be. All the people I’ve worked with, they’re looking for people who are the best at what they do.”
Erin Teague, Director of Product Management for Yahoo!, advises using what’s unique about you to your advantage. Speaking with Refinery29, she said, “Being a black woman, being a woman in general, on a team of all men, means that you are going to have a unique voice. It’s important to embrace that.”
Give us a call if you’re looking for a position in technology, regardless of your gender. Our team is here to help you find the right job for your future.