How Women Can Break the Glass Ceiling in the Tech Sector
The gender gap in the technology sector is a well-known issue. Even those tech companies that are truly invested in hiring and retaining women continue to struggle to close the gap. In fact, a PwC survey showed that Silicon Valley and the surrounding cities have pay gaps ranging from 18 to 22 percent. There continues to be disparities in pay and promotion opportunities, while attracting women to post-secondary technical programs exacerbates the gender gap in tech.
Women in the tech sector can take some ownership in breaking the glass ceiling by:
Even if the odds are not in your favour, keep working towards your goals. There will always be naysayers and there may be people who actively stand in your way. Be persistent and set your mind on achieving your goal.
2. Create a support network
Surrounding yourself with a strong support network can be invaluable when times get tough. Rely on the support you have and look for ways to expand that network. There are many other women in the same position who can be a great resource. There are also men and women in superior positions who can be your allies. Your path to career success doesn’t have to be traveled alone.
3. Dream big and be proud
Women tend to have modest goals, particularly when it comes to career ambitions. Establishing stretch goals can help you advance your career quicker than just aiming for the next rung on the ladder. When you’ve had a big win at work, celebrate it. Women tend to downplay their accomplishments or credit their success to a team effort. Feel confident highlighting your achievements and make sure they get noticed.
4. Expect to make sacrifices
Realizing great career success requires sacrifice. Women, in particular face an uphill battle when it comes to proving themselves equal to their male counterparts. To be successful you may find that hobbies and friends have to take a backseat to your career.
5. Make choices
The sacrifices you’ll make to get to the top will have other people questioning. They’ll wonder why you’re working so hard and making different life choices than them. Have conviction in the choices you make and know they’re being made for the right reasons. Don’t worry about people who question or criticize your methods. Your true supporters will be behind you 100%.
6. Know that there’s enough success to go around
Your success doesn’t have to come at the sacrifice of others. Success is plentiful and there’s enough to go around for those ambitious enough to pursue it. Women should support other women on their climb to the top. Viewing your colleagues as allies instead of competitors can create stronger working relationships that will pay off in the long run.
As the technology industry continues to grow it creates great technical and leadership opportunities for everyone – women included. Not only are there new opportunities, but there is a need for women to help shape the future of the industry and our world.