Championing Women in Tech

Three of our female colleagues share their experience of working in the tech industry

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Why it's so important there is a gender balance in the tech industry

International Women's Day celebrates women's achievements, raises awareness against bias and promotes taking action for gender equality. Celebrating women in tech is not a one-day tick box exercise. Here at Clever Software, we’re all for empowering women every day, offering equal pay, benefits, opportunities and voices. 

The under representation of women in the tech industry has been attributed to many things. Gaps in education, pay and workplace cultures. A report by Tech Nation shows that only 19% of workers in the UK tech industry are female and only 22% of tech leadership roles are occupied by women. It’s a concerning gender gap that needs narrowing.

Starting today we're launching a Better Together series. We're going to be giving a regular platform to celebrate the success and determination of women in tech, starting with three of our Clever Software team. 

Good things come in threes. The Three Musketeers, The Bronte Sisters, Luke, Leia and Han and not forgetting Harry, Ron and Hermione. On International Women’s Day, we want to introduce you to our very own formidable female trio: Software Developer, Annie, Operations Manager Megan and Marketing Officer Lara. All of whom are real advocates for women being a bigger part of the tech industry.

Annie, Megan and Lara sat down to chat about their roles, their motivation, and why more women are needed in all sorts of roles within tech businesses.


What do you love about working in the tech industry?

Annie: I love that the possibilities within the sector are almost endless, and I am enthusiastic about being able to get involved in creating new solutions in technology, resolving problems and making a difference with my work.

Megan: I love how tech is a big part of our lives and how touches or is a part of almost every other industry there is. Growing up with dial up internet and seeing how fast the technology evolved and adapted is hugely motivating! Tech businesses thrive on teamwork. I wanted to be part of a brilliant team who are constantly creating and experimenting in a fast-paced environment. 

Lara: I’ve worked in the tech industry since 2012 and in that time I've loved seeing innovation in action. Digital tech is the future, it will create more opportunities and has the power to change businesses and the planet. 


What are you favourite things about being a woman in the tech industry?

Lara: I like being able to offer a different perspective. I also like that the tech industry, more than most, invests in devices and software to support a healthy work life balance; making hybrid working more achievable. Smart tech leaders know that we should be measuring success in outcomes and not hours. 

Annie:  I feel really lucky to work in the tech industry, as the number of women in tech are very low unfortunately.  I hope I show a good example for my two daughters to follow their dreams and aspirations and not to worry about gender stereotypes. 

Megan: Surprising people with unexpected knowledge and helping other non tech people to understand more about the industry. Seeing other women take on big leadership roles at tech giants like Facebook and break barriers is also hugely inspiring.

 

What personal qualities do you think help you face challenges you face working in a male-dominated industry?

Megan: Developing your own opinion and voicing it. A determination to learn and keep learning also stand you in good stead in a world that is ever-changing. 

Annie: My creativity, attention to detail and perseverance help me in doing my job well.

Lara: Playing to your strengths is really important in ensuring you are heard. Communicating well and working hard will garner respect and results. 

Why do you think it’s important for more women to work in tech?

Lara: I believe that men and women see things differently, so it’s important to have a workplace which is gender diverse for effective problem solving and collaboration. Role model visibility is so important for inspiring the next generation. I love sharing stories with my boys about amazing, trailblazing women in tech. Making them see from a young age that women can code and lead tech teams and absolutely have an equal place at the table. 

Annie: I think it would make the world a better place if there would be a balance between genders in tech and in other industries, also in leader positions to make young women and girls feel they have equal chance to start a career in tech or in any sector as boys and they can be successful in their career too. It's especially important in our line of work where we are building software for people and we need to better understand user behaviours. We need to have a diverse range of technical skills to create bespoke software, I think it's just as important that we have a diverse range of experiences and mindsets.

Megan: There are so many different ways of doing anything in technology, software development and IT, that a women’s viewpoint is essential to making the right decision. Research suggests that gender balanced teams are more creative. Innovation is fuelled by creativity so it's important that our team can offer different perspectives. I also think it's important to reframe women being emotional as a negative quality and instead recognise that women offer an emotional intelligence, which provides greater insights in so many areas. 


What advice would you give to women entering the software development field?

Annie: Don't let the difficulties stop you, just don't give up, because with hard work you can achieve anything that you truly want.

Lara: When I had my first child, I went from being in a team of all women working in the charity sector to working in tech where I was the only woman in the office. It's daunting but doable. Women are needed in all workplaces. I think it's important to know your worth. I'm not the most technical person in the room but I still have something to offer. Don’t try to be like anyone else, diversity is key to a positive and successful workplace. Self-belief goes such a long way.

Megan: Go for it, break the mould, and set the trend. Understand your own strengths and what you can bring to a team and make your voice heard. I'm often the only female in the board room and I try to not let it faze me. I remind myself that I'm there for a reason and my voice is just as valid and needed.

What do you think tech companies can do to attract more women?

Megan: Communicating their commitment to reducing the gender gap. Equal pay and benefits should go without saying. At Clever Software we invest in experience and talent, regardless of gender. Creating opportunities for women to advance and investing in training is really important too, as sadly women in the tech industry are less likely to put themselves forward for promotion. Offering an equal playing field is the key. 

What motivational resources do you think help you? 

Lara: I love reading blogs that share real stories of women breaking through. Women in Tech is one of my favourites for really thought-provoking reads. There are also some really insightful podcasts that I enjoy listening to when out walking. My favourites are She Talks Tech and Women Tech Charge, which give voice to some real powerhouses. I also I love following inspirational social media accounts like Mother Pukka's Flex Appeal, Pregnant then Screwed and Digital Mums, which focus on campaigning for women's rights in the workplace as well as the unique capabilities and talents of brilliant women.  

Megan: Women who Code - is an international nonprofit dedicated to inspiring women to excel in technology careers. Their website is full of great resources and stories that make me smile. I also love Dragons Den – so many tech companies on there now with inspirational women Entrepreneurs. I also think its important to look at the women that paved the way for us, like Ada Lovelace, who was a great mind; a visionary who didn't let conventional norms stand in her way of achieving great things. 

Annie: My motivation comes from real women, like my teachers and colleagues who show a great example of being successful in their profession and doing their best every single day.

Wise words, indeed! Clever Software Group value the role of women in our workplace and are always looking at new ways to ensure we are building a company built on diversity and inclusion. Our female trio would love to become part of a bigger troupe. If you’re interested in joining us or taking part in our Better Together series, please get in touch, we'd love to hear from you. 

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