How can we proactively make a change to achieve equality and inclusion in tech? It's International Women's Day in March and Orbis are dedicating the entire month to celebrating the womxn of Tech and Design. If we want more womxn in tech, we have to do more than want. Our team felt we needed to share stories from the industry, told by voices with first-hand experience. All of the exposure International Women's Day kicks up is critical, not just for our own education as a business, but also to support the exposure of gender equality and inclusion in tech. These stories are not told by a company or PR, or any other bias perspective. These are the real womxn of tech shaking up the industry.
Anna, what has your personal career journey in tech been like?
I started my career as a Java developer, at that time there was no real difference between backend and frontend, we used to do a bit of both. This was when I was back in Italy, then I moved to London and I had my first job in the UK as an Automation Software Engineer, which I did for quite some time before moving to mobile development.
What do you think tech leaders could do to help support gender equality within their teams?
This is a big question. I do think it’s not just one thing you can do, it is a combination of things that make all the difference.
Hiring or interviewing diverse candidates is one thing for sure, but how do we do it in a non-bias way? That’s the real problem.
Erasing the name of the candidate and any reference to gender from the cv. Then after you hire someone, make sure everybody has the same opportunities and has access to the same resources.
There is not just one right big answer to that, you try, succeed, fail, and then iterate.
Widening that point, how can businesses adapt to ensure they are enhancing women with their careers?
This is a very complex question to answer. Ideally, you want transparency about performance, you want to know what success or failure looks like. When there is transparency you are able to “score” someone and you are either in or out, but you also want to make sure that success doesn’t come down to goals that only a specific gender group can reach. Businesses also need to make sure women have access to the same opportunities and resources.
Top 3 tips for women looking to break into tech or progress from their current position into a tech role?
1. You will never really be ready, so just give up on trying to be perfect and just try, fail, try, succeed, iterate.
2. Never stop learning.
3. Do not try to imitate other people, you contribute your own way and that’s ok.
When and how was your community created and what inspires you to lead your community?
I personally joined in 2015. In the beginning, it was just me wanting to help, then I just realised I wanted to break a pattern, the pattern where women say, “I am not good enough”.
What is your community’s mission and what impact are you hoping to have on the industry?
Make sure that no one ever says “I am not good enough” - simply because there are fewer representatives and role models in that field.
That’s my goal at least.
What is the best part of being involved with your community?
Comments from people. They say “Thank you, I learned something today” and you know it’s from the bottom of their heart.