So, what’s a tech-minded woman to do? According to the study’s participants, find others who can relate. And find a sponsor or two while you’re at it.
The study concludes: “Most of the participants agreed that if we see more women in the technology workspace, then more women will move into this field. However, we cannot encourage women to join a workspace if that workspace culture is not … supportive.”
For those who choose to pioneer in this space, Dr. Underwood underscores the importance of finding an advocate. “Who is that person who will present your name when opportunities arise?” she asks. “Who will put you in that place where you need to be when you may not be physically present?”
This evolution, difficult though it may be, is worth it to Dr. Underwood. Women bring a different way of thinking to a field that impacts everyone. They can bring a level of emotional intelligence and also diversify a field that sometimes struggles to shake off its stereotype of black-and-white thinking.
She notes, “This is where organizations have an opportunity to create sustainable change to redefine what tech culture looks like and move away from common stereotypes that still plague this industry.”