Helping women in tech to find their voice

  • Geplaatst op donderdag 17 september 2020
Helping women in tech to find their voice

I think that almost any of my peers would agree with me when I say that being a female engineer comes with a wide range of challenges. I have experienced gaslighting, unconscious bias, having my skillset underestimated due to my gender and so on.

Luckily after joining Avanade in March 2020 following a great graduation internship, I feel confident to say I am part of a company which is really invested in creating an inclusive workspace.

I want to keep directing effort towards normalizing the presence of women in the technical sector. In this blog I would like to share the origin of my passion for this cause, and how I will help inclusion and diversity through Avanade.

Feeling unwelcome

For me, being a woman in the technical sector has always meant I felt I needed to hold my head up a bit higher and raise my voice a bit louder to be heard among my male peers. From the moment I started college in 2014 and it seemed I would have to prove my competence and knowledge to those around me, every step of the way. Especially in the beginning I had to earn my title as a software engineer and was often given the feeling of being unwelcome when attending classes. Something for which, in a way, I am grateful. Because it really kept me on my toes and added immeasurable value to my work ethic as well as the way I confront challenges.

But despite being able to find the benefits to the bias I experienced; I feel it is a wildly outdated concept to be treated differently due to gender. Especially in 2020, where equality is not just a hot topic – it is in many ways the only topic. Having said that, I would still like to acknowledge how far we have already come in our efforts to reach equality. But without a doubt, we also still have quite a way to go. Statistics also reflect how many women still shy away from a technical career. According to the report by TrustRadius female engineers are more often than not still outnumbered by a ratio of 5:1 or more in meetings. That is just not acceptable!

Contributing to the cause

Though closing the gap between male and female representation in the tech sector and creating a hundred percent inclusive workspace might be an ambitious goal to try tackle on my own (I would if I could), I did find a way to do my part from within Avanade.

Starting May 2020, I joined Avanade’s Inclusion & Diversity (I&D) team, as a part of the Women in Tech division. Together with colleagues who feel the same passion for creating an inclusive workspace and stimulating female presence in the technical sector, we have regular meetings to discuss ways in which we can further educate our peers. This results in anything from blog posts to workshops and other fun events that help contribute to our cause.

Through joining the I&D team I am contributing to the already great progressive work environment at Avanade and enthuse more women to pursue a career as software engineers, just like myself.

Following this blog, I will be writing a small series highlighting what it is to be a woman in tech. The series will cover experiences by women in tech, how to recognize and combat unconscious bias, and more.

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