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Breaking Barriers: insights from Women in Tech on career advancement

Breaking Barriers: insights from Women in Tech on career advancement
Date: 27 October 2023

September 21 marked a pivotal discussion within the tech industry, hosted by College Recruiter and Jooble, focusing on the professional landscape for women in tech. This insightful session delved into real-world experiences, professional trajectories in IT, and the unique challenges women face in their careers.

Conversations revolved around confronting and transcending gender stereotypes, with participants exchanging actionable strategies and personal hacks they’ve employed to navigate these issues. Emphasis was placed on continuous learning and development as key drivers of their professional ascension.

Speakers:

 

Navigating Personal Hurdles in a Woman’s Professional Journey

Louise Grant, with her extensive experience since 1999, reflects on the job board industry’s transformation. She expresses gratitude for the significant shifts she’s witnessed, especially concerning women’s roles.

“I am the Co-founder of Job Boards Connect, and I’ve been in the job board industry since ‘99, which is quite a long time, plus a couple of years at Job Gate in the aggregation sector. I started my career in banking in the late 80s to early 90s. At this time, it was old-fashioned and dominated by bank managers. The men were the bank managers, and the girls were in the typing pool. We faced a lot of challenges for women in those days. We were not allowed to wear trousers to work. I’m so glad we have come away from that”, Louise recounted.

She further shared her initial experiences at various global conferences, often being the only woman present, which was initially daunting.

Jeanette Leeds narrates her transition from Wall Street to HR tech, continually challenging stereotypes and ambitiously chasing her goals.

“I started my career on Wall Street at Lehman Brothers, now defunct. Initially, I worked in campus recruiting as a recruiter, reinforcing people’s stereotypes that women only work in HR, not banking. I wanted to advance my career and prove my intelligence to many men who viewed me simply as an HR employee. Therefore, I left recruiting for a couple of years to pursue my MBA and show that I was more than just another HR worker”.

 

Vital Skills and Attributes for Success

The speakers identified several competencies and personal qualities that were instrumental in surmounting professional obstacles:

  • Embracing openness and a culture of feedback.
  • Assuming responsibility and accountability in professional scenarios.
  • Building resilience against imposter syndrome.
  • Seeking opportunities proactively.
  • Fostering consultative over directive communication.
  • Courage in confronting challenges and articulating needs.
  • Overcoming the fear of rejection.

“I know there are a lot of underrepresentation companies, some societal expectations, and gender bases. I have often experienced a kind of imposter syndrome when your confidence is shattered. So it’s important to be resilient. Always try to bounce back from your self-doubt and believe in yourself.”
Karina Kominek, Team Lead Referral Marketing, Joblift

Striking a Balance: Personal Life and Career Aspirations

Achieving a harmonious balance between personal obligations and professional ambitions remains a complex task for many successful women.

Louise Grant, having spent many years in leadership roles while also being a mother, stresses the importance of discipline and efficiency, not just in terms of childcare but for personal health and well-being.

Natalia Haponiuk highlights the significance of maintaining mental health and overall wellness amidst the quest for a balanced life.

“I try hard to keep this life-work balance. This means that you always have to check your mental health and make sure that you take care of your wellbeing. After the war started in my country, I tried to relieve myself every day fully, to have as many hobbies as possible, and to do something all the time. I also have this rule: I must take my best and fullest self to work, but also I have to take her back with me home.”

Career Building: Four Golden Tips

  1. “Don’t let fear get in your he way, don’t be afraid. And the other thing I want to say is that it is OK to brag because no one else is doing it but you.” (Jeanette Leeds)
  2. “Be brave, and don’t underestimate yourself.” (Louise Grant)
  3. “You should always embrace your powers and never set any boundaries in front of yourself because you are capable of anything that’s awesome.” (Natalia Haponiuk)
  4. “Don’t be afraid to ask questions, keep learning, get feedback and don’t be afraid to try to think. Many people are afraid of what-ifs, and the only failure is not trying. And don’t think you’re bragging when you talk about your accomplishments. Think about it as it’s your expertise.” (Karina Kominek)

In Conclusion

The Women in Tech dialogue provided a wealth of inspiration, shedding light on overcoming workplace challenges, innovative approaches for career development, secrets to maintaining work-life harmony, and empowering advice on self-assurance and fostering a supportive team environment.

Watch for more enriching events by Jooble, designed to inspire, empower, and propel your career forward!

Date: 27 October 2023
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