The Dream Collective boss Sarah Liu talks about how they plan to break the barriers in tech for women. Sarah is the Founder and Managing Director of diversity, equity and inclusion consultancy, The Dream Collective, who exist to see more women in leadership.
It is no secret women are underrepresented in the technology industry, and it is no secret that women and companies alike lose out because of this.
Women’s underrepresentation is a challenge everyone needs to address. It is a challenge not even the richest companies in the world have managed to collectively solve, but it is one we all stand to benefit greatly from.
SheDares aims to address this challenge head-on, with a particular focus on the technology industry. Developed alongside Amazon Web Services (AWS), the program is designed to help women, especially those from non-tech backgrounds, overcome perceived barriers to seeking a job in the high-growth sector, and prepare them for a pivot into the tech industry.
The SheDares curriculum is specifically focused on expanding women’s perspectives, helping them to understand their transferrable skills, and providing them with pathways to build skills, and find job opportunities.
There has never been a better time for women to break into the tech industry and these four key considerations could open up opportunities for those looking to get their foot in the door:
Zoom out, rather than zoom in – technology companies are aiming to solve big problems, so focus on their larger mission when considering a new role, and assess how your current skill sets and strengths can help these companies achieve, or even, further their mission.
According to research from Glassdoor, 43 per cent of roles advertised by tech companies are non-technical – you do not have to understand “tech speak” or need a degree in software engineering to work in the industry. Plus, an outsider’s perspective allows you to bring an innovative lens into a company.
Recognise that the tech industry is rapidly evolving and your lack of experience is not as big of a disadvantage to breaking into the sector, as you might think. According to The World Economic Forum (WEF), it takes as little as one to six months to develop a level of literacy in new skills (both technical and non-technical), meaning growing your skill set is never unattainable.
Tech permeates every industry, focus on the segment you have some experience in, and research which companies are taking that segment or service into the tech space. Consider your current skill set and experience and how this could be applied to a job in the tech sector, to help break into the industry.
Tech offers one of the most sustainable and rewarding career paths available, we do not want women to miss out on the great opportunities that await them in the sector because of perceived barriers to entry. It is time we move the dial from talk to action fast.
By Sarah Liu, Founder and Managing Director of diversity, equity and inclusion consultancy, The Dream Collective, who exist to see more women in leadership.