The 5 biggest pieces of advice for women working in tech was originally published on College Recruiter.
While many businesses floundered during the pandemic, the technology industry flourished due to the accelerating digital transformations and shift in work models worldwide. But, as we settle into the new year, challenges and uncertainties lie ahead. On a macroeconomic level, a potential economic slowdown might force companies to trim costs, increase efficiency, and find innovative ways to grow their revenue. From a microenvironmental standpoint, discrimination against women working in the field is still a pressing issue.
In fact, according to a recent study organized by Paychex, 78% of women in tech have experienced gender bias or discrimination within the last year, and over 60% have reported a male co-worker to HR for harassment. Now, 74% fear being fired amid a wave of tech layoffs. But the challenges for women in tech don’t stop there. We’ll further explore the common professional roadblocks women in tech encounter and offer some key advice for workers who can relate to them.
Biggest challenges for women working in tech
One of the main hurdles women in tech face is a lack of growth opportunities. According to the same Paychex study, 43% of women feel they aren’t getting deserved promotions, and 34% don’t see a growth path at their company. Other typical challenges they’ve consistently dealt with included feeling out of place, being paid less than their male co-workers, being underestimated, and performing tasks unrelated to tech. On the topic of gender bias, between 80% to 90% reported experiencing it in the software, blockchain, energy, fintech (financial technology), and martech (marketing technology) sectors.
Navigating and overcoming professional inequality
Standing up to discrimination might be daunting, but it’s a necessary step to carving out the best career you can give yourself. Here are five different strategies to receive the professional courtesies you rightfully deserve:
- Keep learning. The more knowledge you empower yourself with, the better you’ll be able to navigate organizational inequalities.
- Find your voice. Communication is essential in all aspects of our personal and professional lives. That’s why reporting inappropriate behavior to HR is vital, especially when staying silent is actively detrimental to you.
- Seek out a mentor. Advice from mentors is often invaluable. They can help you set goals and make connections, and, most importantly, they’re willing to listen.
- Embrace new opportunities. The 96% of women in tech who have been recently laid off now make an average of $10,660 more at their new job. When one door closes, a better one tends to open, so if you think a career elsewhere suits you better, feel confident in making the jump.
- Be patient. It takes time to achieve your career goals. But as long as you prioritize working in environments that benefit you rather than bringing you down, you’ll get there sooner than you think.
While women are in the minority in the tech industry, the future is bright for them. Women everywhere can empower themselves with the knowledge and confidence to fight back. Still, it’ll also take a concerted effort from companies to recognize their organizational inequality and reshape their culture to abolish it for good. Women in tech are invaluable — it’s time to make them feel that way.