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6 Strategies to Propel Women to the Forefront of Tech

International Women’s Day on March 8th celebrates women’s achievements and advocates for gender parity.  

Below, we are proud to highlight the bold resilience and valuable contributions of women across different career stages, emphasizing the importance of mentorship, leadership, and supportive policies.  

empowering women in tech

The Challenge: Addressing the generational differences in women’s career experiences is crucial for building supportive work environments that cater to the diverse needs of women at various stages of their careers. 

Advice from the Field 

Encourage Women in IT 

Christine Adeline, Chief Product Officer, SAI360, comments on the positive developments for women in IT: “While women are still very much under-represented in IT, a lot is being done to encourage women to take roles in this field, which is very encouraging.”  

Her optimism reflects the growing initiatives to increase women’s participation in technology.  

Adeline adds: “Those programs such as AWS GetIT, AWS She Builds, and a Women at Microsoft Scholarship Program were non-existent when I started in IT. This makes it a lot easier for women wishing to take up IT roles, or for their careers.” 

Bridge Generational Divides with Mentorship 

Diana Drobysevskaja, Director of GRC Technology, SAI360, speaks to the transformative power of mentorship across generations: “I hired a very young, exceptionally bright woman straight out of university…her curiosity and skill led her to delve into more technical areas.” This narrative illustrates how mentorship can help bridge generational divides, fostering talent and curiosity. 

Prioritize Authenticity  

Vanessa Childs, Chief Operating Officer, SAI360, echoes that a clear evolution is happening around how people tend to define leadership now compared to not long ago: “Ten plus years ago I was told (by a woman leader) that I wouldn’t be in the C suite because I didn’t have the ‘polish and executive presence’. I’ve seen a shift in the past decade where organizations and employees value authenticity as a key trait in leaders and the definition of ‘executive presence’ is shifting.” 

Promote Work-Life Balance and Equality 

“Many younger folks are less worried about the end of their careers and more concerned about the middle. We are looking at and for companies offering flexible schedules, benefits, education and training, equitable pay, a positive company culture, and career growth opportunities (promotions, etc.),” says Natalie Lesnick, JD, CHC, CHPC, Consultant, Strategic Management Services, LLC.  

“Millennials and Gen Z look for companies that value women as people instead of a metric to boast because we ‘work to live.’ Younger generations are also much more vocal at calling out bad behavior and structural/institutional deficiencies in the workplace,” she explains. “We recognize that sexism, racism, ableism, etc., is not acceptable in the workplace, and we won’t sit silently while it happens.” 

Embrace Gender Equality and Inclusion 

Nikita Thompson, Bank Secrecy Act Officer at SpiritBank, says she’s observed a migration towards gender equality in professional roles.  

“Younger women tend to have more opportunities created around support for career advancement compared to previous generations. Older women may have encountered more challenges due to gender norms and societal expectations, which in turn, limited their opportunities yet paved the way for future generations,” she explains.  

“Women at my same career level have an increased emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace dynamics. In turn, this has created a shift in societal attitudes and companies are cultivating more inclusive professional landscape for women,” Thompson adds. 

Foster Flexibility 

Robbi-Lynn Watnik, Senior Consultant, Strategic Management Services, says professional roles are indeed shifting. However, progress, she emphasizes, “can go ‘backwards’ very easily”.  

“Professional women are still more vulnerable to losing their status. I believe we still have a way to go. That being stated, we need to embrace that this is a new cultural environment. Women can talk about their family and children if they so choose. They can take time for meaningful events,” Watnik explains. 

“Even now that my child is grown and lives relatively far away, I will take time off for her if she has a health crisis. I’m fortunate that I have that flexibility. I also try not to take advantage of it,” she says. 

“Generationally, my mother was, for the most part, a stay-at-home mom. I worked (e.g., next generation), but worried about balancing my child/family with my professional responsibilities. Our children (e.g., the generation after that) may be more mindful of this transition,” she says. 

“They will have their jobs and their family; there will be a work-life cyclical balance without having to fight for it or worry about losing their jobs,” she adds. 

“Hopefully, the next generation of women—for example, my grandchildren—won’t even have to think about it.” 

Final Thoughts 

Generational differences in women’s career experiences offer challenges and growth opportunities.  

These stories underline the importance of mentorship, leadership opportunities, and supportive policies in creating an inclusive and empowering workplace.  

As organizations continue to adapt to the needs of a diverse workforce, one goal remains clear: ensure women of all ages and backgrounds have the resources and support they need to succeed. 

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Happy International Women’s Day

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