Women in Technology: Women in Leadership Roles

Explore the dynamic landscape of women in leadership roles within the technology sector, straight from the source of Velosio's women in tech!

Table of Content

    It has been proven time and again that diverse teams outperform homogeneous ones. Gender diversity in particular has positive effects on radical innovation, which is crucial for technology companies. There are so many long-term benefits to promoting women in technology. It inspires innovation and problem-solving. It improves decision making to have a more well-rounded executive leadership team. And a diverse team leads to better talent attraction and retention. It enhances your reputation with clients and investors. It increases market responsiveness – a more diverse team helps you understand and respond to diverse clients.

    Even with all these benefits, the fact is that there is still a great gender imbalance in the tech world, where only 33% of tech roles are filled by women. For leadership roles, the percentage is even lower – as low as 12 percent. Post-COVID, 57% of women in technology feel more burned out at work due to the pandemic compared to only 36% of men.

    Leadership Must Set the Tone

    It’s important that technology organizations establish diversity and inclusion, which starts with leadership publicly committing to it. This sets the tone for the organization and makes you intentional about hiring strategies and inclusive policies. Company leaders who are the face and voice of your company also play a role in recruitment.

    The work they do to elevate the company profile through speaking engagements, publications and media will attract diverse candidates. By supporting, following, and joining groups and associations that empower women and other diverse talent pools, your company’s influencers expand and diversify the candidates who are discovering and seeking out your organization. Here are 10 organizations we love including Girls Who Code, Women Who Code, and TechGirlz.

    Velosio’s director of demand generation, Sabrina Zimara, inspires her goddaughter to pursue STEM by giving her STEM-related gifts to open her mind to the possibility of a career in technology. “Technology was not a career path that was talked about for women when I was in school,” says Zimara. “It’s important for women to mentor other women, encouraging them to continue down the technology career path. Be a sounding board, provide feedback and guidance, and encourage fellow women in technology to ask questions,” continues Zimara.

    Create Mentorship Opportunities

    Creating mentorship and sponsorship opportunities within your organization supports the professional growth of women. Let women colleagues know how important their contributions are to the company’s success. Showcase their work and achievements with awards and recognition that demonstrate to the entire organization that women are valued and that their efforts matter.

    “When pursuing my current role at Velosio, I reached out to a female Velosio employee who I had worked with before about her thoughts on working at Velosio,” says Zimara. “It’s important to find a network of people within your organization who you can bounce ideas off – women or men – to help progress your career. Ask for their opinion or advice,” adds Zimara.

    Diversity Training

    Tech organizations must include diversity training for employees. Courses which are designed to help employees work confidently in an increasingly diverse workforce. Specifically, training which provides an overview of diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as employee rights. Training should also offer ways employees can handle workplace challenges and promote a fair, inclusive work environment.

    Good communications training for all employees can improve the overall work environment, reducing the likelihood of harassment and misunderstandings and improving collaboration and understanding.

    Diversity training ensures that there is not an unconscious bias in job listings, or within the team. Be intentional about recruitment with unbiased sourcing and structured interview tools. Ensure your review and promotion process is free from bias.

    “As a woman in technology, it’s important not to assume that you don’t know as much or don’t have a place at the table,” says Zimara. “Sometimes it’s the nature of who we are as women to be happy with what we are doing and not ask for a promotion or salary increase. Know your value and worth and go after it. What’s the worst that can happen? You may not get it, but you’ve let your supervisors know that you are motivated to be promoted. Regularly set goals for yourself, and stay curious,” continues Zimara.

    Give Women a Voice

    The fact is, not every manager is good at sensing imbalance in team communications and collaboration, especially when timelines are tight, or workloads are heavy. Having other leaders sit in on meetings can help identify issues they might not see. Are women being interrupted more than male colleagues? Are the same few people answering all the questions for the group? Are men the talkers and women the listeners and note-takers in meetings?

    Strive to ensure that everyone knows their voice matters and has a chance to be heard. While not every standup or team meeting can showcase every idea and opinion, a business must work to find balance between who is speaking and who is listening.

    “I’ve worked in technology for over 12 years, and it’s not uncommon to be the only female on a call,” says Zimara. “It can be intimidating, but having good people on the team is impactful. I’ve been lucky. I find it’s important to be prepared. Ask questions, and bring as much as you can to the table. Speak up about different ideas that you have because you may think about it in a different way than a male counterpart. That’s what people are looking for from you. You are there for a reason. Don’t be afraid to share your thoughts and opinions. It will help your career in the long run,” adds Zimara.

    Conclusion

    Velosio, a technology partner specializing in cloud software solutions for SMB and emerging enterprises, promotes diversity and women in technology throughout the organization. Velosio was recognized by Comparably for “Best Culture for Women” and “Best Company for Diversity,” based on feedback from Velosio employees. “I am proud of the culture we’ve built and humbled by the feedback from our team that led to our receiving awards for culture and fairness,” Joe Longo, Velosio president and CEO observes, “Velosio has always prided ourselves on our ability to innovate, understand our clients’ needs and provide guidance. You simply cannot do that successfully without the perspective and expertise that comes from a diverse group of individuals aligned around common goals,” adds Longo.

     

    Interested in joining our proudly diverse team? Check out our current job listings here.