The gender gap is still a major hurdle for women looking to get into the tech, with a reported 52% of women still believing that the tech industry is the sole preserve of men. Beliefs like these are based on lived experience and a lack of female representation in the tech industry can further solidify this notion. While we are seeing a significant rise in the number of women taking up leadership roles in tech, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done to change these perceptions and ensure we have a fairer industry. Keep reading for some tips on how to get ahead in the tech industry, and break set conventions while at it.
1. Dress the Part
For small-statured women looking to build a workwear wardrobe, stores like White House Black Market have a variety of classic women’s petite clothing in unique styles. Their women’s suits are tailor-made to fit smaller women while providing a flattering silhouette for your petite frame.
Stocking up on well-tailored petite suits in breathable fabric like cotton is an easy way to build a functional work wardrobe. Building on this, consider tapered cropped pant suits (in darker business-casual hues, say navy blue, and black) that cut above the ankle. Or, trade-in the pantsuit for a skirt suit, and both can be easily styled with a chiffon top or classic crisp white collared shirt. Another wardrobe essential is a well-fitting blazer paired with a blouse and tucked into a pencil skirt.
Femininity is powerful, and while tech companies are famous for their laid back dress code, you do not have to pair down your love for fashion.
2. Find a Mentor
While finding a mentor may be challenging, it is an amazing way to improve upon your skillset. The perfect mentor-mentee relationship may take time to establish, but given time, it can prove to be a rewarding experience in your work life.
The best people to approach as mentors are former instructors, or bosses (past or current, both are fine). Use tact when approaching a potential mentor. One way to do this can be through following them on Social Media (LinkedIn for instance) and engaging with their content. If this goes well, consider expressing your interest in their mentorship via DM.
When seeking out a mentor, pay special mind to the career trajectory. This is important because an ideal mentor should be someone whose career inspires you and one you desire to emulate. Ada’s List is a great place to find a mentor as it provides a great platform for women in tech to meet and build community.
3. Stay Curious
The internet is resource-rich in free courses, literature, and self-teaching programs that can help you grow your tech knowledge base. If your interests lie in programming, for instance, established tech companies like IBM and Microsoft offer free NuMpY courses that explore how to use np arange, how np.arange compares to the Python range, what np.arange is, and routines like np.arange, to list a few.
Similarly, you can enroll in online Python instruction programs likely to cover areas such as how to create python subplots in Python using matplotlib, the Python subplot method, to mention a few. Or, if you are looking to leave your current profession to pursue a career in tech, or are simply interested in learning a new skill, the internet is full of beginner-friendly coding boot camps that you can apply to.
Trends in technology are both transient and emerging. For you to keep up with this fast-paced industry, you must remain curious. Keep learning as much as you can about the industry to make sure the skills you have are relevant and indispensable in the tech space.