What 7 combined decades in tech taught us about perseverance and reinvention – TechCrunch

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Women at work have historically been underestimated and underestimated. It’s not a secret, but especially in technology.In America alone, women Less than 40% of the world workforce Just fill in 25% of professional computing jobs.. Moreover, New report We found that 45% of the high-tech women surveyed said that men outperformed women in the workplace at a ratio of 4: 1 or higher.

Between us, we have nearly 70 years of experience working in technology (!), And if you ask us to look back on our journey, we have great memories and so great. You will remember both of your memories. For example, one of us clearly remembers being told by a math teacher in the second year of middle school that it wasn’t enough to take algebra. However, in a youthful rebellion by chance, she got her first graduate job as a NASA contractor programmer after choosing to major in mathematics. This will allow you to build a career of more than 50 years in the technology industry.

Decades later, the other remembered working as the only woman on the company’s leadership team, often feeling isolated and lonely. Again, going against the status quo, she instead uses it as a catalyst to build a platform focused on promoting women in the workplace, identifying more female leaders and taking them to the table. I helped to come.

What these stories show, and what we two agree on, is: Many organizations and allies are making more focused efforts to help women grow their careers and thrive in the world of male-dominated technology. Driving change and making improvements rests on our shoulders as women. Women are resilient and show fresh perspectives, energy and dedication to ensure they rebound and regain influence, power and capital after being imbalanced in the effects of a pandemic. ..

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Whether you’re a woman looking for a career in the technology industry or an experienced professional, we all share this mission, closing the gender gap and supporting each other.

There are some things that have worked for us over the years:

Recognize issues and face them head-on

If you like country music, you’ve probably heard that song, “Same boat” The chorus may be fishing in the same hole, singing, “We are all on the same boat and fishing in the same hole …”. For the last two years, you may have survived the same storm. But we are still on a very different ship.

By hiring women returning from a career break, you can strengthen your existing talent pool. These “returnees” are often highly motivated, educated, and qualified to play a variety of roles.

Skillsoft 2021 Women’s Technical Report Shows that women, especially those in the technical field, continue to face many challenges in the workplace that have existed for a long time. The largest percentage cites their biggest problems as lack of wage fairness, followed by work-life balance, lack of opportunity, and lack of training.

In addition, in the United States during a pandemic, 34% of men working remotely with their children at home received promotions, while 9% of women in the same situation. Also, 26% of men received a salary increase, while only 13% of women. ,according to study According to Qualtrics and board list.

Yes, the gender gap facing women in recent years has shown slight signs of improvement, reminding us that the road to equality is long and winding. It is imperative that you be tenacious and not lose sight of your desires in the face of adversity. Even if you are an average student, you may soon attend a meeting and find yourself one of the smartest people there.

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Learn from your mistakes and when things go wrong, find a way to do it. This was true in the 1960s and is still true today.

Don’t be afraid to reinvent

Life throws a curve ball. For many women, it is inevitable to take a break from work to take care of their children (or others like older parents). From personal experience, it can be difficult to find an employer who is willing to accept a woman’s chance to return to work. That is why it is so important to be persistent and willing to reform yourself.

Maintain a curiosity mindset throughout your career. This is important to be able to adapt and pivot to a particular situation. Perhaps after leaving the workforce, your previous position in product marketing is no longer there, or you have reached a certain point in your career and are no longer enjoying your work. Can I move an existing skill set to another role? Are there any skills that you have learned or learned in the process that can be transferred to another path, such as development?

Pivoting a carrier and reinventing it can be difficult, but it can also be of great benefit in the long run.

It’s a good business for your organization to take this approach. By hiring women returning from a career break, you can strengthen your existing talent pool. These “returnees” are often highly motivated, educated, and qualified to play a variety of roles. They want to do their best and bring a mature and diverse perspective. Many of them may have been obtained during hibernation.

When the technical workforce is in desperate need of more skilled individuals, especially women, it’s time to join and empower this motivated group.

Acquire the most important skills of all: Flexibility

Change can be confusing, but accepting and adapting to change can open up a world of new possibilities. To stay ahead, it is important not only to survive the changes in the organization, but also to understand and learn how to succeed in it.

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For example, a few years ago, one of us led a team that brought a very exciting new product to market. However, her company decided to go another route and bought a business that was already successful in this area. She could have been worried about her job (and, in a nutshell), but instead needed help the company move customers from existing products to acquired products. I noticed. So she raised her hand to let them know that she was able to help and then was assigned to a new team.

She has been with the company for nearly 20 years now.

Conversely, if your organization wants these significant changes in your employees, you also need to provide the tools and resources you need to succeed in your new role. Here it is important to create a learning culture that gives all employees the opportunity to develop new skills and abilities.

We are all aiming for something bigger, finding our place in the world and contributing to the world. A female career is a journey of diverse and interwoven learning experiences that build leadership, power, influence, grit and resilience. We made some good choices and faced some difficult challenges during the total of technical workers over 70 years.

What did we learn? What you do in these lessons and how to build a story of technology woman patience, resilience and success is paramount.

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