The Tech industry has long been dominated by males. Women have had and still do have trouble expressing their opinions let alone have a voice at all. Very low percentages of women in the tech world hold higher positions or sit on boards, disparities in pay still very much exist, hiring processes are still flawed, etc, and it’s discouraging our future generation of women from even trying in this industry.
But that doesn’t mean that they don’t anyways.
Anna Pomroy, a Senior Engineer at PayPal Australia, is a great example of someone who did make it. She shared with us her top tips for women looking to have a career in tech.
Throughout her career, Anna has often found herself as one of the very few women in a room full of men. Through her experience, Anna has learned that while gender stereotyping might still exist in the tech industry, your competency to do the job is what matters. If you’re confident in yourself and your skills, it doesn’t matter that you may be the minority in the room.
Know your worth
In a previous role, Anna did not get a promotion despite her male peer getting one. She had the confidence to bring it up with HR and her boss, explaining that she knew she had the skills for the role. The response? That she didn’t smile enough. Rather than getting upset, Anna knew that this wasn’t relevant to her success and immediately started looking for a new role where she would be valued for the work she could do. Do your research and don’t be afraid to come to your superiors armed with the facts. If you’re still not being heard, consider whether it’s time to move to a role where you are valued and where your remuneration reflects your capabilities, not gender.
Diversify your skills
In the tech industry, there is no shortage of technical skills. To set yourself apart, it is worth honing your human skills, or ‘soft skills’. Being able to collaborate, problem-solve and communicate is fundamental to Anna’s everyday role and has helped get her to where she is today.
Find a mentor
Last year, Anna went to a female leadership course where she met women from very different fields, all of whom shared similar challenges in the workplace. Anna believes you don’t necessarily need to find a mentor that is female, or from your workplace. It is most important to find someone you can count on to listen to you and offer solutions to the challenges you’re facing.
Involve yourself in the things you are passionate about
Anna says that she wants to continue in tech but also wants to focus on how she supports people and builds the culture at PayPal and beyond. Anna is a strong believer that you only get out of your industry as much as you put into your people.
Network, network, network
It’s daunting when you’re new to the industry, but reach out to people who are already in the position or field that you want to be in. You might be surprised just how valuable that connection could become!