Business Woman in tech. Stronger together, Happy women or girls standing together , girls, power, strong, strength, feminism Feminine, woman empowerment, vector illustration.Right from a young age, I knew tech was for me.

Any talk of the tech world, with its constant breaking of ground and fantastical advancements, sounded like the stuff of fiction – a band of wizards and fortune-tellers, whose future-gazing box of tricks favoured data sets and scientific theory over potions and tea leaves. My fascination with tech remained throughout my education, culminating in my master’s thesis, where I mapped out how I thought the internet would change the face of business, before the internet had even hit the mainstream.

I loved the possibilities technology presented, though as with all childhood aspirations, my resolve would inevitably be tested by the reality-checks that came with adulthood. As I write this today as a CEO and co-founder of a global tech business, I’ve observed along the way how unequally career paths can be littered with obstacles depending on a person’s life choices (for example, for those who choose to have children), although this certainly isn’t exclusive to tech, and I believe that it is – rightfully – dwindling as a theme.

That said, challenging the rigid, well-trodden rules of How To Succeed In Business is not just about making space for mums, and it’s reductive to always bring the conversation back to that. There are any number of valid reasons why a person can’t be – or won’t be – chained to a desk from 8-8, ready to fly round the world at the drop of a hat, on-call to work through the night three times a week. And yet, someone who finds themselves needing or wanting something different to that might be the most brilliant technological mind an organisation could let slip through their fingers. Surely, then, the decision to consider something more flexible – more dynamic, more innovative – should be an easy one. The priority should be to find the best minds and the best talent, rather than someone whose daily schedule matches that of the CEO, and that was a founding principle for me when launching Spinview. One example of how this has manifested in our culture is a company-wide understanding that something work related should never be the reason you miss your kid’s play, or their football match, or any other similarly important event in your personal life, and you’ll never be judged for putting that first.

While many tech companies have hitched their wagons to the flexible-working caravan, others remain reticent. Whether or not examples of the latter offer a model that is right for you is a very personal choice, but my lived experience tells me that it is possible to forge a successful career in technology alongside a life outside the office – you just might need to look a bit harder for it. It’s worth saying also that whilst the technology industry has a way to go before it can call itself entirely inclusive, companies with more accommodating working models are not needles in the haystack. One of the most exciting characteristics of our industry is that it is rife with innovation; you need only look at the likes of Salesforce, Spotify and indeed Spinview to see thriving examples of enterprises born out of innovation, which also don’t subscribe to the rigid 9-to-5 – and that’s before you entertain the notion of starting something yourself, should that be right for you.

In short, innovations of recent years have given rise to ways of working that would have seemed frankly daft to anyone in tech a certain number of years ago. And yet, here we are in 2022, proving that change isn’t always a recipe for disaster. Ultimately, you need to establish what you want and need from a place of work. What are your non-negotiables, and where can you be flexible? Interrogate your knee-jerk reactions, but know your boundaries, and resist those who tell you that they’re impossible standards if they’re what you need. If it’s a case of square peg, round hole, that might just be fair enough – but it certainly isn’t unreasonable of the peg to be square.

The brass tax is this: like all industries, the tech space is home to some who will double-down on their ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to working models, even when presented with evidence of a viable alternative. This mindset exists despite the irony of our industry being one rooted in the evolution of ideas.

The fact these organisations still exist, though, certainly does not mean that there’s no room in tech for someone who doesn’t fit the old school Working Person mould. The industry has come on leaps and bounds since I sat writing my thesis, and it will only continue to evolve. It stands to reason, then, that if you are so inclined, there’s space in the tech world for you. No amount of campaigning and reasoned evidence will change every naysayer’s mindset, but luckily that isn’t a burden you need to shoulder in order to forge a vibrant and rewarding career in tech.

About the author

Linda WadeLinda Wade‘s farsighted understanding of the power of vision is helping transform business efficiencies across all sectors. As co-founder of Spinview, Linda’s ‘big’ thinking and technical skills have helped many organizations to understand their spatial data through visual technology, making it understandable and accessible to all.

Through senior positions at world-leading technology companies such as Microsoft, Linda has gained a wealth of technical foresight and commercial experience. Spinview has afforded Linda a platform to bring together a team of experts to build a new era in technology, whilst championing flexible working and equality for female leadership roles in the tech industry.