Top 5 career tips for women in tech.

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Career Tips For Women In Tech

Women represent 25% of tech roles in the US, 16% in the UK and just 15% in Germany. When you consider how valuable diversity of thought is to innovation and growth, you’d expect the tech industry, which is based around these principles, to be leading the way. 

Although the gender gap is closing, an area of concern is the turnover rate for women in tech; 41% versus 17% for men. What are the challenges women are facing in tech? 

  • Career progression barriers
  • Finding the right work life balance 
  • Unconscious bias in a male dominated industry
  • Confidence & visibility

These challenges, although real and difficult to navigate, they are not permanent challenges, and they can indeed be overcome. 

As an SAP recruitment agency that supports women in tech, here are our top tips to support women to succeed in their tech careers, focussed around gaining confidence and visibility:

1. Know your worth.

Fighting for your place in the tech world starts with you. It’s easy to question yourself and stop sharing thoughts or opinions on meetings.  But if you question yourself, others will do so too. Spend regular time reflecting on your self-worth and remind yourself that you have indeed earned your place. 

To get ahead in your tech career, understand what it is that you want and then ask for it. 

Society has historically favoured men in the workplace, paid them more money and promoted men quicker than women. Men, generally speaking, have a stronger self-assertion in the workplace than women, hence men are quicker and more confident to ask for higher salaries, say yes to bigger projects and overplay their competencies.

As a woman in tech (or just any woman in general), do not downplay your skills. You have unique strengths, so know your worth and don’t settle for anything less than what you deserve. 

2. Find a mentor.

If you’re new to tech, it can be challenging entering an industry which has a problem with gender representation. It can be beneficial to find good female mentorship. Having positive role models who want to help you become successful can literally change your entire tech career experience.  

How do you find a good mentor? Your organisation is a great place to start. Seek out females at the top level who are accomplished, yet down to earth and treat you as an equal. They can help you focus on the most useful skills to develop in your role and provide insights into long-term career progression. 

When picking your mentor, but sure to pick someone who is driving success in the organisation and genuinely interested in your success.  

3. Support other women.

Even if you’re confident in yourself, other women in your industry might not feel the same. Cultivate a culture of encouragement and support for those women around you. This won’t just benefit them, but you and the rest of the business too. 

Seek out comradery among women by joining a female-led networking group within your organisation. If there isn’t one, start one yourself. Taking initiative and uniting women in your workplace might be the right means to highlight and tackle inequalities and help close the tech gender gap in the long run.

4. Build your network.

If you want to get ahead in your tech career, you will need a strong network of a diverse range of professionals. Focus on building a network with which you can exchange ideas and gain recognition among your peers as an expert in your field. Connecting with professionals in your field might make you noticeable for your achievements and competencies. 

How can you put yourself out there and build your tech network? There are networking events for everyone. Just google and see what’s on offer, register and attend. 

You could build networks on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook too.   

Check out www.womenintech.co.uk/events for the UK, https://www.womenintechnology.org/ for the US and https://www.europeanwomenintech.com/ for Europe. 

5. Seek out opportunities yourself.

Tech is a competitive industry to develop your career. It becomes even more difficult if you’re female and dealing with bias and gender inequality. If you want to get ahead, you’ll need to be proactive and seek out opportunities when possible. 

Is your organisation in the process of planning the implementation of a new tech landscape? If you have the necessary skills, speak up and put yourself forward. 

Keep your eyes on the prize, pay attention to the opportunities around you and go for them. 

Recommending reading and viewing for helping women get ahead in their careers:

Books

Wolfpack by Abby Wambach

How Women Rise by Sally Helgesen & Marshall Goldsmith

Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

The Glass Wall by Sue Unerman & Kathryn Jacob

TED talks

Why we have too few women leaders – Sheryl Sandberg

Reshma Saujani: Teach girls bravery, not perfection. 

Know your Worth, Then Ask for It – Casey Brown

In the words of Erin Teague, Director of Product Management at Yahoo, “Being a woman on a team of all men, means that you are going to have a unique voice. It’s important to embrace that.”

If you’re a woman in SAP or tech and you’d like career advice or looking for your next challenge, get in touch with RED today. 

Visit our blog for more valuable career advice and tech industry insights.

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