Women in Tech – The Challenges and Opportunities

BrainStation, a global leader in digital marketing training, hosted an event featuring a panel of female tech leaders to talk about the gender gap in the technology industry. It included:

The State of Marketing: Digital and Content

Data is a marketing imperative. It allows marketers to derive stories and develop content that resonates with their target audience. Marketing has become a science – where results are quantifiable and behavior can be tracked.

Content is accessible at an alarming and overwhelming pace. In fact, according to Sylvia Ng, 16 years of content is uploaded to YouTube every day. The challenge for marketers is to keep up with the pace of new technologies and understand how it will impact consumers and the organization.

One exciting area of development is Google’s AI algorithm which is now 94% accurate in telling you what is contained in an image. This advancement will help marketers understand the impact an image has on their campaign and help them determine what elements they need in an image to target a specific audience.

On the Quest to Find a Mentor

“Men ask for sponsors, women ask for mentors.” – Ashley Riske, Kin Community

And there is a difference. According to a Forbes article, “mentors advise; sponsors act.” A sponsor “make you visible to leaders within the company – and to top people outside as well. They connect you to career opportunities and provide air cover when you encounter trouble.”

Mentors do have their place. They can provide counsel and advice. However, so many of us are on the quest of finding the “perfect” mentor but that doesn’t exist. According to the panelists, have multiple mentors specializing in different areas. Don’t expect it all from one person.

Women + Confidence

Confidence plays a big role in women’s careers. According to a study, women only apply to jobs unless they’re 100% qualified versus men apply if they meet 60% of the qualifications. Studies have shown, women second guess their value and worth. As a result they don’t put their hand up or take risks in fear of not being prepared. The fact is, no one is ever 100% ready for a new role. Each panelist had their own advice on how to build confidence and help you realize your worth:

  • Solve problems that help your company and boss.
  • If you’d like to progress to the next phase of your career start performing those functions. Carve off pieces from that role and eventually when there is an opening there is no other choice but you.
  • It’s okay not to know everything.
  • Take risks, be innovative.
  • Great employees don’t fit a specific prototype.

Sylvia Ng recommended this TED Talk by Amy Cuddy on how to build confidence through body language.

 

Hearing these women’s career journeys made me realize there is no formula or right answer to being successful. It boils down to working hard at your craft, becoming an expert in your field, finding sponsors and mentors and having the confidence to try new things.

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