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.
Ayelen, what has your personal career journey into the tech industry been like?
As a teen, I wanted to study mathematics. When I finished high school, my uncle who has a Ph.D. in Mathematics told me I would not gain much money doing so and introduced me to Computer Science.
Yes, I know… money is not everything, but this is my story!
After some research, I decided to study CS and I loved it from the moment I wrote my first line of code. Solving problems with software was magic! So powerful! So empowering!
Early in my studies, I started a career as a software engineer. Fast-forward 15 years: I’ve worked with different companies, industries, platforms, technologies, tools, teams and people. Now, here I am! A female Engineering Manager working in a multicultural-international company in Berlin.
What do you think leaders could do to help support gender equality within their teams?
Teach others about unconscious bias.
Facilitate the conversations about gender equality within the team without judgment - And show with example that they support gender equality.
Widening that point, what could businesses do to accommodate women in tech and retain female talent?
Make sure the pool of talent is equally balanced between men and women across all teams and areas.
If it’s not, invest (time, effort, money) in changing the hiring process and methods. Sometimes even changing the language we use in job descriptions will have an impact.
Making sure female employees are comfortable and supported. Provide support for mothers and their families, such as helping to look for a day care, having a nursing room, etc.
Facilitate the conversation about gender equality within the company and promote gender equality among teams.
Support events that promote gender equality in and outside the company.
What are your top 3 tips for women looking to break into tech or progress from their current position into a tech role?
1. Trust yourself. You are good enough and you can do anything you put your mind to.
2. Objectively prepare yourself for what is needed for the role you want to apply for or be promoted to and, be ready to give the best version of yourself.
3. Ask for help! You don’t need to show you can do everything by yourself. You are a superwoman and you are not alone.
In tribute to IWD’s 2021 campaign, what do you choose to challenge?
I choose to challenge myself to have a good life-work balance as a new mom and be an example for other women that choose to have both a family and a career that thrive.