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Being female in the tech world: levelling the playing field

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Angie Keeler explores the issue of levelling the playing field for women in the technology industries.

The world is a very different place today compared to a decade or two ago. However, women working in the technology industry still have many challenges. From juggling family to being the only female in a room of red-blooded males, we ladies often still feel the need to be better, work harder and have bigger balls (figuratively speaking) than those born with XY chromosomes.

However, it’s certainly not all doom and gloom. Women are forging excellent careers in the world of technology. We own successful businesses, have incredible knowledge, show innovation that stems from female intuition… Women in the world of tech bring huge advantages, but we need to ensure we are levelling the playing field.

Levelling the playing field in a male-dominated world

Change is always slow to evolve. While it’s true that there are now more females studying technology, graduating and working in the industry, the majority of workers are still male. Plus, it’s usually men who hold the more senior positions. So, if you’re applying for a role or perhaps thinking of setting up your own business, it’s important to know the advantages that being female offers.

Women bring a unique perspective. We think in different ways to men, have different problem-solving skills and approach challenges in alternative ways. This means we can offer contrasting insight into a problem, see alternate possibilities or provide out-of-the-box thinking for the creation of a new product or programme.

With this in mind, for levelling the playing field it’s vital to:

  • Be confident: Or at least appear to be. You’ll likely have already gained a list of accomplishments in your professional career. Remember these, build on them and know that you have a huge amount to bring to the table.
  • Don’t be intimidated: Okay, sometimes easier said than done. It can be tough to stand up in a male-dominated environment, especially if you’re offering alternative advice or disagreeing with your peers. However, believing in yourself and owning your accomplishments will help when you might feel a wobble. And if it’s any slight comfort, you can be sure that every man standing before you will have also had to fight his corner at some point in his career.
  • Don’t be shy: While you can’t change your personality, what is possible is to work ways around any insecurity issues. Build a good support network, comprising of mentors, fellow tech workers – both male and female – and also those outside the industry. This will help you make those all-important connections, each of which will help with any communication barriers.
  • Discover a healthy work-life balance: You may or may not have (or want) children. You might be single or you might have a partner. Whatever your situation, find a way to balance the two in a way that works for you. You might feel pressured to be the first in the office and the last to leave or to check those work emails just before you go to bed, but this isn’t a healthy or sustainable lifestyle. R&R is the key to efficient and productive working, so don’t neglect your downtime.

Of course, the ultimate way forward in levelling the playing field might be to set up your own company. Entrepreneurial!

Women in tech success stories are becoming ever more commonplace. Yes, it’s hard work, but allows you to set your own pace and hours. It opens the door to true creativity and, who knows, perhaps you’ll be the next Melanie Perkins (Canva) or Catriona Wallace (Flamingo AI) to hit the rich list.

Whatever road your career follows, remember that being female gives you a unique perspective on an industry that’s grown tenfold in the last decade. With women like you involved in levelling the playing field, just imagine what the next 10 years might bring…

About Angie Keeler

Angie Keeler is the CEO and co-founder of Zella DC. Angie has over 10 years experience within the IT and micro data centre industry with practical hands-on experience bootstrapping a company and growing a business through sales and international distribution across six continents. As the CEO Angie has built and developed distribution channels and support systems across Australia and into both North and South America, Asia Pacific, Africa and the UK. As a leader and innovator, Angie is well respected and held in high esteem by her peers and industry colleagues.

About Business Woman Media

Our women don’t want to settle for anything but the best. They understand that success is a journey involving personal growth, savvy optimism and the tenacity to be the best. We believe in pragmatism, having fun, hard-work and sharing inspiration. LinkedIn

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