Five Ways to Get More Women in Tech
Encouraging women and girls to study STEM and pursue careers in tech is a topic that is near and dear to me. I feel incredibly lucky to have been part of the Women4Tech Summit on Women Encouraging Technology at the Mobile World Congress, Americas conference this week, and I thought I’d share my talking points here.
- It starts at home. Abolishing stereotypes and promoting risk-taking starts at home. I wouldn’t be the woman I am today if it weren’t for my dad for supporting my dreams and ambitions very early on, and for my mum for being a badass of a role model as an independent woman and equal partner to my dad.
- Stop saying Computer Science is hard. For some, math is hard; for others -like myself- writing a -French- dissertation is a f’ing nightmare. Everyone is different and putting limits on people without understanding where their strengths and weaknesses lie is just plain silly; and counterproductive.
- Tech is a means to an end. Studying tech doesn’t mean you’ll code all your life. Studying tech means you can speak the language; a language a lot more people ‘speak’ nowadays. It also opens doors to managerial positions you wouldn’t dream of if you didn’t have that CS degree. Let’s frame tech this way, and I can assure you we will see more female engineering managers and C-level executives at tech companies.
- Infuse confidence every chance you get. Women tend to sabotage themselves more often than not. We doubt ourselves, we are afraid to speak up, and we feel less deserving. When you see it happening around you, diffuse it by emphasizing strengths, demystifying the risks and providing facts on their badassery.
- Address childcare. Childcare is probably people’s worst nightmare when they become parents, or so I’ve heard. I have seen many of my girlfriends refuse a promotion because they finally had the nanny -and the backup of the nanny- situation under control and couldn’t risk adding another variable to their newfound balance. I have also seen girlfriends leave the workforce to take consulting projects here and there because it didn’t make financial sense for them to work full-time *and* have a nanny; because, sadly, women still earn less than men and the stigma of a stay-at-home dad is still very much there. So let’s solve this childcare thing once and for all for the benefit of all. BOOM.