• August 03 2020

ViSenze Women In Tech (WIT): Key Panel Takeaways

On the 30th July, ViSenze launched its WIT (Women In Tech) initiative not only in recognition of the women of ViSenze, but to also inspire and support women in the wider tech industry. We hope to see more women in tech and lending their skills and knowledge across different functions.

For our virtual launch, we kicked off with a panel session with our panelists, Rachel Fitzpatrick, Senior Culture & Talent Director, Qlik, and Maureen Chong, Head of North Asia Web Sales, Akamai Technologies. During the panel we discussed not only challenges women face in tech but also what can be done on a group AND individual level to make positive changes.

Below are some noteworthy nuggets we would love to share!

On more women working in tech:

(M) We can see an upward trend of there being an increasing number of women in tech, not just in Marketing or HR functions, but also in tech roles within companies. It is slower in schools when you look across graduating classes where men greatly outnumber women in many tech related courses. It is slower in schools, but we are getting there.

(R) It is not just about making sure there are more women in the company but rather where these women are and where in the company do we need more women.

(R) Bear in mind that discrimination faced by women are often faced by other groups of people as well e.g. ethnicities. So we need to also be mindful of that.

(M) Companies need to create a safe environment for women to speak up and out about discrimination at workplace.

Building confidence

(M) Women in leadership positions have to help to push and build up the confidence of other female colleagues who are more junior, overlooked or sidelined. Endorse them so that they have the opportunity to step up and show their capabilities.

(M) Women tend to underestimate ourselves but we are definitely grittier and more resilient than we think we are. Have coaches/mentors who can add value to your professional/personal growth and give you guidance.

“Work life” balance

(R)There can be unnecessary competition when men don’t have ‘work/family life balance’ and women try to have ‘work/family life balance’ – so men should also think about their own ‘family/work life balance’, not just the women. Balance also comes from that.

(R) Having the ability to say ‘No’ to work without feeling guilty when you need time for yourself and your family.

(R) Curious mindset as you move through your careers. Value based rather than skills based planning – what value do you want to bring to the table. 

(M) It helps to have a spouse/partner who is supportive to help you with the mental and physical space to have a balance.

(R) Be conscious about what you bring to the table at work, so that you can see that you have done enough and you don’t feel guilty to shut off work. Build up guard rails to allow yourself to leave your “desk” and feel comfortable that it is okay and you have done your work. Don’t burn out and impede your ability to turn up to work your best self. 

Growth and Mentorship

(M) Define your values and use that as your guiding principle in everything that you do and what you want to do. But always keep an open mind that things might change.

(R) Pro tip: keep a journal of reflections and achievements, as a form of expression and self regulation.

(M) Be structured in objectives and dedicated time with your mentors.

(R) open your eyes and your mind to who can be a mentor; they are not necessarily people higher up