Carlly and Cassie recently went to a Girls in Tech event on how to break into the tech industry. Hosted at the start-up incubator Wayra’s offices, they went to hear more about the struggles of women in tech and what could be done to create an even playing field. Here’s how they got on:
With only 26 per cent of the digital sector made up of women in the UK, the tech industry is notoriously difficult to enter as a woman.
So, how can you break into the tech industry? And once you do, how can you set your career on a upwards trajectory?
Harriet Minter – Head of Women in Leadership at The Guardian – says it all depends on collaboration. In her session, she explained that women are naturally better leaders than men because they are more collaborative and operate with a social mind-set. Women can break into the industry with technical knowledge and social media skills but what really sets a career path on the upwards is the ability to take ideas and opinions on board to create broad and informed leadership.
Elizabeth Eastaugh – Head of Technology at Expedia – believes that what truly matters when it comes to progressing a career in tech, is your ability to work efficiently. “The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given is to ‘get your day job down to 4 hours and then do the job above you’”. The combination of speed and efficiency allows you to be noticed and regularly promoted. Learning how to correctly prioritise and delegate is essential.
Other advice ranged from choosing a diverse company as it would be the most forward thinking, to providing as much data and evidence as possible when promotion time comes along.
What we found surprising was that both Harriet and Elizabeth advised against volunteering for extra tasks which will not in the long-run, positively influence or affect your career path. They said that whilst it was important to appear enthusiastic and energetic, you should take on tasks that you feel passion for and not obligation.
Having attended an evening full of inspiring and successful women, the key piece of advice we’re taking on board is that both men and women should be encouraging conversation as to why there as so few women are in the tech industry and what to do to support a more diverse workforce.