Women in Technology: Strength, Survival, Success, and Beyond

Does the individual success of some women in our industry constitute a genuine shift for all women, or only represent one person’s successful navigation of existing structures and systems? There are many factors that contribute to the success of women working in technology today, and even the best intentions can leave women and many others behind. If the change we’re seeking is a more inclusive workplace and affirming culture, then women in technology is not just about women—it’s a facet of a greater effort and connected issues. These include the connection of race, ethnicity, and LGBT identities to exclusion, and our ability to acknowledge institutional racism along with other institutionalized exclusions; understanding how we as women are perceived and interpreted workforce dynamics; and understanding how people and organizations can take inclusive actions.

Too often, we’re told to “lean in” and “believe in ourselves,” which leaves little room for interpretation of into what we’re leaning in the first place. Even the most affirming personal strategies do not create lasting change unless connected to broader understanding and action. This session and its panelists, instead of sharing personal success paths, will attempt to unpack the true complexities and change mechanisms necessary to support women in technology as part of broader actions to bring inclusive workplaces to light, better supporting us as both individuals and organizations.

Takeaways:

  • Better understanding of the roles that structures like institutional racism, sexism, and homophobia play in our advancement and lives as women in technology
  • How unconscious bias works, and how to identify it
  • Microaggression effects, and how to address them
  • How to better understand the interpretation of our own communication and actions in the workplace, and when they can help/hinder us
  • How anyone can be an active accomplice to women in the technology workplace, and how to put our hands out for other women