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women in tech

5 Ways to Break the Glass for Women in Tech

  • Ashley Speagle By

Women make up a quarter of the computing workforce and 5% of tech leadership positions. Thanks to increasing funds, events and spotlights for women in tech, the tech industry is seeing new opportunities to grow those numbers.

What more can we do on an individual and organizational level to help women in tech succeed and rise in the ranks? More than 100 people attended the #WomeninTech workshop at Connect Atlanta to discuss these issues, including our female IT leaders on the panel:

  • Wendy Aks, Senior Mobility, Southwest Airlines
  • Karin Petty, Senior IT Director, Medtronic
  • Kari Damrow, Technical Director, CSX Technology
  • Susan Nash, Vice President of WW Strategy and Planning, Dell Technologies

Here are five lessons from our panel for both women and companies in the tech industry.

1. Leadership isn’t a job title. You can step into leadership roles in the tech industry from wherever you are. Raise your hand to take on new projects and additional responsibilities. Make a lateral career move.

2. Leadership is a team effort. Once you’re in a leadership role, though, don’t feel like you have to do it all alone. Leverage your team, and bring the right people on board who will be a leader from where they are, too.

3. Exposure is one of the biggest barriers for women in tech. As most leaders know, performance is only a small factor in promotions. The other major forces are image and exposure (remember the acronym PIE, said our panel). That means going to the after-work events you’d rather skip or proactively scheduling regular meetings with your bosses.

4. Technology makes work-life balance possible. Missing out on personal obligations can be a big obstacle for women working in any industry, but with the right technology, you don’t have to choose between work and life. Take advantage of secure mobile apps to complete tasks on the go. It’s also the responsibility of companies to ensure that workers not only have the right technology to do so but also the easy, seamless access to enterprise apps from any device.

5. Inclusive workplaces don’t build themselves. As our CEO Pat Gelsinger said earlier this year, it’s not just a good idea to recruit and engage female tech talent, it’s also good business. Tech companies need to create and commit to inclusion as a core value, put more women on stage at tech conferences and give women the tools they need to succeed.

The Disruptive Potential of Women in Tech

Women aren’t solely a means to plug a growing tech talent gap. After all, roughly half the population is female. If we had more women in tech, could we develop better experiences and products for these users and customers?

Women in Tech ButtonStudies indicate the answer is yes. Female engineers, developers, designers and leaders offer critical insights into your customer base and end users. Additionally, gender diversity is linked to higher sales revenue, creativity, collective intelligence and performance, as well as tech startup success.

#WomeninTech for the win.


Ashley Speagle

Ashley Speagle

Ashley is a content marketing specialist for VMware AirWatch.

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