March 05, 2020
For International Women’s Day 2020, the women of Valtech were asked about their experiences working at Valtech. All of my co-workers’ responses were engaging and thought provoking, and they got me thinking about working as a woman in the male-dominated tech field in general, as well as the current state of gender equality around the globe.
What Is It Like Being a Woman in Tech?
A business with no apparent boundaries and endless possibilities is fantastic! Though as a woman, even in 2020, you are still more the exception rather than the rule. Especially if we look at women in C-level or tech specialist roles and not only as the typical administrating and coordinating roles.
Though the limited number of women in the field isn’t automatically a bad thing, as my colleague Lydia Livingston explained:
As a woman, it’s been interesting at times being perhaps the only woman in a team, I try to make my presence matter because there is a true value to diversity in teams.
Everyone has bias. This is true for both men and women alike. Expectations for deep tech knowledge and competence regarding women are still undervalued as an underlying mythical and old-fashioned structure that seems to be improving over the years—but hard to completely eradicate. The easiest way to fix this problem is to make space for more women at the table.
We need to make sure that women are a part of the recruitment process in order to enable better representation in the areas where women are not well represented in the tech field. It may be human nature to hold bias, but that cannot be an excuse for only hiring those who are like ourselves.
What Is It Like Working at Valtech?
Valtech provides a safe and enabling environment for women in tech, supporting us to become a natural part of the industry. And I would love to see those efforts reflected in our recruiting tactics as well. Bringing more women into the field has to be a priority for everyone.
If you’re interested in a real-world look at what being a woman at Valtech can be like, look no further than the story my colleague Katharina Borgenstierna shared in celebration of the day.
When I was asked to take on a bigger responsibility and I hesitated, I got the question: ‘What are you afraid of? If it doesn’t work out, there are so many other opportunities for you in this company, why not try?’ Those kinds of dialogues are game changing for women.
How Do You Feel About the Status of Gender Equality?
There is so much more to do and it is essential that we keep a focus on representation in the industry. Supporting and nurturing future tech girls is essential since statistics still show that girls leave the STEM areas in great numbers between the ages of 9-12. And these girls should be our future recruitment base.
In a lot of ways, we’ve come so far, but I don’t want that to lead to complacency. I’d love to see more companies using software like Develop Diverse actively to evaluate their job postings and make sure they appeal to a wider demographic than usual. Or more tech companies partnering with tech-specialized universities in their area to better support the positive development of more women in tech. The possibilities are endless.
I love working in the tech field, and I love working for a company that supports its women. I also think that more could be done to bring equality to the field. As Lydia said, “Technology is where the excitement is; we’re creating the future!” Let’s make sure it’s a future in which all tech girls feel welcomed and supported.