This summer, Campus Philly published an intriguing article about Philadelphia being on the forefront of gender equality in the tech industry. We asked two women on our Program Delivery team to weigh in with their thoughts.
I totally agree with the majority of this article. I do think there are tons of opportunities to be involved as a woman in the Philadelphia tech community, despite the fact that the industry has a higher percentage of men. However, it also depends on what field you’re pursuing. I would argue that the Account Management and Content-type roles in the tech industry are heavily female. I would love to see more males entering this field. Or even more articles on why there aren’t males entering those fields…
There are huge opportunities for women to lead the way in this industry. It shouldn’t be a deterrent that you’ll be surrounded by male coworkers. Over my entire career, I’ve never felt I had less of an opportunity or didn’t have a seat at the table. Often times I am the only female in a room—leading a tech project—but I’ve always been welcomed with open arms. When the focus is on gender, not someone’s skills and talent, then more than just opportunity is lost.
If we as women keep pointing at certain industries as being “uphill” battles, I think it’s a huge deterrent for the younger generation of women. We need to look at things as opportunities, not as “glass ceilings” we need to break. I sometimes see women in meetings not speaking up on client calls, or just letting their male counterparts take the lead. We have a voice and tons of talent in this community, let’s show it and speak up.
I’m a huge fan of Sheryl Sandberg—we have a CHOICE to “lean in.” No one is going to hand you a seat at the table, you have to just take it.
Donamarie had this to add:
Over a decade ago, I started in this industry in this very city of Philadelphia with little related experience but a lot of interest. I have walked into countless meetings where I was the odd (wo)man out. I needed to get over it quickly, and that I did. Since then, I noticed that a lot of women have joined project management and research teams, and even more recently more women are doing development and design work.
I am proud to be a part of this community and see the influx of smart, creative female counterparts join the industry!
Illustration by Brandon Sax