This quarter Salt is focusing on ‘Women in Tech’ (you can read our other articles on the issue at http://insight.welovesalt.com/). You might, however, be thinking we are little late to the party, but diversity is actually something which is at the forefront of everything we do, for years we’ve been focused on parenting with our clients to help advocate and promote this (slightly boring and repetitive) topic.
It got me thinking, what does ‘Women in Tech’ actually mean to me? Firstly, I suppose I am one and secondly, I started thinking about some of the inspiring females who I work with on a day to day basis. Recruitment can often be branded as a male-dominated environment, and similarly, the sector I recruit for is usually littered with male Sales Directors and Sales people. One of the questions that come up time and time again with my clients is ‘where can we find more female talent’ I am, however, fortunate enough to work with some very successful individuals who are living proof that this isn’t necessarily a mans world...
I wanted to think about how I could potentially help some of the ‘women in tech’ I speak to every day and although I consider myself (semi) successful I decided to take my reach a little further and ask some of the ladies in my world who I think truly represent ‘Women in tech’ and who in my eyes, have really got their sh*t together!
Every day we are learning, growing and making mistakes (I must have made 25 last week alone) so I was interested to hear from these fabulous females ‘if you could give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?’
Ladies (and Gents too!) I hope you find their words as useful and inspiring as I did!
Katy Bennett, Former VP Sales @ Mapp Digital - https://www.linkedin.com/in/katemacfarlane/
‘’I’d advise myself to find a strong mentor for support and advice. I was lucky to have a few girl peers whom I now count as close friends, but very few women I admired in leadership positions. I wish I’d worked harder to build a mentor relationship, irrespective of gender.
I would have negotiated harder during my early career moves.
I would tell my young self to decide clear boundaries at work and with clients: it’s a trait of inexperience and women, in general, to be “super helpful” with little recognition. I would advise myself to focus on outcomes- summarise what I’m aiming to achieve in headlines, be direct, confirm the commitment.
I’d also have spent more on good shoes in the early years.’’
Jacqui Barratt, CEO SALT - https://www.linkedin.com/in/jacqui-barratt-b975022/
‘’The advice I would give to my younger self is something I did and have continued to do but at times it was tested and I needed to be clear. Stick to your values and principles. If you don’t know what you stand for it is too easy to get swayed which may ultimately take you down another path. This requires courage at times as your values may not be aligned with the organisation or people may ask you to behave in a way, not in line with your principals. When that happens you need to make a decision whether you can live with that or not. Values underpin behaviours and can’t be negotiable or compromised. ‘’
Jennifer Miller, former VP Sales @ Olapic - https://www.linkedin.com/in/jenmillersaas/
‘’ Say it. There are so many times that I wanted to say something, should have said something but for some reason, did not. Whether it is asking for a raise, defending your position, directly address an inappropriate comment, speaking up in a meeting, or just asking a perceived 'dumb' question - there is power in practicing and using your voice. As I have gotten older, I have used that nervous moment when I feel that pit in my stomach as the trigger to push me to action and let my voice be heard. ‘’
Marie Despringhere former Country Manager, Optimizely -https://www.linkedin.com/in/mariedespringhere/
‘’ Believe in yourself and follow your gut! So many times I wanted to speak up at work to bring a different view to the table or an innovative idea but still, I didn't and stayed silent. Only to find someone else being congratulated for doing what I couldn't. You know much more than you think and your expertise can have a huge impact on a business, you just need to speak up and follow your instinct!’’