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Being a Female Tech Leader:
There has been momentous push to highlight gender inequality within tech, yet the question still remains: Why are there so few women in tech leadership roles?
According to a recent Reuters study, 30 percent of 450 technology executives stated that their groups had no women in leadership positions. Only 25 percent of all IT jobs in the U.S. were filled by women – with a stunning 56 percent of women leaving the field altogether in the highlight of their career. To combat gender inequality, we have to examine the importance of representation and having women be active in tech leadership roles.
The value of having women in leadership roles is necessary for everyone in the field. Women make up a large percentage of the consumer demographic, so having little representation of women in these roles can negatively impact the growth of the company.
I asked women in leadership roles to share their experience in the tech space, everything from why they chose a career in tech to perks/challenges of being a woman in a male-dominated industry to advice for young women considering tech as a career.
Choosing a Career in Tech
For leadership coach Micheline Germanos (the former General Manager for the Microsoft Marketing and Operations Group), choosing a career in tech was due to a fascination with new areas:
“Through my career, I have mostly taken positions newly created. I like to walk into uncharted paths,” Germanos says. “High tech is a fascinating field also because of the pace of change, the need for high adaptability and the possibility to always work on new things.”
Former Googler and now CEO and founder of Drawbridge, Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan, says there was no single a-ha moment for her:
“I always knew that I would have a career related to math and science as I’ve always been drawn to those fields. I am a firm believer in the applied nature of science and math. In other words, while pure mathematics and science are certainly elegant, I’ve always seen the development of real-world applications using those foundations as the more productive endeavor. I ended up choosing a career in engineering, and continue to derive elegant applications of scientific concepts to solve new problems.”
Sloane Berry, Co-Founder of Odesso, recommends other women to consider a career in tech for the “wild, wild west” factor:
“The rules have not been written for so many different and dynamic sectors of the tech industry. Now a great time to bring a fresh perspective to mobile, AI,IoT, big data, cloud computing, wearables, VR, chatbots – simply because we’re all in the same boat. There is no hierarchy or glass ceiling in the fastest-growing sectors of tech. Your voice is much more likely to be heard and echoed through these communities. While older, brick-and-mortar tech companies are a bit tougher to grow in, things are changing. The number of all-male development, design, or sales teams are shrinking quickly, and many businesses are seeing the value in diverse perspectives.”
The Challenges Facing Women in Tech
Germanos doesn’t believe the challenges she has faced would have been any different if she had taken another path…READ MORE
Written By: Elizabeth Becker (@lizzythewriter)