Everything You Need To Know As A Woman In Tech
Breaking into anything new there are qualities you must possess or rather cultivate to be successful in that field. Some of these qualities are required, irrespective of one’s gender. Some of them include teachability, discipline, hard work…
However, as a woman in tech, you either require these skills in greater measures or require more than just what anybody would need. Why is this? You may ask.
Let’s answer that question before we get into the skills. Society or our society rather is highly patriarchal; this means that our society has evolved to favour men, such that they are usually the ones at the forefront of new endeavours. As a result, before women ever get there, a system has been built by our male counterparts; naturally, this system does not favour women. That’s why.
However, we can’t just do nothing because things are this way. If people like Honey Ogundeyi, Adora Nwodo and other women in tech did nothing, they would not be where they are today and they certainly won’t be inspiring you. Now let’s get to the skills that got them there and will get you there too.
Never stop learning
This may sound like a cliche principle but it is particularly true of tech. This world changes every day when we sleep and wake up. One has to keep up. It is no more a case of earning a degree and having to do the same thing for 10 years. Sometimes in this industry, you won’t be doing the same thing in 2 months. Men who have stayed longer in this field have a good grasp of this, and women too, especially upcoming ones need to know this from the get-go.
Network, and build a support system with other women
With women being quite few in this industry; only 25% of people in tech being women in the US, 16% in the UK and 15% in Germany, a support system cannot be overemphasized. Women need to get other women in tech into their contacts, as we grow, we also have to look out for our sisters that are still coming in, getting onboard the tech train.
With tech, one can work from home, with a smartphone or a laptop or whatever device the case may be. The flexibility that comes with working in tech has blurred the divide between home and work life. Women will still be the homemakers and will still be required by their bosses to deliver on their jobs. The wisdom to be able to do all this without burning out is mandatory for survival.
There are more opportunities now to learn and improve your skills than there were ever before. There are so many opportunities to transition and upskill in tech while still making use of one’s already existing skill set. You could transition from product marketing to business analytics, from product design to growth marketing. It is now a lot easier to move from what one is doing to what one wants to do. Your new job will occasionally demand that you do something out of the box. This is important for women in tech to know to avoid getting stuck. You don’t have to do the same thing throughout your life.
Earn the respect of those around you by doing your best
This does not mean that you will work yourself to your bones to show people that you are worthy. No, it only means that because people naturally respect you when your results are outstanding and since you can’t do your best and not have convincing results, the only option you have is to do your best, at all times. Then recommendations will flow in and you will grow higher in no time.
This cannot be overestimated. Are you passionate about what you do? It is guaranteed to be rocky in this world, in this tech world for women. If you don’t have anything to keep you going in the tough times, you won’t be able to go on for long. What is passion? It is a strong liking or desire for or devotion to some activity, object, or concept. Passion is a very strong emotion, it is fuel. It will keep you going after rejections, disappointments and failures so that you will stay in tech long enough to share your story with the upcoming generation.
If you don’t like this word smile, I just smiled and I bet you did too. But I have to let you know that this word changed my life and it will change yours too. Discipline is to train or develop through instruction and exercise, especially in self-control. It is all about controlling oneself. You want to chat with your friends for an hour, when you have work to do and a 30 minutes chin wag with them will just be enough. That customer is rude and disrespectful and you just want to give it to them the way you feel but you know that that’s not the way it should work. Discipline will enable you to end that chat with your friends in 30 minutes so that you can use that time to benefit your career. Discipline will make you keep your mouth shut and let the customer be king even if he does not deserve it.
Now that you know the principles to success as a woman in tech, begin to apply them today. Tech is a landmine of opportunities but if not handled properly it can burn you up. These principles will keep you enjoying all the goodies in tech and keep you away from burn out.