I’ve worked for a tech company for the past 18 months, and I’ve been involved with digital for 4 years, however, I have noticed a huge difference between gender representation between the two. Working for agencies, I found a really even split between male an female colleagues, but when I made the move over to a tech-based record label, I went from being one in many, to the only female working on a small team.
Fortunately, the team were incredibly welcoming and I had no issues fitting right in, but I know this would not be the case in every tech start up out there. Now that I’m looking at other start up tech-based agencies, I have noticed a lack of any females within the companies I have spoken to; the question is; why are so many women not going into such a booming, interesting sector?
From a young age, I remember tech being discussed as if everyone who worked in the sector required some knowledge of engineering and/or coding, both of which seemed so out of reach for a mathematically challenged high school student like myself. The tech sector was described as if it was only for inventors and the next Steve Jobs, James Dyson or Mark Zuckerberg; in case you missed that, none of them were women. It was difficult to find any female role models in the sector, ultimately leading to the conclusion that the tech sector was not somewhere I wanted to be.
I started my job in social media in 2014, not knowing it would lead to some incredibly exciting work in the sector that made me so wary just a few years’ prior. As far as I was aware, I was working in the music industry, but it quickly became clear that was not the case at all – and I loved it. In the space of a few short months, I found myself obsessing over stats and growth and it didn’t require any strenuous maths equations, or even any coding ability. When you work with a team who have all of these strengths, the tech elements of your role become so much easier.
Okay, so I still don’t know the first thing about coding (pythons are still snakes, right?) and I’m definitely not an engineer or inventor, but my skills I haven learned in marketing are helping those who can, and who think differently to me, and I have found my space in the tech sector. Nowadays, I couldn’t imagine working in any other sector and having the same amount of freedom I have working for tech start ups. If anything, I have found that my skills from outside the sector have enhanced various campaigns, and have made these amazing brains I work alongside think of new ways to market their products online.
Ladies – I’d love to hear your experiences working in tech, or even tell me what’s stopped you in the past! Men – what do you think about the gender split in the sector?