IT specialists

It’s not easy being the only woman in the room, but in technology, it’s something you have to get used to.

According to the US Department of Commerce Economics and Statistics Administration, only 24 percent of women work in tech – and it’s unlikely to get better in the near future.

The National Center for Women and Information Technology predicts that by 2026, even fewer women will study computer science than today. The latest statistics from the Center show only 18 percent of computer science graduates are women.

More women are needed in technology because we bring a unique perspective and experience to product development. As traditional as it may seem, women lead the household and buy groceries for the family. We account for nearly two-thirds of all grocery shoppers, according to The Time Use Institute. Our time in this role helps us brings new knowledge and a new perspective to technology and products that we use everyday.

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A Mother’s Perspective in Tech

My advice to women is be proactive when looking for opportunities to help move the organization forward and grow. When you observe opportunities to contribute to the greater good of the people you serve and the organization, take it.

I read an article a while back that reported how the average woman speaks about 20,000 words a day, while for men the average is a mere 7,000. That’s fewer than half the number of words. Generally speaking, this commonly gets attributed to women being more evocative in their communication style. We have different priorities, as well as different processing and behavior patterns. For example, a couple of key differences I have noticed during my time in a typically male-dominated workplace/team are as follows:

Why Women in Technology Makes Sense

  • When working with female colleagues and counterparts, our conversations and rhetoric for working through a given process will tend to build off various discussion points. By contrast, when in similar situations in a male-dominated workspace, the focus tends to be more heavily skewed on statistics.
  • Furthermore, I have a sense that women tend to be more open to offering help. We see this as a sign of care for the individual and the success of the broader task. Meanwhile, I’ve known a number of male colleagues who have struggled to ask for help as they have (incorrectly, in my opinion) believed such a request to indicate an inability to achieve.
  • Generally speaking, I think that women tend to be more detail oriented, while men are more goal oriented.

I try to keep all this in mind on a daily basis…although, of course, on some days I do better than others.

Most importantly, in my opinion: find a champion, male or female, who is willing to…