International Women’s Day falls on March 8th every year, and in 2019 we wanted to focus on the experience of women within Incent’s technical development team. Technology is an industry often associated with men, but as a forward-thinking and innovative sector, it’s important for the tech industry to continue creating opportunities where women not only enter the industry, but break the gender ‘norms’ to lead.
The 2018 Women In Tech Index, released by Honeypot, gives us the statistics to understand how women shape up in the bigger picture. While Bulgaria has the most women in tech, at thirty percent, Australia comes in at a close second with a tech force made up of twenty eight percent women. The study results show where the inequalities lie, both in the workforce as a whole and in the tech space, and indicate where the best opportunities may lie for women.
The Incent team includes eight technical developers, divided into front end and back end developers. In terms of firsthand experience for women in the technical space, we talked to the women in our own office on their experiences. Nadia and Catherine are working in a team of three in the back end development of Incent, an area they say “you cannot see, but we are always working on”. For both of them, this is the first time in their careers where they have worked in a team where women outrank men.
Catherine has been working in Australia for about five years, working in companies that dealt with back end API. For those fluent in the language of the tech world, she started out in PHP dev and in her previous position, changed to node.js, before joining us in the Incent office. For Nadia, working at Incent is her first job in Australia - previous to this, she worked in Moscow in front end development, before slowly integrating into using node.js.
A similar vein in both of their journeys has been working in an industry dominated by men. Catherine notes that in her first job in Australia, while she liked and got along with everyone she worked with, she was the only female developer in her company.
“You expect this,” says Nadia, explaining the tech work space. “It started in university.”
“When people come into the company and talk to you, they automatically assume you are an account manager or something different,” says Catherine. “When you introduce yourself and what you do they always go ‘oh!’ in surprise.”
However, slowly, they think that there is starting to be an increase in the amount of women studying or working in tech. Their own experiences mean they had a wealth of knowledge to offer when asked about what they would tell those ladies that are just starting out.
“Stand your ground,” says Catherine.
“When you are surrounded by men, you are often afraid to voice your opinion, but if you say something, say ‘This is what I think’. It can be daunting, but be calm and stand your ground on what you think.”
Nadia thinks confidence is key.
“You just need to go and try,” she says. “We are too afraid to go to new things, and we just need to try.”
The statistics show that the amount of women in tech are slowly increasing, and Incent is certainly ensuring that we accurately represent that within our company.