What I Wish I had Known as a Woman in Tech
Don't Be Intimidated
Growing up my uncle would talk about his job in the tech industry and I was always so intrigued. I also used to think there is no way I could do that. It always sounded like you had to be a 4.0 college student and have multiple degrees to be able to work in such an industry. I was too intimidated to even ask what it would take or how to start. So I went to college got my business degree and worked in the corporate world for 5 years. I finally got the courage to start inquiring about tech and what it might take for me to get into the industry. When I thought of the tech industry I thought: you had to know how to code or at least be able to understand the code. I think that was just an excuse for why I didn't research it sooner. Yet I told myself not to be intimidated, you have to put in the hard work and push yourself to learn.
Women in Tech Statistics
In that same breath I thought it seemed to be a very male dominated industry and that was intimidating. There were very few women to look up to or ask for advice. Even today the stats show: 28% of the workforce in 51 of the top US tech companies are women, with 50% of the total labor force in the US being women. Girls have been steered away from science and math which has limited the access and opportunities into these fields. Women have been working to show that the tech industry needs to support more hiring of women. There are many benefits to hiring and promoting women in the tech industry. One of many being that according to the Peterson Institute for International Economics - Firms where 30% of leaders are women have a 15% increase in profitability (a net profit margin that is more than 1 percentage point higher) compared with similar firms with no female leaders.
It is Possible
When I started my career I wasn’t sure my path, but once I got going I knew that Project Management was an area I could see myself succeed. I have always been very organized, loved helping take projects from start to finish, assisting cross functional teams, and helping finding solutions to remove impediments. Being a Project Manager also opened the doors to different industries and gain knowledge on how to successfully be the glue between all teams. I set my sights on getting a Project Management position within the tech industry because tech drives everything. It is fast-paced, ever changing and our future. I was lucky enough to start my career in web development and have since moved on to be a Project Manager at Echobind helping build apps and I could not be happier.
What I Wish I Had Known
Do not be intimidated, the number of women in the industry is growing and it is possible to find your dream career in the tech industry (without knowing how to code). Things can still be intimidating even to this day but it also makes it exciting, challenging, and worth it!