International Women’s Day (IWD) takes place on 8 March. This year’s theme is “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality”, which highlights the need for inclusive and transformative technology and digital education. IWD 2023 will recognise and celebrate the achievements of women who are driving this theme forward. It will also explore the (significant) impact of the digital gender gap on social and economic equalities, and the need to protect the rights and safety of women in the digital environment. To mark this occasion, we’re celebrating our very own Legatics’ women in tech, with their personal accounts of working in the tech sector.
Rice Tong, Marketing Executive
Although my background is in arts and humanities, I stumbled into the tech industry as a community manager for a start-up. Despite initially feeling out of my depth, I was fascinated by the energy and drive that everyone brought to the table.
As a woman in tech, one of the biggest obstacles I’ve encountered is my lack of confidence in speaking up, particularly in front of C-level executives who are predominantly male. However, I’ve been fortunate to have had a supportive LGBTQ+ female CEO during my early years in tech, and now I have a wonderful female manager who encourages and uplifts me. I’ve learned that the best way to overcome this confidence gap is to gain experience and focus on the quality of your ideas, rather than your gender.
My advice for women considering a career in tech is to never think of yourself as less, or step away from making a change, just because you think you’re not there yet. Trust me – the industry needs your perspective, your expertise and your presence to become more vibrant and diverse. If you feel like you don’t have the relevant experiences, make it a chance for you to learn and grow. If you’re a female entrepreneur who wants to make a wave, do it with pride and confidence!
Barbara Żyła, QA Team Lead
I finished IT studies with a Master’s Engineering degree and was recommended to a Polish company for a quality assurance (QA) position by my friend. I didn’t know what quality assurance was and had to learn a lot.
Of course 90% of the team were men. But, I don’t think that men are better than women – or vice-versa. I met great female and male QAs, the same with developers and product owners (POs).
Working in the tech industry means learning every day. Technology changes constantly. There are new tools, new approaches, and new solutions. There are also many opportunities to gather knowledge – meetups, webinars, conferences – even during Covid, when everything turned digital.
For me, the most challenging area was gaining confidence in speaking English (not my native language) in public, and becoming more open in saying what I thought. We shouldn’t forget about soft skills either, which are just as important in IT as tech skills. What can I say for women who want to start their careers in tech? Don’t be afraid, you’re as good as men! Don’t think that you won’t be able to handle it. Life is too short to not try.
Grace Stoll, Senior Customer Success Manager
I started as an apprentice Office Administrator at a creative digital agency. My interest for tech grew very quickly and I progressed through the company into a project management role. My passion grew and I knew that a customer-facing career in tech was what I wanted to pursue. Since then, I have worked for SaaS companies in varying sectors – across Account Management and Customer Success teams.
One of the challenges I faced early on in my career was feeling confident enough to contribute ideas and speak up. Having supportive managers who always encouraged me and listened really helped me to overcome this. I will always be very grateful to those people.
For me, this starts with the companies in the industry. Companies that support diversity and inclusion help to create role models for others to learn from and be inspired by. Whether that’s within the company itself or on a wider scale.
Be confident and go for it! Whatever career or industry you choose, you will always face challenges but these are what help us learn and grow.
Holly Thompson, Sales Development Representative
Leaving my adored career as a professional dancer was always a terrifying concept. But seeing the opportunity to utilise people skills, earn decent money, have stability and be consistently challenged in a brand-new way, were just some of the key drivers to explore the world of software sales.
The change from a female-dominated industry to a male-dominated industry is one that definitely takes getting used to, and can be incredibly frustrating at times. It’s common to feel as if your word doesn’t possess the same credibility as others in your organisation, particularly when your work experience isn’t traditional and you’re the ‘odd one out’ once gender is involved.
We should be encouraging women into leadership positions in order to advocate that equal opportunity exists, and also learning how to leverage the benefits that female qualities can bring to a sales cycle. I would encourage all women, regardless of their background, to persevere with breaking into a career in tech and equally not to settle for less money just to ‘get your foot in the door’. Always remember your worth and use it as your super-power to achieve your true potential!
Denika Campbell, Head of People & Talent
Women have historically been under-represented within the tech industry and, as a result, many women still feel discouraged about venturing into tech.
Whilst there have been an increasing number of women in tech roles, there is still more work to do. Women continue to face challenges such as gender bias, discrimination, and unequal pay, which can make it difficult for them to advance in their careers.
Despite these challenges, women have made significant contributions to the development of technology. They have brought unique perspectives and insights to the industry, and have been instrumental in creating technologies that are more user-friendly and accessible for all.
Women play a crucial role in the tech industry. It is important to support and empower them so that we can encourage and inspire more women to pursue careers in tech and build an inclusive industry.
In my role as Head of People & Talent, I strive to create and maintain a culture where women feel supported, comfortable and empowered to achieve their career goals.
To the women in tech around our business and around the world, we salute you!