Being a role model is helping more women enter tech fields

File: A photo taken at an event called Ladies Learning Code Jon Lim (CC BY 2.0)

Reducing gender bias in the workplace is a central theme of International Women’s Day 2022. This is seen as key to encouraging women to enter the workplace and join fields that have historically mattered. a disproportionate number of men.

To get to the root of the problem, prejudice must be tackled by refreshing the organizational culture. It’s not simple and it takes time, such is the dominance of wider societal culture.

How could this be approached? Offer your thoughts to Digital diary is Catherine Qu, vice president of growth marketing at Imply.

Qu sees bias as something we are socialized to think is normal, so efforts should be made to challenge those assumptions. She says, “I fully support and agree with this year’s International Women’s Day theme, #BreaktheBias. Although it is human nature to be biased, it is something I strive to be aware of and sensitive to, especially as a minority woman.

Expanding on the theme of bias, Qu says, “You’ll find bias everywhere you go, so it’s important to learn how to spot it and overcome it.

On questioning, Qu recommends, “One way for women to do this is to speak up. For so long, women have relied on the quality of their work to speak for them, but that’s an outdated way of thinking. In today’s world, women need to be candid, direct and confident in talking about their accomplishments and acting as self-advocates. »

She also suggests, “In addition, women should look for champions who believe in them and speak well to others. It is also important for women to watch each other. If you see a woman trying to speak up in a meeting but being ignored, say something about it and make sure that woman has a chance to share her thoughts.

Qu continues, “In the tech industry, I see improvements being made, and there are definitely actions that women can take to create our own change.

Qu’s advice is for women who are already established in male-dominated fields to reach out to new female recruits and engage with them: “Be a mentor to the young women in your organization and look for mentors who can be your champ.”

It is also important to raise awareness and build relationships with students and other young people. Qu suggests to women in the tech industry: “Get involved or support organizations that focus on empowering and educating women such as Girls Who Code or Women in Tech. By working together, women can create the future we want to see now.

Rebecca R. Santistevan