Data is a male-dominated field – this is not in any way a breaking news.
The future of the world greatly lies on data and the reality still remains that women are scarcely represented in the tech and data industry.
Several mind-blowing innovations occur daily, and women can’t afford to be left out of the chain. The industry needs a balance – offered by the female gender, to contribute their unique viewpoints and skill sets as well.
No doubt, efforts have been made to close the gap relating to gender and diversity, the tech world seems to be running far behind.
Globally, there’s still a long way to go.
Challenges Faced Generally In The Tech Industry Consistently Push Women Far From Leading Roles.
Currently, only 17% of employees in the UK tech sector are women and more than two-thirds of US startups have no women on their board of directors.
Globally, women only hold 5% of leadership positions in the tech industry.
The reasons aren’t far-fetched; there is still a perception in schools that boys are better at science and math and as a result, young girls are put off STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) subjects. Even at home, it’s often seen as a man’s job to do the technical stuff.
However, if we can take out these stereotypes and encourage young girls to get involved in technical activities early enough, we just might be adding more colour to the tech round-table.
Although, we have seen cases of happy accident; some women didn’t deliberately get in the tech world, but they decided to stay after an early encounter.
These cases aren’t usual after all, the percentage of women who don’t stay back is higher.
Getting Ahead In the Tech and Data Industry.
Honestly, we can’t ignore the existence of gender bias in the tech and data world, we can only turn it around. You have to learn to not see it as a problem but accept it as a fact.
Technology, especially in the data spectrum, is prone to change and a fast-paced career. As the changes occur, each role demands eminent proficiency to foster career growth.
In order to keep, women who aspire to be successfull data professionals have to commit to constant learning and improving your skills. Acquiring the necessary skills and continually improving them is the only way to remain confident and relevant in the data world.
This probably sounds like you’re trying to prove yourself to your colleagues, but technically, you are.
Knowing that you’re surrounded by men who are probably ready to drain you with deep tech questions, you have to prepare as often as possible and engage in constant self-analysis.
While acquiring that knowledge, you also need to know your worth and refuse to be intimidated by a room full of smart men.
The fact that you came in figure eight doesn’t make you less smart, there’s a good chance you’re capable of more.
You’d agree that it can sometimes get lonely for a woman in the data industry, due to the under-representation of women in tech leadership. The fact is, you have to get used to being the only woman in the room on most tech occasions.
Finding a peer set outside of your company through associations and special interest groups might be a good idea. There are plenty of meetups that support this cause such as Inspiring Women in Data Science and Tech Women London.
If there are a few other women in your workplace, you can also build confidence by reaching out to each other for support and encouragement.
As mentioned earlier, you need to work a little harder, stand a little taller, and skyrocket your confidence.
The greatest part of all this is that women who embrace STEM tend to stand out. Since the tech field is male-dominated, it’s quite easy to be recognised and rewarded for your talents.
Although, it’s easy to be recognised as a no-hoper in this case as well.
Regardless, the realisation of being part of an industry of problem solvers and life changers, should be enough motivation to be the best at every chance you get.
Finally, finding the right company is key.
No matter how hard you work, if your company frowns at your involvement, you’d always be sidelined. Do yourself a favour and find a company that supports and respects women, just as they do men. In JamieAi is an advocate of diversity and inclusion with its objective technology. It is also a great way to look for new opportunities and learn your market value as a data professional. Create a free profile here!