If you were asked to think about women in digital technology, what would be the first thing that came to mind? Yes, presumably the gender gap. This years’ theme being bold for change on International Women’s Day, called for everyone to help forge a better working world: a more gender-equal world.

Check goal #5 Gender Equality of The Global Goals #globalgoals

While looking for ways to eliminate the gap and achieve equality, being a woman in tech is not bad at all. To be honest, in certain ways being a woman in the tech industry is preferred than being a man. Women in technical jobs typically are offered more help and support from their male colleagues than men in the same positions. This is not a sign of weakness or lack of power. You can be a strong independent and self-sufficient woman in digital technology- related fields and still recognise and appreciate help when it is offered. You do not have to be surrounded by people of the same gender, age, race and educational background to be successful. Being a minority can take you out of your comfort zone and it will seemingly open new horizons and challenge you in a most unexpected way. Here is what I have to say to the amazing young professional women out there:

“Embrace your minority status and feel special about it.”

Women are not good at “hands on” projects (as told by men)

We cannot deny the fact that there is a stereotype that men work in science, engineering and other technical fields and that women are supposed to look pretty and be looked at.

“Ugh, woman up!”

I must admit that nowadays it is not that bad anymore, however at least, being a working woman in a male-dominated field means that no one is going to judge you on your fashion choices – yes, I threw another one. I believe that even though women in technology constitute a slightly privileged class, they should not receive any special treatment or unfair advantage. To me, it is really comforting knowing that I am equally capable of doing something that not many years ago was considered to be ‘men’s work.’ The digital technology industry thrives on collaboration. I have found male colleagues beyond doubt encouraging and a pleasure to work with. Nevertheless, we do not need more men in the IT workforce; fearless, positive-minded and self-respecting women are needed. It cannot be denied that the tech world has big problems to solve and many new ones are adding up every day. Women bring empathy to the work floor because it is in their nature to fix things and make it better for others. #justsaying

Spread the word

I was delighted when I read the article of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum shared on Emrati Women’s Day.
Here is a remarkable quote: “We have already moved beyond the phase of empowering women. Indeed, we are empowering society itself through its women.”
We all should encourage females to derive as much satisfaction and self-respect from developing various excellent skills. This could start by breaking the daily routines, learning something completely new, familiarizing within the fields of technology and participating in conversations with others. A few years ago, I took a leap and I can tell that being a woman in tech offered me to start a completely new and relatively unknown and exciting career path.

I have discovered that it is fundamental to choose wisely what you wish to achieve in your career. If you do not love your career, you will not have the encouragement to take charge of your work. In this competitive world and a pressing life, it is wise to put your energies and efforts on what you would like to change in our world. We should prove to ourselves that there should be no more comparisons between the capabilities of different genders and get rid of all the stereotypes that compare women to men in a negative way on the work floor. Be bold and take action!

Written by Manisha Ghisai, IT Run Specialist at ABN AMRO Bank.