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What does it really mean to be a woman in tech?

While women have undeniably taken their place at the table, the statistics surrounding female representation in tech still make for grim reading. According to a report by Deloitte, the ratio of men to women in tech is 3:1.

Calls for pay parity across the sector are also a persistent factor and in 2022 it was recorded that women in the U.S. earned 82 cents for every dollar earned by men. International Women’s Day, taking place on March 8th, is aiming to address these enduring concerns by inspiring inclusion, celebrating women’s achievements, raising awareness about discrimination and taking action to forge equality.

But what does this look like on a practical level?

Digital wellness warriors

For Sonja Gittens Ottley, head of diversity & inclusion at Asana, this includes equipping women with the tools and tech they need to avoid what she refers to as “digital exhaustion.”

She adds: “Research from our Work Innovation Lab shows that women (71%) are more likely than men (64%) to say that collaboration tools are crucial to their work. While women may prefer such tools, it’s also true that they’re shouldering a disproportionate share of collaborative burdens.”

Gittens Ottley advises that in order to side-step an unequal distribution of tasks, businesses need to “provide a fully-connected, accurate, and up-to-date map of work” to ensure technology is being used effectively and in a way that is supportive of wellbeing and different working styles.

This idea of promoting wellbeing at work is something Denise Byrne, head of UK & Ireland at Slack, advocates for. “By investing in initiatives that support women’s wellbeing, organizations are fostering a more inclusive culture and actively creating environments where diverse teams can thrive,” she explains. “At Slack, we’ve created an ‘Ask Me Anything’ channel with the leadership team and a ‘Talking Menopause’ channel, which are great examples of how companies can facilitate connections, share experiences, and encourage allyship.”

Staying ahead of the learning curve

For Marni Baker Stein, Chief Content Officer at Coursera, proactive upskilling is her main focus, particularly within the field of AI, as women are more at risk of experiencing AI-related job automation.

“Currently, women are underrepresented in AI-related upskilling, with men being three times more likely to have enrolled in the most popular AI courses on Coursera’s platform,” she says. “This disparity threatens to widen existing gender gaps in the workplace as AI literacy becomes increasingly necessary for career advancement.”

However it’s not all bad news. Baker Stein also shares that women using Coursera are outpacing their male counterparts in achieving skills proficiency. This focus on learning and development is a sentiment shared by Dr Andrea Johnson, Chief Information Officer at Pipedrive.

“Business leaders must provide specialized training to recognise and address bias within their organizations, adopt an inclusive hiring process and develop mentorship and sponsorship programs to inspire a more diverse and efficient workforce,” she suggests.

“Providing mentorship opportunities is a valuable way of broadening female colleagues’ networks and opens up opportunities for growth. Businesses can enhance women’s professional growth by providing leadership development or entrepreneurship seminars. These should offer essentials like negotiation, inclusive leadership, and effective communication.”

Flexibility is key

Another area that organizations need to reconsider in relation to promoting equality revolves around remote work, as Deann Evans, Managing Director EMEA, Shopify points out.

“We have adopted a digital-first approach towards work to help drive inclusion. This approach, called ‘Digital by Design’, gives employees the flexibility to work almost anywhere in order to create a safe space for people to work around their needs outside of work and to level the playing field. Thanks to embracing digital solutions, barriers to inclusion – from geographical constraints to caregiving responsibilities – are broken down.

“Let us all challenge elements of work which may be seen as the ‘status quo’ to create initiatives and become agents of change – leveraging our positions, choices, and actions to inspire inclusion not only on International Women’s Day, but every day.”

Looking for a new role that offers flexibility, workplace wellbeing or opportunities for learning and professional development? The TechSpot Job Board is the perfect place to start to search as it features thousands of openings in companies actively hiring, including the three below.

  • Are you looking for a remote role that offers flexibility and the autonomy to work around your own schedule?

    DataAnnotation is hiring a Software Developer to train AI chatbots to code. In this role you will need to be proficient in at least one programming language and be able to solve coding problems (think LeetCode, HackerRank, etc). Interested? Apply here.

  • OCC is committed to championing equality within its workplace and along with its DEI council, the clearing house has also created Employee Network Groups to build community for underrepresented groups and create a space for allyship.

    It is looking for a Windows Server Engineer to administer and enhance its Windows server infrastructure bot on-premises and in the cloud as well as providing operational support and problem resolution. See the full job description here.

  • Similarly, ENSCO Inc. has implemented Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)/Affirmative Action (AA) policies across its business to ensure a more diverse workforce.

    It is currently seeking an Enterprise Requirements & Integration Engineer to support the U.S. Space Force, Space Systems Command’s MILSATCOM Program and apply Model Based System Engineering (MBSE) to support development of technical baselines. Find out more.

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