I recently read an eye-opening piece on the website Medium, in which a successful techie gal shared a startling recurring theme in her life. Several times a month, someone tells her she doesn’t look like an engineer. These naysayers have their odd reasons, like how she doesn’t appear “geeky” enough or is “too into fashion” to be exceptionally smart. All I hear is that they’re threatened and jealous. Maybe you’ve had similar encounters in your career, like when your colleague calls you “cute,” or your manager subtly laughs at you instead of with you. Even though these moments can seem minuscule, often going unrecognized by those around us, we hear them, we feel them and sometimes, we start to believe them. Today, shake off the haters, keep your head up and know this world of women has got your back!
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: 11 Percent
As we’ve often reported at On The Dot, tech is one industry in which women face some serious challenges. Take the cybersecurity field, for instance. According to a report released by three top nonprofits tracking the tech industry, more than half of women working in cybersecurity say they’ve experienced some form of discrimination from their male peers. Additionally, the report notes women make up only 11 percent of cybersecurity professionals, earn less than their male counterparts and, across the board, feel underappreciated by their employers. It’s time we level the playing field and make tech a welcoming—and prosperous—industry for women!
WOMAN TO WATCH: Kate Brodock, CEO of Women 2.0
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Ladies, when we get together and talk about our experiences, we can make real changes happen. Effecting change is the goal of today’s Woman to Watch, Kate Brodock. And thanks to her, we’re getting a little bit closer to reaching gender equality in the tech world. Kate is the CEO of Women 2.0, the leading brand for women in tech, and she’s on a mission to close the gender gap in the industry—in the workplace, in the startup space and in leadership.
Women 2.0 takes a hands-on, action-oriented approach to directly address issues women in tech face, tackling the pipeline head-on from all sides—hiring, founding, investing and leading—to ensure more women have a seat at the tech table.
Kate is a natural fit to lead such a glass-ceiling-busting organization. Her former roles include working as the chief marketing officer for a talent marketplace that uses artificial intelligence to match techies to great jobs, as well as working as the president of the nonprofit Girls in Tech and acting as a mentor for a variety of tech outfits. She’s also an active speaker and writer, sharing her wealth of experience with TechCrunch followers and at Fast Company’s Innovation Uncensored event.
Kate and her team at Women 2.0 have a great understanding that in order to advance women in tech, it’s wise to not alienate supportive men. That’s why the organization has assembled a group of 13 men—including execs from Amazon, TechCrunch and Google—for its Allies Committee. These male allies offer their insight on how to close the gender gap in tech and serve as active agents in the fight.
Doing the important work of shaking up an entire industry so women can finally attain equality sure isn’t easy. Kate admits Women 2.0 can’t be everything to everyone, and that’s OK. But there is one thing she’s absolutely sure of: Ladies, we’re in this fight together, and together, we can change the world!
QUITE THE QUOTE
With Kate Brodock and Women 2.0 in mind, I’ll leave you today with this quote from the founder of Femsplain, Amber Gordon, who said:
“Trust in yourself, believe that your voice matters and know that your words are good enough.”
This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.