1 trillion. 12 million. 72,000. What do these numbers have in common? Technology. According to cyberstates.org, the top technology firms in the US had combined revenue of $1 trillion in 2018, contributing to almost 12 million jobs in the US technology workforce alone. However, only ¼ of these positions were held by women. As for the representation of female leadership in technology? A staggering 72,000 in 2018. If you were to relay those statistics to any women in this field, I’m sure their experience would mirror those figures, if not end up being even more disheartening depending on the company or specialization. Regardless of the various factors, it’s safe to say that with those odds, women are still struggling to get an invitation to the trillion-dollar feast, let alone a seat at the table.
This by no means is a new conversation and many companies have already developed initiatives that answer the question, “what are you doing to bridge the gender gap in technology?” As a collective of technology adjacent professionals, the women of Relutech decided it was time to formulate our own response.
WIT – Women in Technology
Atlanta has a rich infrastructure of technology networking communities. Naturally, it made sense to initially become well acquainted with groups that are already making a difference. WIT, or Women in Technology, is at the top of that list, maintaining a long-standing reputation of empowering gender diversity through youth STEM programs and professional development. The women’s group is also especially known for their social events, where food and fun pair together to create a vibrant atmosphere perfect for networking. Their latest social at Three Sheets in Brookhaven well exceeded those expectations and was the ideal gathering spot for this occasion. Personally, I left the event feeling reinvigorated to reach my career goals. Why? Because of these 3 factors: relevant connections, mentorship possibilities, and diverse leadership support.
Three Sheet Social Event
Even for introverts like myself, the vibe of this restaurant made it easy to strike up a conversation with those around me; I would simply mention the mouth-watering food options, well-crafted drink menu, or intriguing indoor/outdoor decor. Before I knew it, we would be sharing contact information and making plans to reconnect in the future. Generally, everyone was eager to develop relationships and I believe that their inviting nature was largely caused by the dynamic curated by Three Sheets and WIT’s planning team. Amongst the connections I made, mentorship opportunities seemed endless. From seasoned technology sales professionals to entrepreneurial talent solutions gurus, I engaged with various highly intelligent women to learn from on this journey to reaching my career goals. I furthermore felt more encouraged to be intentional in the space by the presence of male leadership.
Men in technology occupy a unique position of power, being that they dominate in numbers and therefore are gatekeepers to success. I was inspired by seeing male leaders at the event, including our CEO here at ReluTech, not only in attendance, but also engaged in dialogue necessary to drive this initiative forward. I had an exceptional experience participating in interpersonal conversations with some of the most prominent female executives of top Atlanta firms.
Overall, my team and I look forward to attending more WIT events because of the overwhelmingly positive experience we had at their Spring Social.
How About those Odds?
As a start-up company, ReluTech has the innovation and flexibility to better accommodate gender diversity in this industry. By no means do we boast to have all the answers, but by attending more and more events with established organizations like WIT, we look forward to having a streamlined response to the original question – “What are you doing to bridge the gender gap in technology?” ReluTech has and will continue to empower the women in our office through professional development, whether that be mentorship or continued learning.
As this is a newer initiative for us, what this movement looks like may slightly change in the future. What we do know for certain is that with 100% buy-in from our lady squad and leadership, we can’t fail at helping to make this a more inclusive industry for all take ownership of. How about those odds?
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