For this year’s Women’s History Month we sat down with two of our Community’s highest ranking female devs for a special Q&A session. During our conversation we learned more about what International Women’s Day means to them, hear advice on how they’ve overcome challenges of being a woman in the male dominated tech industry and what they want to teach girls who will be the future female dev leaders.
One thing I took away from this Q&A which was inspiring is, even though they both live in opposite sides of the world and live very different day-to-day lives – they both agree; more can be done to enable women to succeed and International Women's Day is a reminder to continue the work towards equality for all, everywhere.
Manu Ashok works at Loyalty Prime as a Technical Solution Consultant based in India.
Stephanie Campbell is an Integration Specialist at Ingo Money based in St. Louis, Missiouri
Q: What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
Manu: It means celebrating womanhood, celebrating the achievements I have had during the last year and chalking out my next steps towards progress this year. Although, I feel one day is not enough to applaud on achievements, yet it gives us women an opportunity to resonate the thought amongst all women folks and creates more awareness around the issues and challenges we face on a day-to-day life.
Steph: International Women’s Day is a day to celebrate women in the workforce around the globe. I have had the opportunity to work with many amazing women from many countries/cultures. These women have been friends and partners along my career path, and have inspired me to continue to reach for higher goals. As the world becomes more technologically connected, it opens up more opportunities to share information, ideas, and promote one another.
Q: This year’s theme for IWD is #EachforEqual – an equal world is an enabled world. How does this resonate with you?
Steph: To me, an equal world is one where we have equally distributed talent around the globe and everyone is able to receive equal pay and equal opportunities. Research, in the form of published articles demonstrates that companies with women in positions of power achieve a higher level of performance. Women have a lot to contribute, and I applaud those doing it and the men that support them.
Manu: “An Equal World is an enabled World”, the campaign message is so true. It is not just a women’s issue, it is a bigger issue. Equality thrives harmony. Let’s vouch for a gender equal workplace, a gender equal board room, a gender equal government. Lets’ be #EachforEqual.
Q: What does it mean to be a woman in tech – an industry that has become so male-dominated?
Manu: One advice that I would give to women especially (because I have seen a couple of my women colleagues with this syndrome). We have a lot of preconceived notions on what we think we can and cannot do. I think we need to step away from that. Don’t be complacent, stay hungry. Keep asking yourself, “how can I further myself?”, “what's next?” Because I know, a lot of us (including me) are shy from asking. Asking questions, asking for a promotion, asking for a new role, asking for a referral. One never knows, there are people out there looking for people like us and unless we speak about us, they would never come to know so take initiatives and create your own opportunities and be confident to be yourself
Steph: I have had the opportunity to work in technology for quite a few years and I have seen a shift of more women entering tech fields and achieving promotions, but I feel there is still room for improvement.
Q: Any advice to inspire girls to peruse a career in STEM?
Steph: In our ever-evolving world of technology, STEM is more important than ever. Pursuing this track is a good course of action as most jobs will encompass some aspects of Science, Technology, Engineering, and/or Math. There are so many career paths, so pursue what you love and what interests you. Dream Big.
Manu: Well I come from a family where women before my generation were in STEM, my mother alone was a lecturer in Physics. So, I grew up without differentiating between a male oriented or female oriented career. My advice to girls would be to do where they find their heart to be. Off course, STEM is interesting, it gives you power to decide the course of future with all the inventions around STEM streams but do not stop yourself if you love Arts.
Our community is made up of strong female leaders and entrepreneurs. They champion change in the technology industry, overcoming diversity in what many say is still a “man’s world.” We celebrate your achievements today and every day of the year as we push for equality in the workplace.
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