Boss Lady

How to make your mark as a female in tech


Tech can often be a pretty male-dominated industry. However, things (and the times!) are changing and today more than ever, there are many female leaders paving the way in tech businesses.

We spoke to Kelly Slessor, the Founder and CEO of Shop You, the genius app that connects you with the perfect outfit for any occasion by using AI to personalise your shopping experience, about how to make your mark as a female in tech:

  1. Communication is key: Being able to communicate technology simply and clearly and explain the problems it is trying to solve is crucial in this industry. I find that often we can get caught up in jargon, acronyms and tech terms which just overwhelm people and put them off. My first piece of advice would be to learn how to communicate your ideas and business so that everyone (not just those in tech!) can understand. You’ll win over many more people and get them on board with your ideas this way.
  2. Understand the technology: You won’t be able to make your mark in tech, unless you actually understand the technology. Make sure you code a little, get into the detail of tech stacks and understand how algorithms actually work; you don’t have to be a developer to understand how the tech works but it’s important to understand the frameworks to be able to make judgement calls and decisions based on your own knowledge and understanding.
  3. Hang out with smart people: I believe in diversity of thinking, being connected to and spending time with data scientists, developers and creatives is really important for me to expand and challenge my thinking and to understand theirs. I would advise everyone to spend as much time as they can soaking up others knowledge, listening to what they’re saying and getting involved in their conversations. You’ll learn so much this way.
  4. Take on projects bigger than you are: As a woman in tech (or any business!) you have to back yourself, and constantly strive for more. I have always taken on projects that I know will stretch my thinking or I haven’t necessarily had all the required skills to deliver, and then learnt on the job. It really is the best way to learn new skills.

Stay true to your strengths: As a female in tech (or again, any business) it can often be hard to stay true to yourself and often I see women changing to adapt to a male dominated workplace. Females often bring excellent attention to detail, creativity, brilliant organisation skills and strong relationships, all of which are crucial to any businesses survival. Recognise that your business needs female leaders, and keep working your way. People will respect you for this far more.

About Kelly Slessor

Kelly Slessor is the Founder and CEO of Shop You. Kelly will be speaking delivering a speech entitled Chatbots are the future; Get on it at the upcoming Online Retailer Expo and Conference on July 25-26, ICC Sydney, Darling Harbour.

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