I have spent over two decades in management & the last 18 years in Tech and I have been privileged to work for some truly amazing companies and some at the other end of the scale as well. I could tell you some awful things that have happened to me in my working life and at the opposite end of the scale many amazing experiences and challenges that have shaped who I am.
Some things I have learned along the way as a Woman in Tech
Bias is everywhere … our options are live with it or change it (with compassion, no one listens when they are being attacked). There are ways of delivering change without ripping people’s hearts out and stomping on them (metaphorically, of course). We need to bring people along on the Diversity journey rather than leave them as roadkill as we drive off into the sunset – all people, not just women.
I have been called “aggressive”, “in your face”, “feisty”, “fiery”, and “emotional”, by more people than I care to list here, if I were male the words used would be far way more positive and I would have been looked upon very differently. However I have had a successful career and continue to do so. Lesson learned: change the conversation don’t become a victim. If where you work does not support you as a woman, change the landscape from within or go somewhere that does support you as a woman in tech.
As women in tech we are a minority. Support and promote other women whenever you get the chance, try to be a role model for other women, use your networks to learn and share, provide support, pay it back.
Women of Silicon Roundabout
One of the recent highlights I want to share was attending this conference last week: Women of Silicon Roundabout by Maddox Events at the Excel in London. This was an inspiring conference, there were some amazing & inspiring presenters. 4500 people attended - blew my mind!
My personal highlights:
- We are way ahead of the curve with Diversity & Inclusion where I work, well done people
- Who do you pull up & pull in, pay it back
- Life happens - you can’t always plan for it
- Build your own networks, again pay it back
- Become a storyteller of your journey
- Tactical changes in Diversity & Inclusion - from inside the company, look after who you have now not just how you are hiring
- Making time for myself, not just work & home only, but personal time & development
- No one can be Inclusive in a moment of fear - our language & delivery matter, it won’t change the conversation when people are attacked (fight or flight response)
- There were a lot of big Tech Companies presenting:- Google, Thoughtworks, Twilio, Facebook, Uber, Linkedin, Oracle, Microsoft
This was one of the best conferences I have been to in years, not just for women & not just for Tech people, I would highly recommend for next year.