March is National Women’s history month and there’s been a lot of chatter about where we, as a society, are in the movement of advancing the cause for women in pretty much every facet of life. Women in business, women in politics, women in tech – the list goes on. In the spirit of ‘complaining with solutions’, LiveIntent was curious about how we could be a positive force in the technology community that we are so proud to be a part of. So we asked ourselves a simple question.
How can we further support and elevate women in tech?
Our responses were overwhelming. It seems like almost everyone had a point of view on how we make things better for women in tech. After reading through people’s thoughts, three major themes of how we can support women were surfaced. We need to support women in how we learn, how we think, and how we act every day.
Also, as a tribute to the empowering photos of women by Getty Images, our friend and talented photographer Seth Olenick, spent some time with the ladies of LiveIntent to capture some of the essence behind how our women live out lives that exemplify how far we’ve come in helping women reach their full potential. Laughs and great times were had by all. Here it is.
Let’s support women in tech by how we learn.
“Since only 12.5% of computer science degrees are currently awarded to women, I think it’s especially important that women who develop an interest in engineering and/or tech after college are able to learn the skills they need to pursue technical career paths. Organizations such as General Assembly and Startup Institute that allow people without technical backgrounds to take classes in tech-related subjects (e.g. web development, product management, digital marketing etc.) provide a step in the right direction.” Jasmina Stritof, Platform Operations Specialist
“More STEM Education – starting in elementary school and continuing through college – is the key to changing the employment landscape of the technology industry. Our products are built by, and used by, all manners of people, everywhere, and it makes sense that their construction should reflect the community at large. Diversity should only drive innovation.” – Dave Hendricks, President
“Apart from the work that must be done to create environments that nurture more female STEM majors, my practical advice for getting more women into tech is to:
3. Have tangible goals, and have metrics and deadlines that can be used to assess the progress of these goals” Ife Olokode, Platform Development Manager
Let’s support women in tech by how we think.
“First, we need to continue to drive awareness around the wonderful truth that equality makes companies better. There are numerous studies that support this statement, but the following may might hit home the most with the tech industry:
1. Successful start-ups have more than double the median proportion of female execs than failed start-ups
2. Companies with more ethnic and gender diversity have more revenue, customers, and profit.
The point is equality is not a zero sum game: we all benefit from having a more diverse workplace. This has been my favorite message around gender equality in the work place because it illuminates that we’re all actors and beneficiaries in making the workplace a more fair and equal environment.” Kaitlin Ashley, Director, Customer Success
“Being open to ideas and stories from people with different life experiences is vital to the success of LiveIntent and in many cases we have to go out of our way to fill in gaps; especially when it comes to women. One initiative we launched in January of 2014 was a learning series where we bring in great speakers to tell their stories. 80% of all our speakers to-date have been professional women from the tech industry which provides the women of LiveIntent to identify with and speak to female thought leaders. To be a champion for women in tech we have to intentionally develop and nurture social systems within and outside of the company that include career opportunities, training, coaching and cultural activities.” Jason Oates, Chief Business Officer
Let’s support women in tech by how we act.
From a “let’s walk the walk and talk the talk” perspective, we should be celebrating the traits in women that make them successful! The key being, not necessarily calling out that they are female traits. How do we enhance a culture of empathy, of communication, of people who think first and act later? We elevate people who exemplify them (men and women). Because in the immortal words of Tina Fey “Bitches get stuff done”. Megan Towe, Director, Partnerships and Integrations
“You can’t change what you don’t see. You won’t change what you don’t feel. The best thing we can do to further elevate women in tech is therefore to start by creating the best environment for those we work with immediately. By starting with the people we interact with daily, we will become more aware of the obstacles that exist and more attune to what’s needed to make things better. Perhaps most importantly, we’ll be able to make changes, take action, and understand what works. Watch people flourish. Create success stories. And nothing generates forward momentum like historical success.” Suneet Bhatt, Chief Marketing Officer
“Be inquisitive with our women who are in a tech focused roles. What in their education or youth got them interested in this type of work? Where do they want their careers to go? They may know of organizations that produce strong female candidates for tech focused roles.
I have personally found the most inspiration from the women speakers we have had visit during Lunch and Learn’s and via the Women of LiveIntent Group. Selena Rezvani in particular was personally very inspiring and informative for me. I read her book and applied those learnings. When speaking with my superiors I leveraged her advice and the result was positive for me. I really feel we should continue pursuing female leaders in our space to come in and share their knowledge.” Arian Ashworth, Business Development Manager
Thanks to those that participated: everyone at LiveIntent, our talented design team and especially Elisha Dorsey for his hard work in making sure our voices were heard.