Tips for Navigating the IT Industry as a Woman

Information technology (IT) is one of the most in-demand career options that are now available. Defined in broad terms, IT includes the development, installing, and use of anything that has to do with computing and telecommunications. A couple of examples of information technology includes the creation of new word processing programs and cloud computing.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics confirms that employment in computer and information technology occupations is projected to grow 11 percent, between the years 2019 and 2029. This is much faster than the average for all occupations within this area. Professions within this field are projected to grow to 531,200 new jobs, while demand for such specific duties in cloud computing, collection and storage of big data, and information security increases. The median annual wage for IT-related occupations stood at $88,240 in May of 2019. This was significantly higher than the median annual wage for all other occupations which was $39,810.

Women in IT

According to the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), as of 2015, though women at the time made up 47 percent of all employed adults in the US, they held only 25 percent of computing roles (IT) jobs. Unfortunately, all of this was occurring even though the growth of STEM jobs was continuing to outpace the growth of overall employment in the United States.

Such STEM/ IT-related jobs have grown to 79 percent since 1990, though the numbers of women in the field, unfortunately, stand significantly less than their male counterparts. The percentage of women in computer and mathematical professions declined to below 25 percent between 2000 and 2009.

img

Women make up a crucial component of the IT industry, and their ranks within the IT industry need to be increased. To shut off this valuable valve of talent and experience is detrimental to the industry, and fortunately, various organizations are working to combat the problem. For the women who do find their ways into the ranks of IT, here are some tips on navigating the field.

Be Yourself

Don’t try to be one of the guys. Just be yourself. You don’t want to change who you are for the sake of a job. Though IT is largely a male-dominated field, it does you no favors to try and change yourself to feel more comfortable. It’s a hard mask to put on, day in and day out, and in the long run, it does more damage than helping. Quite simply, embrace your gender differences.

Keep Learning

Learn, learn, learn, and did I mention “learn?” Continue to grow in your respective IT field. Technology is constantly changing, and it helps to keep up with it. Be willing to accept the change that comes with every day, while also staying on top of the latest technological trends can be helpful in the long run. For example, being able to study more on ipv4 auctions can help you to succeed in providing better IPv4 address block reputation assurance to potential clients.

img

Use Your Voice

In addition to constantly learning about your field, don’t be afraid to speak up. Your opinion and insight mean just as much as anyone else’s. Maybe you have an idea that can help, or maybe you disagree with the way a particular task is being handled. Being quiet does nothing to help either situation. If the piece of information is being brought forward in a constructive way, you should speak up. Use your voice because it’s important.

Dress the Part

Dress for the role you’re working in. Most IT environments require a casual to business casual dress code and should be followed by everyone. Invest in women’s work clothes which allow you to feel comfortable, promote a feeling of being a professional, and while also adhering to the dress codes of your place of employment.