Girls need to “see it, to believe it”, but even as women in the global workforce have made massive strides, the same cannot be said for women in the tech sector because of the low number of female workers. Like many aspects of change, it has to begin with visibility and many women struggle with this because they are barely any women on tech teams across the world; either one or none. In spite of this, women are the world’s most powerful consumers, revealed a study by Bloomberg, driving 70 to 80 percent of all consumer purchasing and therefore it is vital that there be more than just one woman in the room if tech companies are selling their products to women. It takes one to know one, right?
Women still have to prove themselves in spite of credentials while men are often taken at face value
Erica Hakonson, principal and founder of Maven Collective Marketing, a Squamish, British-Columbia-based digital marketing agency reveals that despite the fact of her owning a company, she is still questioned about her rates, and she often has to tell clients that she will prove to them that the job will be well done. “Unfortunately, in my experience, male peers are more likely to be taken at face value without having to justify their ability. Benchmarking and metrics have been a fixture of my career as a woman and a business owner to demonstrate my value. While this can be inconvenient at times, the skeptics have taught me that I’m enough and that the proof is in my work,” she writes. Also a mother, she recently joined the board of directors of an organization only to be asked if she had time for this sort of work. According to her, women are rarely celebrated if they have a family and are running a successful business, people forget that it is only because of this that women in business have become experts at managing their time all while balancing various roles at work and in the home.
“Female mentors helped me find my way then, and I count it a privilege now to pay it forward to other women – to show them they are capable”
Back in 2008, in the midst of the financial crisis in North America, she found herself without a job and having to move to Canada because of her husband. Not only did she have to work from the ground up again, but she decided she would try something different, entrepreneurship, saying, “I started my own business to give myself the opportunity and flexibility when I couldn’t find what I needed to move forward. Outstanding female mentors helped me find my way then, and I count it a privilege now to pay it forward to other women – to show them they are capable.” Hence, successful women pay it forward and hence she has made a commitment to extending a hand up to others and she suggests that others do the same too. If there is anyone in positions of power in the tech industry, they must definitely use to bring people up and pave the way for a better future for women in tech.
Image credit: Velocity Global