By Tanya Mosley Computer Information Systems Technology Instructor, Chattahoochee Tech Georgia
Some women face difficulties in male-dominated industries. They try to make it work and do what they love. This was true for me when I chose to pursue a career in information technology. This is why I am excited to share my SIMPLE strategy, which helped me and hopefully will help other women in the tech industry navigate the industry. SIMPLE stands for:
S Support System
L: Level Head
Establish a Support System
As women, we are wired to care for others and not neglect our own needs. If we want to be of service, it is important to look after our own well-being and personal development. Women in technology can benefit from support systems. Without one, I wouldn’t have been able to embark on my career path. Women often have a lot of family responsibilities. This puts them in a position that makes it difficult to concentrate on their personal growth. A support system is essential to help us achieve our career goals. It could be a spouse, parents, inlaws, children, friends, or anyone else who is willing to help.
You will be able to focus on your personal development and let others take care of the mundane tasks. This is what I know because I spent a lot of time honing my skills. My spouse was responsible for any issues that required attention. This meant I spent late nights at the computer or in the office, focusing on my studies.
Tip: If you don’t have one, start putting together your support system today.
Learn to improve
Women are great at solving problems and finding solutions. This skill should be used to our advantage. I used to believe that I needed to have an IT degree and some experience to get a job in this industry. After much observation, it became clear that I was wrong. All I had to do was to improvise. To get noticed, I had to use what I knew about IT in my current position. You can do it too.
Spend time learning IT skills and looking for opportunities to show your talents by taking on small IT projects. Find resources to help you learn new skills. Register for any workshop that offers information technology training. After creating a database and website in my office, Improvising made it the “Most Innovative Employee”. With a little guidance, I was able to improvise and get on the path of becoming an IT professional.
Tip: Make the most of what you have and use any resources that you have.
Identify Potential Mentors
Even superheroes sometimes need assistance, so why not ask when you are in need? Technology is constantly changing, so it is important to keep learning new skills if you are in the field. Mentorship can bridge the gap between what you know and what you need to learn. Reach out to potential mentors whenever you can. Unfortunately, I didn’t have as many female mentors as I had male mentors. The reason I understand now is that as a mom working a full-time job, the women were always very busy and unavailable.
Lucky for me, I was lucky enough to have an office right next to a web designer friend. I was interested in learning more about his work and took everything he had to teach me. This experience was invaluable in the completion of my website project. I was also fortunate to be able to work with another colleague who had extensive experience in applications. I expressed my interest in learning from him again and I quickly became proficient in managing and maintaining the applications that we used to perform our job tasks. I was able to become a valuable asset to my office because I was bold enough and eager enough to ask for mentorship. I was given tasks that only tech-savvy staff could perform.
To improve my skills, I continued to learn and network with people in my field of work. It is important to have a network of mentors and peers you can turn to for help when you are stuck. Join groups such as Women in Technology. There’s always more to learn. You will get rejected but you must keep trying.
Tip: Take advantage of every mentorship opportunity that is available.
There are many obstacles and pitfalls on the road to success. To realize your full potential, patience is the key. There will be doubts and discouragement at times. You will have doubts and get discouraged at times.