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During the last 10 years, I’ve had the privilege of surrounding myself with amazing women who were successful business owners, entrepreneurs, physicists, engineers, developers, and programmers. Many of these women also served as advocates for women in business and technology, and as mentors to emerging female leaders. None of these women ignored the existence of hurdles or challenges to succeed in their respective fields. Rather, they focused on what they could do to achieve their goals and succeed in their careers, especially as women in technology.
In edunext, we aim to engage more professional women in technology. In fact, we have increased the participation of women professionals within edunext from 15% to 40% over the past year. In addition, our internal survey reports that the predominant academic level for women in edunext is undergraduate or postgraduate. Yes, these women are contributors, and provide value-added knowledge and resources for our customers and our organization.
Thus, like the women at edunext, you play an important role in directing the outcome of your success as a woman in technology. Here are 5 tips that helped catapult these women in technology to the next level in their careers.
1. Keep Learning
Build a strong foundation on which to build your career. Recognize your strengths and lesser strengths, those skills in which you need to further develop to support your career goals. Consider knowledge gaps in areas related to technology, such as project management, business basics, communication, and other soft skills you may need to succeed. Explore courses and training programs that may work with your schedule and allow you to improve and hone your skills in those areas.
According to Nicole Roa, a Customer Support Specialist at edunext, “As a woman working in a tech environment, it has been crucial to learn every day not only technical skills but also soft skills. It gives you confidence and empowers you to have a growth mindset, be flexible, and be open to new challenges and opportunities to collaborate.”
By taking a proactive role in your professional development, you convey that you value yourself as a major contributor to your own success and that you wish to gain a deeper understanding of the field and business in which you work.
Now that you’ve identified a few steps you can take to grow professionally, let’s define how networking can help you to achieve your career goals. I’ve often heard that it’s not what you know, but who you know that matters. One thing is certain, I’ve learned that building relationships with those you meet in your career journey and personal life is important. Don’t underestimate the value of networking and connecting with others. Networking is more than connecting with 300 followers on LinkedIn. The goal is to engage with them, share value-added content and information, learn about their roles and industries, and connect genuinely with others. Doing so allows you to build trust and a rapport with them as a professional woman in technology. It’s also a great way to practice constructing meaningful and genuine conversations with your new contacts.
According to Gabriela Acosta, a Talent Acquisition Professional at Edunext, states, “As a professional, I believe that networking allows you to expand opportunities in life, not only in the present, but also to build networks and links that may be useful in an uncertain future. Connecting and creating links with others gives us more experience, knowledge and learning that will be key to growing, either in our professional field or contributing to others. In my case, networking has allowed me to provide others with more job opportunities and extend my reach to people who belong to other professional fields, careers and specialties, who without networking I would not be able to contact so easily. It’s amazing how we can impact the lives of others in multiple ways by connecting and building together.”
3. Engage with a Mentor
Whether you are new to the field of technology or an experienced woman in tech, consider engaging in a mentorship program. Mentorships programs connect mentors who wish to pass on invaluable knowledge and experience to mentees who want to learn and progress in their field. Organizations recognize the value of mentoring emerging female leaders, as mentorship helps to close the gender gap in business leadership. For participants, it also promotes a sense of self-achievement when you can help others.
By engaging in a mentoring program, you will demonstrate an eagerness to learn new skills, to expand your network, and to grow professionally by using what you’ve learned, and by sharing that knowledge with others.
According to María Fernanda Magallanes Zubillaga, a Software Developer at edunext, she had this to say about mentoring: “Finding the answers for yourself is a great skill; learning from others makes the road easier; and teaching helps consolidate that knowledge”.
Therefore, take the next step and engage in a mentorship program in your area.
4. Communicate Effectively with your Colleagues and Boss
Effective communication is a must in the workplace. It is the process of successfully exchanging information, ideas, opinions, or other types of messages clearly with your colleagues and boss. When we communicate clearly, we minimize misunderstandings, dissatisfaction, and disagreement. The goal of effective communication is to ensure others understand what you are trying to say, and that they also feel heard and understood by you. Teams that communicate well are more successful and productive. According to Laurie Brown Communications, an effective communicator will practice these four tips:
- – Listen more than talk: If we do not listen well, we miss an opportunity to learn something new.
- – Stop multitasking: The reality is we miss information when we attempt to multitask because we are not truly focused on what we are doing.
- – Proofread your emails: Always review your emails to make sure the message you intend to share is the right one. Will your message accomplish its intended purpose? If not, reword it.
- – Ask yourself: What do I hope to accomplish in this meeting? Before you meet with someone, take a few minutes to prepare your discussion points and identify what you hope to accomplish during the conversation. Doing so will help you to stay focused on the message and the purpose of the meeting, promoting effective communication.
According to Paola Cruz, a Customer Experience Specialist at edunext, “Effective communication is important in a technological environment because it fosters the development of interpersonal relationships, facilitates feedback, and encourages teamwork. As a success specialist, communication with the client is essential to eliminate distance barriers and provide personalized treatment and attention.” The same applies when communicating with colleagues and leaders.
5. Share Your Accomplishments
Early in my career, I learned that there is nothing wrong in nominating oneself or being proud of your accomplishments. It is really a question of ‘how’ you do it and not so much on the fact of actually doing it.
Here are four reasons you should share your accomplishments.
- – Use your voice to share your perspectives and insights about technology with others.
- – Influence others by building awareness of the critical issues that you face as a woman in tech.
- – Nominate yourself for awards related to your field, experiences, and accomplishments because you can and you should.
- – Promote your personal brand as a woman in tech. Don’t hold yourself back from telling your story, it gives you an opportunity to share your unique and authentic perspectives with others.
As a woman in technology, don’t minimize your contributions to your professional community. If telling your story will help you be more effective and more impactful, share it.
As discussed in this article, you play an important role in directing the outcome of your success as a woman in technology. Plan your next course of action. Will you learn something new? Enroll in a mentorship program? Share your accomplishments? The best part is that you decide what steps to take to reach your goals as a woman in tech, and you don’t have to take them alone.
At Edunext, we are proud of our women in technology. These professionals work diligently everyday to provide quality products and services to our customers, and share their valuable knowledge and experiences with others. We proudly support our women in tech!