What We Have Learned from Ivanti’s 2018 Women in Tech Campaign
This is a time of year where people often look back and contemplate their achievements and so I have been spending a fair amount of time, whilst drinking tea and eating mince pies, thinking about how much the Ivanti Women in Tech team have accomplished this year.
I have had the best time working on the various women in tech projects and feel like I have learned a lot so I thought I would share some of these learnings with you.
- You can never have too many Women in Technology Communities
When we first kicked off the Women in Tech Twitter account and campaign in 2018, I wondered whether it would be deemed unnecessary. After all, there are hundreds of WIT groups on Twitter alone, but I have been encouraged to see how many people have followed @TheTechieGirls (almost 1000) and how many people interact with us daily. One of our biggest achievements was launching a survey (with over 500 responses), followed up with a Women in Technology Survey Report, which has had a lot of press coverage which is great to keep diversity top of mind! It is great to see that people want to engage with us to talk about diversity.
- Not everyone likes the Women in Technology movement
I have spoken to a few women who have not wanted to get involved in this community. Their initial reaction to WIT was that it is a women vs men type of activity. Nine times out of ten, I’ve changed their minds when I’ve explained why this community is important, how it is very much the opposite of Us vs Them. We genuinely strive to create a gender partnership and some of our activities are very much open to men. We do keep some of the networking events female only, but that’s because we believe that sometimes you need a safe space for women to share their experiences.
- It’s not difficult to get men involved in the WIT community
We ran an event with the Service Desk Institute earlier this year around Gender Diversity in ITSM. This was a roundtable style event where encourage the attendees to share ideas and experiences. I was really happy to see how many men joined this event and gave us a really interesting and different insight. The output of this event was a really interesting Gender Diversity Report authored by the Service Desk Insitute.
I am seeing even more men working for Ivanti, taking an active role in the women in technology community and working hard to recruit more diverse teams.
Women supporting women is invaluable
I love the concept of women supporting women and I have noticed a change over the last year. In the past (a long time ago), I had experienced some situations where women were incredibly competitive with each other, to their own detriment. What I see now, at Ivanti and the wider community is women supporting women and I LOVE IT! One of the golden nuggets I have picked up throughout this process is; if you are not confident enough to brag about your own accomplishments, find a brag buddy to do it for you. I have been sharing this sound advice ever since, with anyone who will listen, and I am seeing women put this into practice all the time.
- You don’t have to work in a technical role to be a WIT
One of my other concerns when I started this campaign was that I would not be taken seriously, as I do not have a STEM related degree and I do not work in a traditional tech role. I have been so pleased to see this community bring together women in very traditional tech roles, but also women in other roles within the technology industry such as HR, marketing, sales, project management and many more.
- Organising Networking events is hard!
Speaking honestly, one of the things we have struggled to execute to perfection is networking events. You’d think that would be one of the easiest things – I am a marketer so events are what I am good at right? The trouble is that we get lots of registrations for events but we get a lot of no-shows on the day. I totally get this, I am guilty of registering for events and then not turning up, but it’s a real shame and I think it is an indication of how we don’t always put ourselves first. Networking activities and learning events are really important for our personal growth, but we often move them down the priority list for other life or work-related needs. One of my New Year resolutions will be to go to four events next year that will help me both career wise and personally.
- Being part of the Women in Technology movement is empowering
I can honestly count 2018 as one of the best years of my working life. I love my job and the fact that I also get to put time into this project is amazing. Through Women In Tech networking, I have met some wonderful, inspirational women who have become firm friends. Time and time again, I have seen the support women give each other at events. Through our #MySuperPower campaign, I have heard from so many women who have described how empowering they found the process of thinking about their strengths. In addition to this, my confidence has grown tremendously and I put that down to the support from all of these fantastic women.
For now, I am looking forward to a nice Christmas break, including more tea and mince pies and then, I can’t wait to get back to work to continue this very inspiring project!