By Maria Eduarda Gonçalves, Tech Lead at ília
In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the number of women working in technology. This is a positive sign that the industry is becoming more inclusive and diverse, and that women are gaining more space in a traditionally male-dominated sector.
There are many factors that are driving this change, such as the increased interest of women in technology-related fields like programming, software engineering, and design.
However, I believe that the best way to bring more women into the tech world is still to encourage them to study and to empower their people skills.
I am a .NET programmer at ília and I entered the IT market without knowing exactly what it was about, I decided to venture into a course available in my city.
This is a common scenario, women entering by chance, because there is no real incentive, yet. When I started college, in 2012, I didn’t know the area and I believe that, at that time, it was quite common to see only men in the classrooms of a technology course.
But the path is the same, regardless of gender: study and apply into practice what you have learned, as well as pay attention to the opportunities that arrive. So why are most professionals still men?
That is why I decided to write this article, to show women that they can follow the same path in technology, after all, it is a market in constant ascension. I bring five tips for women who want to venture, as I do, into this profession that I love so much. Let’s go.
1 The internship as a gateway to the job market
This tip does not work only for the tech market, the internship is a great opportunity to put your knowledge into practice and learn from more experienced people. The differential of IT is that there are many cases of professionals getting a permanent position even before they finish their course.
Here in ília, for example, we have the culture of always learning. Allied to this value, we have the Chapters, which are study groups focused on certain subjects, where the seniors help the juniors and vice-versa, bringing market updates, new features, and effective development methods.
In this case, immersing yourself in an internship will allow the student to improve technical experience and add it to your resume, making it even easier to get hired after graduation.
2 Besides studying a lot, keep up to date
Without constant updating, the market will swallow you up. We can observe a great majority of companies that bet a lot on new technologies; it is the new gold rush. And, if the industry itself already knows this importance, we should also follow it. When we “park” our technical skills we also leave aside an important people skill: proactivity.
Therefore, we can take advantage of the vast amount of content available about technology and invest in mentoring with relevant people in the profession. Recently I accepted a new challenge in an ília project and one motivation was the email from a German woman, whom I admire a lot, offering me her mentorship. Which thrilled me, as she is a woman who lifts up other women in technology.
3 Persisting and believing in one’s own potential
I see that today it is common to doubt your own skills, to think you can’t do it, and to let yourself get carried away by imposter syndrome.
I have questioned myself many times during my career in the job market. However, no matter how much I doubted myself, I faced the challenge, and, with time, I realized that we have to believe more in ourselves and persist in our goals.
I also observe women who are afraid to apply for a job or even accept to follow a selection process because they doubt if they are capable of doing it. The gap will always exist, the important thing is to believe in your potential and try to fill it, chasing knowledge and specializations.
4 Communication and clarity
Always learn on the path traveled, if you do an interview and are not hired, seek feedback from the interviewer, thus, besides showing interest, you will have a notion of what to improve in your career. A closed door today can be opened tomorrow. As an example, I bring my hiring experience in ília, where I was not approved at first, but after two months they contacted me offering me a challenge, and this helped me to grow professionally.
I left a good impression with my clear communication and certainty of what I wanted, and when a new opportunity came up I was remembered.
Just as it happened to me, I leave an incentive to all women who want to enter the tech market, nothing, absolutely nothing, can stop us when we are clear about what we want and know how to communicate it assertively.
5 Use your people skills to your advantage
When I entered the tech market I realized that some of my people skills favored me, I am an adaptable and resilient person. In this case, these people skills helped me to map the landscape and have more empathy for other people. I would listen to them, but I would also omit my opinion.
I have always been confident in what I know and I believe this has helped me a lot in the process of adjusting to a mostly male environment.
Today, I use my ability to help others a lot to encourage more women to enter the field. Being a woman who lifts other women up makes me very proud to stay where I am.
And if you are a woman who can do many things simultaneously, you can use this quality to study different languages and learn new things, or you can use effective communication to give and receive constructive and assertive feedback. This will help, and a lot, to do networking.
Only 10% of women who work in technology work in a majority-female team
This data was extracted from a recent survey by Kaspersky, and there is no argument against data. But, in my view, we will only get more women in technology if we encourage more and more of them to become interested in this market.
The paths can be the same, even more so with the recent adherence of the home office work method, which allows us women to have more autonomy from our work and other tasks. We can include more diverse women and show the ability we have to deliver assertiveness and speed.
My final tip is, be prepared to face challenges and seize opportunities, we are women and we can be, indeed, in leadership positions in technology.
Also, if you want to know more about ília or apply for one of our jobs, please visit our portal.