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Article by Erin Gray, Scrum Master, Tecknuovo

I am a firm believer that we need to do more to tackle the issue of diversity in tech. The scale of the problem is really quite alarming, with women currently making up just 15% of employees in the sector and only holding 5% of all senior positions.

As long as this inequality exists, it will prove daunting for some women to enter such a male dominated field.

This might help explain why so few women say that a career in tech is their first choice; in fact the figure is as low as 3%. My hope is that by supporting women as they enter the industry and throughout their careers, we will eradicate this inequality and level the playing field. With that in mind, here are my five tips for women starting a career in tech.

Pursue your passion

Ask yourself what really inspires you to work in the tech sector. Perhaps you love social media? Then look out for a job in companies in this area, you could be anything from an app designer to a web developer or a software engineer. There are more career options out there than you can even imagine. Find out what you’re interested in and look for opportunities in that area, there’s sure to be something for you. Being able to show how passionate you are is great for interviews too, especially at the start of your career when you might not have much experience.

Do your research

While there is such a wide variety of roles within the sector, it can be hard to know about them all until you start working in the industry. Schools certainly don’t do enough to educate young people about all the career options in tech, so it falls to you. Be proactive and research as many roles as you can, as well as the latest industry trends and innovations that inspire you. This knowledge could help get your foot in the door and make all the difference at the interview stage.

Study the subject

One of the best ways to make yourself a good candidate for jobs, especially at the start of your career, is to study the subject. While there are many different courses out there, for all levels of experience, it’s not always necessary to have formal education. Many people think that university is a necessity to get a job in tech but there are plenty of apprenticeships and resources out there to help you hone your skills. If you do decide to take a course or pursue a degree, look for one that offers industry experience, and if you can’t do one of these try applying for internships. Getting real world experience is a great way to set you apart from other candidates, especially at entry level. 

Look for networking opportunities

For many people networking can be extremely intimidating, but going to industry events is a great way to meet people and mentors who can offer you advice, and you never know, maybe even a job. The more connections you make, the better insight into the industry you will get. Trade shows, networking sessions and women in tech events are all great places to meet people. If you’re an introverted person, don’t worry, lots of people in tech are. These events often have speakers so you won’t be talking to new people the whole time. After these events, try connecting with the people you meet on LinkedIn to keep them in your network, staying in touch might pay off down the line. 

Believe in yourself

Last but certainly not least, remember to always believe in yourself and your ability. Confidence is incredibly powerful and will help you so much throughout your career. If it doesn’t come naturally to you that’s okay, you can always “fake it ‘till you make it”, nobody will know if you’re feeling insecure on the inside if you’re radiating confidence and self belief on the outside.

Don’t let imposter syndrome prevent you from applying for a job or a promotion; you don’t have to wait until you tick every single box to put yourself forward for an opportunity. You deserve it. Put yourself out there, show them how passionate and hard working you are and good things will come your way.

Erin GrayAbout the author

Originally from Croydon, I now live in Essex with my husband, identical twin girls aged nine, and two cats: Princess Leia and Chewbacca. My husband and I swapped traditional home roles when the girls were young, so he runs the household whilst I’m lucky enough to concentrate on my career. I have a BsC in Business Computing, 20 years’ experience in the IT Industry, and a passion for running in addition to being a Scrum Master. After completing the Brentwood Half Marathon this year though, I realised that running solo in the soothing countryside is why I do it!