For women in technology, the industry remains a challenge. It’s hard enough for tech and IT teams to get buy-in from senior leadership looking at the big picture and perhaps not understanding what you’re up against.
For example, cybersecurity threats and data breaches are growing more complex. There’s more on your shoulders if you’re in technology right now because these attacks access critical infrastructure and put the entire business at risk.
You may be doing more with less, as many companies are currently understaffed, especially as far as skilled talent.
Then, all those challenges pair with the fact that tech and IT remain male-dominated, despite progress made by females in the past decade in this sector.
As a woman, how can you not just survive but thrive if you work in tech in any capacity?
Do Your Research If You’re Currently Applying for Jobs
If you’re planning to change employers or you’re in the market for a new job right now, one of the best things to do as a woman in tech is research before you apply. There are a lot of vacant tech-related positions right now, but that doesn’t mean you should apply to every one available.
You want to look for options that not just align with your goals but maybe delve a bit into the corporate culture before applying. Culture makes a huge difference for women in technology and other positions as well.
Gain insight into their corporate values and see if they align, at least partially, with your own.
Don’t Focus Too Much on the Challenges
There are challenges for women who work in technology or any male-driven area, but rather than focusing too much on those challenges, focus on what you can bring to the table.
If you think a lot about the fact that perhaps you’re the only woman on your team or do not fit in with your coworkers, it can create a confidence gap. A confidence gap then is going to cause you to underestimate your abilities.
Be prepared and confident without worrying too much about what you can’t change.
Self-doubt will be one of the biggest obstacles in your career if you let it be.
Connect with a Mentor
Mentorships are an excellent way for women in tech to support one another. When you connect with a mentor, you can learn from her experience, and you have someone you can go to for advice or when things aren’t going well.
Try to find someone who’s doing well and thriving with a similar professional background to yours.
She can serve as a positive source of motivation, especially as you work to overcome challenges.
Learn How to Take Criticism
When you can take criticism and negative feedback without having it diminish your overall confidence in your work, it will strengthen your career and make you a stronger person overall. Don’t run away from feedback or take it personally.
It’s easy to dwell on something negative said to us, but you have to work on reframing it, so it fuels you to conquer your next challenge.
In general, while it’s one of the hardest lessons for anyone to learn professionally, male or female, don’t be afraid of failure.
Failing is not an “if.” It’s a “when.”
Always Be Learning
The tech industry, whether you work in cybersecurity, website development, software development, or any other niche is one where the best professionals are constantly learning. Tech is always evolving, and the more you’re learning, the more you will be able to achieve your goals. The more you learn, the more you’ll also be confident in what you say.
Employers are looking for people who can bridge technology with strategic thinking, and if you’re a continual learner, you can be that person.
To earn respect, along with being a contributor who speaks up, you also want to realize that you’re working on a team. You should ask questions that are going to bring value to everyone on your team.
Deliver, follow through with what you say you’ll do and find out how you can best contribute to whatever you’re working on at the time.
Finally, be yourself.
Don’t go into things thinking you have something to prove because you’re a woman in tech. You don’t have to constantly be analyzing what others are doing and trying to match it or one-up it. You’re a unique individual with your own strengths and weaknesses, so get comfortable with that.