I’ve heard so many times that, “Technology is a boy’s world.” But whether you’re a woman or not, your success in the tech industry is going to come down to the same factors: Are you really good at what you do? Can you get the job done? And more importantly, who are you and can you understand the people you work with?
Coding geniuses will always have a place in the tech industry, but it is people with hard and soft skills that lead teams and take on great responsibilities. Gender is irrelevant.
The culture of today’s tech companies is collaborative and flexible. The power of influence will take you much further than the power of authority.
People who wish to succeed in a group environment must earn the respect of group members. Working in the tech industry is no exception. But how do you accomplish this?
Women, if you’re ready for a career in the tech industry, here is what you need to do:
1. Earn Respect
Put your makeup on (not too much), slip in your favourite heels and when you show up to a meeting (dress-up), be prepared to speak about the subject and ask helpful questions. If you don’t know the topic well, before the meeting use Google or ask a trusted colleague. You’ll earn praise by learning and using a skill your team members might not have, you’ll earn respect by sharing that skill with others.
2. Be Yourself
When you’re a woman in the tech industry, it doesn’t mean you have something to prove. You do not have to analyse each move and compete with your male peers. Be aware of your strengths and weaknesses and use them to your advantage by reading other people, (we are good at this).
3. Be aware of other people
Your sensitivity to other people can make you an extraordinary asset to a team. You have to be able to answer two questions about the people around you: How does this person work best? How can I help this person succeed?
4. Know your stuff
A prestigious tech degree may be irrelevant in a decade thanks to the pace of technology. Be a catalyst for change, increase your knowledge and bring your team along for the ride. Educate yourself and read the technology news daily.
5. Speak up
Those who have a voice, use it influence people around them. This does not mean you should command with your voice; rather listen closely to your team and guide them with your knowledge. The business knowledge you gain in a company is priceless and you can use it to lead your team. You don’t necessary need to be an extrovert to have a voice.
Don’t let the myth that “tech isn’t for women” steer you away from doing what you love and doing something you could be great at. Earn respect, behave genuinely, know your co-workers, know your stuff, have a voice in an organisation and then watch as career doors open to you.
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