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Advice For Women in Tech from Penthera’s Female Employees

April 21, 2020
By: Megan Fullagar

It’s surprising that even in 2020, women struggle for equal representation and pay in the ever-growing technology industry. In fact, women hold only 25% of all the jobs in the tech industry, even though women make up nearly half (46.9%) of the total workforce, according to Adeva IT. Perhaps most surprising is that this percentage is even lower than it was back in the 1980s. 

Many think this may be due to a lack of encouragement for girls to pursue STEM subjects. 83% of high school boys opt for STEM subjects, versus 64% of girls, according to a Women In Tech report by PWC. This extends to college, too, where 52% of men take STEM courses while 30% of women do. Even more extreme, only 2% of women study engineering compared to 13% of men. 

Once they hit the real world, only 27% of women said they would consider a career in tech—versus 62% of men. There are many reasons why women don’t pursue careers in technology, including:

  • Women aren’t encouraged to pursue careers in technology. Only 16% of women said they had someone suggest to them that they look into working in the industry.
  • There just aren’t enough female role models in the tech industry. In the PwC report, many women said they don’t know what working in the tech industry entails.
  • The lack of women in key decision-making roles. According to Silicon Valley’s Women in Leadership report, 70% of U.S. firms report that they don’t have any women on their boards.

However, many women and men across technology companies are taking steps to advocate for equal representation through recruitment, philanthropic efforts, and mentorship. The women of Penthera make up ⅓ of our company and come from a diverse range of backgrounds. We are passionate about technology and are eager to share our insights and experiences working in the industry. Read on to see our inspiration and advice for the next generation of women in tech:

What inspired you to work in technology?

"When I was 16, I went with my math class to visit Bell Labs (way back in 1963-1964).  I got to see my first computer and began to consider it as an alternative to being a math teacher.  That summer, I programmed my first computer at Dartmouth and was hooked." - Mady Bauer, Principal QA Engineer.
"I have always been interested in media and technology from a young age. My older sister was super into tech starting in high school and I think that influenced my perspective. And though my parents were in the fashion industry, they were always interested in the latest technology to improve the efficiency of their manufacturing business.  My dad used to take me to see the factory and I got to see how they were constantly adopting new techniques and tech to advance their business." - Jeanne Sachs, VP of Sales

What advice would you give girls who want to work in technology?

"There is no cap on how many women can work in tech and you're not competing with other women for work. So, seek experienced women in tech who can give you advice and guidance to help get in the door—and once you're in, make sure you work to lift up other women so the field can become less male-dominated." - Candace Bryan, Content Manager
"Just because you don't have a tech background doesn't mean you shouldn't try, a common misconception I believed growing up. Technology is such a huge industry that it welcomes all talents.  I was able to apply my design, social, and marketing background to leverage a job in tech." - Carla Pacheco, Marketing Coordinator

Why is it important that women work in technology?

"Technology is in women’s DNA; they just need to be in the right place to use it". - Aruna Sharma, QA Analyst
"I think it is essential for women to work in technology because it brings different perspectives and thoughts to the field. Bringing diverse opinions to tech will lead to better problem solving and unique ideas for innovation." - Christina Castellano, VP of Client Services
"As a female exec in tech, working with primarily male-dominated exec teams throughout my career, I think it is critical that women have more opportunities to pursue tech careers and begin to create greater gender diversity. Women approach things differently, and we are missing their voice and insight—gender diversity leads to better performance overall." - Jodi Susman, CMO
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