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Celebrating International Womxn of Tech & Design ft. Claire Burn @ Elastic

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IWD2021, womxnintech


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. 


Hi Claire, what has your personal career journey in tech been like?

I took a fairly traditional route into tech, studying Computer Science at university and then on to a Masters in Cyber Security. At present, I am transitioning into a role as a Security Data Engineer at Elastic!

What do you think tech leaders could do to help support gender equality within their teams? 

I think it’s really important for tech leaders to accept that not everyone will have the same style of working and the same style of learning and progressing in a tech job, and for them to go the extra mile to understand their team as people. I also think it’s important for everyone on the team to feel like they can ask stupid questions and not be judged; as often in my experience, as the only woman on a team, I’ve been afraid to ask a question in case I’m automatically judged. This is a personal issue of my own, but I think it’s important for tech leads to be aware of issues like this when there is such gender disparity in the tech industry.

Widening that point, what could businesses do to accommodate women in tech?

Businesses can offer flexible working hours for carers and parents, and equitable parental maternity/paternity leave. This can help to ensure that parental and caring responsibilities don’t fall to women only, and so they can still have the career they would like, whilst also having a family.

Top 3 tips for women looking to break into tech or progress from their current position into a tech role?

1) You are enough; what you are learning is enough, what you are doing is enough, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. 
2) Everyone grows at their own pace, and even the experts were beginners once. 
3) Ask all the questions you can and write literally everything down – no question is stupid but asking it multiple times might be.

In tribute to IWD’s 2021 campaign, what do you choose to challenge?

I choose to challenge the stigma around talking about mental health, burnout and anxiety in tech.

 

Thanks Claire. 


Fancy joining the discussion?

Orbis Connect are hosting various events dedicated to IWD and womxn in tech across March 2021.

Please join us. 

Sign up here