Sunday, August 15, 2010

Women in Technology

Women in IT is one of the hottest topics - it's actually been for a while, and it continues to be. Working in the IT industry all my life, it's really interesting to see how the idea of Women in IT progressed.

Well, I never felt that people make a difference whether it's about a man or a woman who applied for the job. Yes, the hopes that the candidate is a good one are lower for a woman: but then in the recruitment interview you have to pay even more attention to what the candidates know, but can or cannot demonstrate on the spot. In the past, you had to search a little bit more in-depth with a woman, as they were more shy, more introvert, and less keen to show off.

But in the last few years, I have noticed that the women have made a great progress and started to impose themselves as important values in a company. In the interviews they are more bold, a lot more self-confident than some men even, and show not only a good level of knowledge, but also a stronger will to exceed expectations.

What's great about having more women in a technical environment is that it does bring up people morale :), and it also brings a lot more ideas, different points of view, different ways of doing things, different communication style. And yes, some frustration from time to time, as they are more delicate and you have to take care at the communication style. This holds true actually for men as well: not all of them would understand.

Talking about communication with men/women (in the IT environment, let's say), women are more oriented towards the past and the present, while the men tend to focus a lot on their needs and what can be done for the future. Strictly from this point of view, it's better to have men in the team.

Lately, as the focus has been so much on getting more women recognized for their contribution in the technology field, I have seen more women being given more and more responsibility, and getting the chance to prove their leadership in technology. It's amazing to see how the business has flourished under their command, as they have proven they can be strong willed to achieve, but in a more flexible manner and paying more attention to the environment.

I do recommend to those interested (men or women) to read the personal stories from nearly 50 women in the technology industry as they share what makes a good leader, their most difficult challenges, what advice they would give to aspiring women leaders, and the legacy they'd like to leave behind:

No One Path: Perspectives on Leadership from a Decade of Women in Technology Award Winners

What was your experience with women/men in Technology? How did it influence the way you work? What were the challenges of managing women, and/or being led by women?

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