Global Leadership Blog

How to Stand Out as a Woman in the Technology Field

It’s no secret that the technology sector is a testosterone-driven environment. Women make up 27 percent of those employed in software or computing jobs and 49 percent of publicly traded IT companies have no women on their boards.

Despite this lack of gender diversity, there is no doubt that women have the intellect and creativity that tech companies need. We just need to learn how to effectively and confidently assert our place in such an aggressive, fast-paced environment.

Here are seven tips for women who want to stand out and succeed in the technology field:

  1. Be structured and analytical. In the male-dominated world of tech, it’s important not to react emotionally when you don’t agree with a co-worker about the usability of the UI. Instead, take a few minutes to organize your thoughts and determine how you can both work together to improve the experience for the end user.
  2. Say no. If you’re over-extended and asked to run a trivial errand like getting coffee for a male counterpart, it’s OK to say no. You’re not someone’s Girl Friday. You’re a smart, talented woman in technology. Politely and simply state that the task is outside of your role. If you have too much on your plate, don’t be afraid to speak up or ask for help. Men aren’t afraid to stand up for themselves; you shouldn’t be either.
  3. Step in and explain how you can help. In general, men tend to be more proactive when it comes to shaping role within an organization, while women tend to have a more passive approach. Unfortunately, that’s not doing you—or the company—any favors. If you know your strengths are in a certain area, talk to your supervisor and ask for those types of projects. Schedule regular meetings with superiors to discuss your career path and explain how you can best add value to the company.
  4. Develop a thick skin. When you work in a male-dominated environment, it’s inevitable that you’ll hear a few sarcastic comments or jokes that can be offensive to women. While you should never have to work in a hostile or uncomfortable environment, you may be better served by arming yourself with a clever comeback than by ignoring the comment or reporting the co-worker to HR. Be assertive, crack a witty joke back and address the behavior in a calm, clear and friendly way.
  5. Don’t be a perfectionist. Women tend to put an incredible amount of thought into their ideas and focus on presenting the perfect idea. In that same amount of time, men will have run through five ideas, discussed their strengths and flaws, and identified the best solution. Tech companies are notorious for their culture of creativity and openness. You need to participate in this vital process to succeed, be heard and be valued.
  6. Forget societal norms. Women subconsciously put up roadblocks by conforming to outdated societal standards. The days in which women in the workplace were expected to be submissive or respond to the needs of the men in the office are long gone. That said, there is nothing wrong with grabbing a coffee for a male co-worker. Just be sure to ask him to return the favor later.
  7. Embrace power. Cheryl Sandberg’s campaign to “ban bossy” is resonating with women in all industries, not just tech. Why? There’s a stigma surrounding the word bossy and Sandberg argues that many times, “bossy” really means “assertive” or “decisive”—two traits associated with leaders. Don’t be afraid to accept positions of power and authority. Your education, expertise and accomplishments show you earned it.

While the male-dominated tech field can be intimidating for many women, most men appreciate the unique perspective and approach we bring to the table. If you learn to stand up for yourself and jump right in alongside your male counterparts, you’ll thrive in this exciting industry.

Melissa Lamson

About The Author

Melissa Lamson, Founder and President of Lamson Consulting, is an author, consultant, and speaker who accelerates the business expansion goals of today’s most successful companies by developing global mindset, refining leadership skills, and bridging cross cultural communication. More About Melissa Lamson

PRIVACY POLICY

What information do we collect?

We collect information from you when you place an order, subscribe to our newsletter, respond to a survey or fill out a form.
When ordering or registering on our site, as appropriate, you may be asked to enter your: name, e-mail address, mailing address, phone number or credit card information. You may, however, visit our site anonymously.

Like most websites, we use cookies and/or web beacons to enhance your experience, gather general visitor information, and track visits to our website. Please refer to the ‘do we use cookies?’ section below for information about cookies and how we use them.

What do we use your information for?

Any of the information we collect from you may be used in one of the following ways:

 

. To personalize your experience (your information helps us to better respond to your individual needs)
. To improve our website (we continually strive to improve our website offerings based on the information and feedback we receive from you)
. To improve customer service (your information helps us to more effectively respond to your customer service requests and support needs)
. To process transactions . Your information, whether public or private, will not be sold, exchanged, transferred, or given to any other company for any reason whatsoever, without your consent, other than for the express purpose of delivering the purchased product or service requested.
. To administer a contest, promotion, survey or other site feature
. To send periodic emails

 

The email address you provide for order processing, may be used to send you information and updates pertaining to your order, in addition to receiving occasional company news, updates, related product or service information, etc.

Note: If at any time you would like to unsubscribe from receiving future emails, we include detailed unsubscribe instructions at the bottom of each email.

How do we protect your information?

We implement a variety of security measures to maintain the safety of your personal information when you place an order or access your personal information.
We offer the use of a secure server. All supplied sensitive/credit information is transmitted via Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology and then encrypted into our Payment gateway providers database only to be accessible by those authorized with special access rights to such systems, and are required to keep the information confidential.

After a transaction, your private information (credit cards, social security numbers, financials, etc.) will not be stored on our servers.

Do we use cookies?

Yes (Cookies are small files that a site or its service provider transfers to your computers hard drive through your Web browser (if you allow) that enables the sites or service providers systems to recognize your browser and capture and remember certain information.

We use cookies to help us remember and process the items in your shopping cart and compile aggregate data about site traffic and site interaction so that we can offer better site experiences and tools in the future. We may contract with third-party service providers to assist us in better understanding our site visitors. These service providers are not permitted to use the information collected on our behalf except to help us conduct and improve our business.

If you prefer, you can choose to have your computer warn you each time a cookie is being sent, or you can choose to turn off all cookies via your browser settings. Like most websites, if you turn your cookies off, some of our services may not function properly. However, you can still place orders over the telephone.

Do we disclose any information to outside parties?

We do not sell, trade, or otherwise transfer to outside parties your personally identifiable information. This does not include trusted third parties who assist us in operating our website, conducting our business, or servicing you, so long as those parties agree to keep this information confidential. We may also release your information when we believe release is appropriate to comply with the law, enforce our site policies, or protect ours or others rights, property, or safety. However, non-personally identifiable visitor information may be provided to other parties for marketing, advertising, or other uses.

Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act Compliance

We are in compliance with the requirements of COPPA (Childrens Online Privacy Protection Act), we do not collect any information from anyone under 13 years of age. Our website, products and services are all directed to people who are at least 13 years old or older.

Your Consent

By using our site, you consent to our privacy policy.

Changes to our Privacy Policy

If we decide to change our privacy policy, we will post those changes on this page.

Contacting Us

If there are any questions regarding this privacy policy you may contact us via moc.l1539622892iamg@1539622892CLLgn1539622892itlus1539622892noCno1539622892smaL1539622892.