Circumnavigating the Glass Ceiling in a IT world
August 11, 2015
These are the numbers. In 2015, only 28% of all IT and Digital Media industry workers are women. These women are paid 20% less than their male peers. The Glass Ceiling is used to describe the invisible barriers that inhibit women from advancing the corporate ladder, and this is no exception to women in the ID industry. However, all is not lost. One inspiring video I watched recently was a TED Talk by Susan Colantuono, who offers career advice that you have probably not heard before:
In summary, Colantuono argues that there are three components to success for women. These are (1) Smart, hard working, committed individuals that are trustworthy and resilient, (2) Individuals who have great customer management, who can empower teams, negotiate and manage conflict well, and (3) Individuals who understand the business and their role in getting there; individuals who can identify risk and opportunity and generate strategy.
For Colantuono, the very third component is what women lack and need to hear. She asserts that the key to unlocking career advancement is an individual’s “business, strategic and financial acumen.” For women in the Tech world, this means being aware of how you can take a Tech company to new heights with a thorough understanding of a company’s business, the risks and opportunities available to it and the strategies that are necessary to reach new goals.
For many, mentorship of women puts a lot of emphasis on the first two components. Colantuono offers an example where a male mentor said he “helped the woman build confidence… [and] helped the man learn the business.” Career advice puts a lot of emphasis on the personal skills of women without helping them augmenting their expertise.
This is true in the Tech world too. Advancement requires good personal skills and confidence. Advancement also needs to be paired with expertise and knowledge. Expertise and knowledge; business, strategic and financial acumen. That opens doors.
The glass ceiling is a hard, unfortunate truth of many industries, and the Tech world is not exempt from it. Take charge of your own career choice. Susan Colantuono inspires me with some valuable advice and I strongly urge you to watch her video.
For the women out there, what are some of your strategies to advance the corporate ladder? Is there any other advice you would give from your own experiences? Share with us some of your experiences!
Senior Tech Talent Manager
An Irish cat living the dream in Sydney I don’t know what to tell ya! Even though I’m a long way from the homeland I’ve successfully built up 5 years of local industry knowledge specialising in emerging technologies. I have a strong JAVA and Ruby on Rails following in NSW and VIC. I also have extensive experience sourcing specialist software development teams for technology companies with highly transactional, high volume, data intensive environments. Let’s catch up for a pint, but do send me a message and we’ll see what happens!
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