Meet The Women Paving The Way For A New Generation Within The Tech Industry
Every year, the world comes together to highlight the work of incredible women in multiple industries for International Women's Day. The tech sector is no different being one of the fastest growing industries in the UK with a wealth of women helping to lead the charge.
This day gives businesses time to reflect on their own processes and practices, and highlights the work of those facilitating the careful growth of a diverse and talented workforce. While gender imbalance is still a force to be reckoned with, businesses are quickly becoming aware of the steps which need to be taken to ensure that talent is honed in on and encouraged - regardless of the gender of the person who possesses it. Below we have collated the opinions and insights of those women paving the way for a new generation within the tech industry.
Jaana Metsamaa, Lead Product Manager at Pipedrive:
“I hope that in the near future individuals are celebrated no matter their gender, ethnicity, sexuality or citizenship not only on International Women’s Day, but every day. Integral to building a foundation to make this a reality is both what businesses and individuals do for women, and as women. For women, it’s essential we recognise the unconscious bias we assume every day and take the necessary steps to desist from making these judgements.
“While not always obvious, the implications of this prejudice are significant for both the victim and the biased party. If not kept in check, organisations and employees alike might let these biases influence their decision making, common examples of this include: promoting candidates of a certain gender and preferring to hire candidates who worked at a similar company or university. And as women, it’s all about the mindset: reset your perception of what you can and can’t do. Don’t think of yourself or your gender ‘breaking into’ an industry or ‘smashing a glass ceiling’ as that suggests your envisaged trajectory is somewhere you don’t belong; don’t perpetuate that understanding. Equality needs to be addressed and supported by both sides.”
Katalin Adorján, VP of People and Development at Prezi:
“To this day, the technology industry is widely associated with masculinity. For example, job titles in role advertisements very commonly use the words “ninja, rockstar, guru”, and such masculine connotations unconsciously belittle women and contribute to this adversity.
“With International Women’s Day approaching, it is especially important to encourage diversity. I believe as women in tech, we have a great responsibility for the future women in this industry. I learned a lot from fellow women who reached out to me early in my career - you never know if your story could inspire, encourage or help someone.
“I hope that, as we all work on becoming more inclusive, the gender distribution in engineering, data and product management specifically will be more balanced in the future. Initiatives such as OneStepCloser by Amnesty International really help organizations to embrace inclusivity; at Prezi we recently signed up and we are about to launch our Prezi Women mentorship program which will aid women in finding greater support in the workplace.”
Gali Arnon, Chief Marketing Officer at Fiverr:
“This year, International Women’s Day has a focus mission ‘to increase the visibility of female creatives’ which highlights the significance of the freelance economy in forging a gender equal world. With the rise of freelancing, this type of work has allowed women to experience more equal pay and have more freedom and control over their work.
“In the last decade, there has been a 63% rise in highly skilled female freelancers in the UK and the creative industry in particular has seen women being championed. At Fiverr, a leading global marketplace for freelance services, we found that female freelancers are making almost 20% more than male freelancers. Not only are they making more money overall, but they’re also making more on a per project basis. On freelancing platforms, sellers are more often than not judged on the quality of work versus their gender, sexual orientation, race, or religion. They are judged based on the credentials on their profile, a visible portfolio, and reviews from past clients.
“Digital freelance platforms have been instrumental in the journey to equality and empowering women in the creative sector to break the glass ceiling. It is encouraging that a technology driven freelance economy has played a positive role in creating an ‘#EachforEqual’ world.”