On this International Woman Day, I couldn't miss the opportunity to reflect on the success of women in the workplace. While preparing for an event at Stirling University, I stumbled on a report from EY about closing the skills gap; something which eCom help organisations do for their workforce.
What astonished me, as a woman in a technology company where 32% of staff and 75% of senior managers are women, was the headline statement that the World Economic Forum (WEF) estimates it will take 117 years to close the global gender gap and achieve parity in the workplace.
This report presents five actions for driving change to accelerate gender parity with the first three aligned to the main stages of a woman’s career — entrant, express and experienced. Working in a growing tech company which doesn’t fit norm, I have related these actions to my experiences.
Role models and a supportive environment are key to helping women retain their aspirations in the formative stages of their career. At eCom, with both a female CEO and Managing Director there is a real feeling that this is a place that women can succeed. I have found working with two women, who are driving the growth of a tech company, both motivational and inspirational.
Women typically reach this stage of their career at a time when outside work responsibilities increase. I joined eCom at a turning point in my life, as an older mum caring for both a young family and ageing parents. Working for a supportive organisation with leadership who understand the challenges continues to be crucial to my engagement and ensure I have the flexibility to ride the waves of my various responsibilities.
During the last 4 years at eCom I have been supported to develop more advanced skill sets and share knowledge, such as being encouraged to join the board of an industry organisation to develop my leadership skills. I’m heartened that this next stage of my career is taking place in an organisation which effectively harnesses the digital skills of new entrants with the life and work experience of more senior staff.
It’s a real shame that some women are still put off by technology as a career, as the sector presents many different opportunities. There is no need to be able to code or be a technical specialist in order to have digital leadership skills. Many women in technology excel at being able to ask the right questions and express the value of products and services that are based on digital technology.