Women in tech - invest in your personal development by accelerating change from within

Laptop Picture: Free stock image/pixabay
Laptop Picture: Free stock image/pixabay

Gender inequality has remained a buzzword internationally within the business sector.

Although we have seen significant progress, much has yet to be done. One of the areas of business in which females are underrepresented is in the fast-growing technology sector.

According to statistics provided by Stinsad Consult at the recent Women in Tech conference held in Cape Town, Sub-Saharan Africa has a technology sector that is 30% female compared to 28% globally.

Remarkably, women hold 33% of executive positions within African tech, a far higher percentage than in Silicon Valley where this figure sits at 11%.

We know that women are faced with multifaceted life-roles, and that the business sector is required to recognise the demands of these individual life circumstances. Addressing the issue of gender balancing will not be resolved overnight but we do have the capacity to influence the scale at grass roots level and within educational institutions.

We need to encourage communities, governments, and businesses to empower young girls (and boys) to develop their tech skills. This could be the game-changer for the future of the youth, creating employable individuals and building a foundation for jobs that may not even exist yet in this rapidly developing technology industry.

So how do women ensure that they stay on the rise within the tech industry… in any industry?

The answer is to invest in personal development.

Below is a 4-step blueprint from CND’s directors, Razia van der Schuur and Glenda Bhana, to motivate and kickstart your journey.

  1. Research and Read

There are books and free online courses that cover many areas of technology. Choose a topic and be specific about the area that you want to focus on. Understand who the game changers are in the industry, understand the trends and find out how you can get involved.

2 Find a mentor

A mentor can be anybody; from a peer who knows something you don't and who you want to learn from, to someone vastly more experienced who is willing to take you under their wing. Mentorship is by far the fastest and most effective way to learn.

3. The Plan, Execute, Measure and Reflect Cycle.

You need to have a plan. Whether it is setting time aside each day to research, studying online or attending workshops, you need to commit to your plan and be disciplined in executing it.

4. Then do it! Execute!

Measuring your progress allows you to monitor your progress, and helps you to see your achievements as well as where you need to further focus your attention.

Finally, the only way to know how to improve is to reflect and ask yourself where you need to focus your energy. Have you challenged yourself sufficiently? Have you met the goals you set out to achieve on that day? Hold yourself accountable.

Repeat this cycle each day

5. Fail Forward

Learning through experience is the greatest teacher. Be coachable. Be teachable and embrace the growth that comes with the process.

Accelerate the change from within and be your own change agent. Be bold and brave, and challenge yourself beyond your comfort zone.

CND, www.changesnewsdigital.co.za is a proudly South African, 100% female-owned enterprise in the digital industry. The company's vision is to be the leader in training, developing and upskilling females and youth in the digital sector as well as driving change within the social innovation sector.

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