Women In Tech Working To Build A Better Tomorrow
Women are not just entering the technology industry in higher numbers; we’re rebuilding it through entrepreneurship. The tech workforce is 28.8% women today, which is up about three percent from 2018. While a growing number of female STEM grads may contribute to that increase, I’m convinced it’s because we’re concentrating on owning a piece of the tech realm and not just contributing to it.
Entrepreneurship in technology is one of the most effective ways women can make an impact. Our leadership in top executive positions is not just a diversity celebration; it’s also good for business. A recent report shows that women-owned companies outperform the market, with their value increasing 143.6% from 2020.
Despite the charted growth, tech women continue to face industry challenges. In fact, women working in corporate STEM fields face barriers that are often never experienced by men. The result is an environment with bias, exclusion, extreme hours, and alienation, which leads to women leaving the field at a 45% higher rate than their male counterparts.
As a Barbadian American woman born of Afro-Caribbean descent, I have a unique perspective on corporate America. I often find, both for myself and other women venturing into technology, that in order to develop professionally, we must separate from our authenticity. An environment where it’s looked down upon to show up as yourself and contribute in a meaningful way (without pandering to mostly male leaders) is not where powerful women belong.
Let me be clear; however, neither I nor many of my female colleagues feel less qualified to hold the same or higher position than the men who run the vast majority of tech companies. There is no lack of competence or confidence. There is a resistance to the disruption women are bringing to the industry, but the change comes with innovation and revenue – a powerhouse duo that isn’t gender-specific.
Women pursuing entrepreneurship in technology have a responsibility to address the unconscious bias and toxic work cultures that have lingered in the industry for far too long. For the changemakers who refuse to be pushed out by the historical dominance of male figures, I suggest answering these three questions to determine the next step in your career:
What is my career trajectory plan? Develop a written strategy that allows you to step into the position you want and demonstrates growth expectations on a specific timeline.
Is my career trajectory available in my current role? Be honest about your position. Does your current work culture and organization chart support the moves you want to make? If not, it’s time to have a direct conversation with your supervisor or begin to develop an exit strategy.
Does entrepreneurship offer a better path to my career trajectory plan? Developing a startup is not for the faint of heart. A lot of work is required to establish your footing in the tech realm, but the payoff is worth it. Pursuing your passion without limits on women in tech is an invigorating experience.
When it comes to determining capabilities in the workplace, I am my own qualifier. I encourage every woman to be her own qualifier. Research shows that a “lack of diversity leads to less innovation, weaker revenue and cash flows, and lower employee retention.” Being adamant about your talents, knowledge, and experience should not come with an apology.
The Great Resignation, in part, led to 5.4 million business applications being filed to launch a new company in 2021. This year, that number is expected to grow. As a result, we can expect more movement with new startups, and with that, many women innovators will take a role leading their own technology companies.
For me, the path to owning my company, Corelini PR, was a natural move. With a self-taught love for technology and resilience developed through serving in the U.S. Army, I knew I could create an entrepreneurial pathway. The feeling of financial independence from working on my own business dreams, rather than someone else’s, is essential for me.
I discovered that calling after spending a decade working in various B2B and B2C technology communications roles, with a mix of agency, consulting, and corporate responsibilities. Previous clients include T-Mobile, DAZN, Indeed.com, among others. I supported businesses in optimizing their consumer products while working as a UX Designer and UX Researcher.
Those experiences coached me on how to spot problems and develop innovative solutions. When I partnered those learnings with communication skills, I saw a need to create a platform where I can help technology companies. And, Corelini PR, my technology public relations firm, was born.
My goal is to support technology companies to break down technical concepts into easy-to-understand language. Consumers are then able to grasp the company’s message and benefit.
The pre-planning process helps potential customers understand the product benefits and new features once the product launches in the market. Earned media helps readers form an emotional connection to these technology brands and their impactful stories.
I have a unique opportunity to highlight the up-and-coming tech companies operated by empowered women. As women build a stronger tomorrow for the industry, I take pride in promoting their products and achievements.