As a career development coach, I’m open to working with anyone who’s interested in building their career, from the college grad just starting out, to the mid-career professional ready to launch their own business. Narrowing that demographic was never anything I set out to do. But you know how life is, sometimes you’re pulled along a path you never expected.
Recently, at every turn, I’m reminded or introduced to the issues of women in tech. I used to be one of those women. I began working at Microsoft in the mid-90s. A male colleague and I, both new to the company, were having lunch one day with a senior member of another accounting team that we both hoped to work in. This was at the start of my accounting career (yes, I have made a career transition!). As we sat there, both keenly interested in this other department, I was told point blank, “You’ll never achieve the same level of success here that your colleague here will because you are a woman”. Yes, it was that blatant. The fact that I wasn’t appalled still surprises me, but it did stick vividly in my memory. It’s shocking to know that 20 years later, little has changed.
I still see women having this same experience. Perhaps they are not told that outright, but jump online any day and you’ll find a new article about the issue of equity for women in tech. It’s shocking to me that this is still an issue. Luckily, there are many people fighting for this cause, from Dr. Telle Whitney of the Anita Borg Institute, to a group of female employees at DialogTech, to Sheryl Sandberg. Yes, it’s an issue.
And there is more good news. There are many organizations doing something about. I recently became involved with ReBoot Seattle, an accelerator helping women prepare to re-enter the workforce and confront the immense amount of objection they receive. Seattle Women in Technology is another such organization advancing the cause of women in tech. Yes, organizations and programs abound to help the cause.
More and more of my client base are women in tech who are seeking answers to their professional questions. From finding a new job because they’re being ‘pushed out’, to feeling unwelcome in the ‘boys’ club’ to wanting to chuck regular full time employment in favor of being an entrepreneur, these bright, capable, educated and dedicated women are seeking fulfillment in their work that pays them their worth and gives them the power and freedom to do their best work.
So, while I left tech several years ago, it remains an industry I love, believe in and am inspired by. Helping more women achieve success in a field they, too, are passionate about, has become my passion. The thrill of meeting with a client who has successfully negotiated her desired pay for a new job, or watched another launch a business she previously only dreamed of is the stuff my life dreams are made of. I hope it’s not another 20 years before we see equity for ALL in tech, and everywhere else.
Andrea's passion is to see you achieve your dreams. Whether you are a corporate leader seeking leadership development for your employees or an individual seeking life and career changes, she will coach you to success.