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Breaking barriers: The crucial role of mentoring for women in tech

Female mentor instructing trainee in a computer project, mentoring for women in tech concept

ARTICLE SUMMARY

Breaking into and thriving in the tech industry can be challenging, especially for women. Jodie Sparey, Sales Manager at CARMA, emphasises the importance of mentoring for women in tech.

Breaking into and thriving in the tech industry can be a challenging journey for anyone.

However, the challenges can be even more pronounced for women navigating the male-dominated landscape. From facing subtle biases in recruitment processes, to contending with unequal visibility, and battling gender-based stereotypes, the challenges women confront are multifaceted.

mentoring for women in tech

Throughout her career, Jodie Sparey, Sales Manager at CARMA, has witnessed the importance of mentorship for women, especially in male dominated fields like tech.

In this article, we’ll explore why mentoring matters and how it can be a game-changer for women aspiring to enter, remain, and excel in the tech industry.

Navigating the Confidence Gap

One of the key advantages of having a mentor is the confidence boost it provides. Research from Harvard Business Review highlights the gender gap in self-promotion, revealing that men tend to rate their performance 33% higher than equally performing women. Recognising and addressing the gender disparity in self-promotion is a critical aspect that the tech industry needs to confront.

The confidence gap is not due to a lack of competence but is often a result of societal expectations and ingrained biases. Mentors play a pivotal role in rectifying this imbalance through personalised guidance and constructive feedback on specific aspects, such as refining communication skills, navigating complex workplace dynamics, and showcasing achievements effectively. Mentors empower women to recognise and celebrate their achievements, instilling the self-assurance necessary to thrive in the innovation-driven environment of the tech sector, with confidence.

Guidance in a Male-Dominated Environment

Like many others, the tech industry has long been male-dominated. For women forging a path through this landscape, the journey can be like navigating a dense jungle – challenging, uncertain, and sometimes hostile. The reality is underscored by research from LeanIn.Org and SurveyMonkey, revealing that a surprising 60% of male managers express discomfort in participating in common job-related activities with women, such as mentoring, working alone together, or socialising together.

In these environments, having a mentor becomes advantageous and necessary. Mentoring helps guide women through complex gender biases at work, providing tangible examples and practical support that can make all the difference. Whether it’s navigating workplace dynamics by sharing personal experiences, offering strategies to overcome gender-related challenges, or providing concrete advice on excelling in male-dominated meetings.

mentoring for women in tech

Opportunities for Growth and Career Advancement

Mentors are instrumental in helping women identify and seize opportunities for growth and career advancement. They empower women to take charge of their career trajectories with guidance on positioning for new roles. They provide insights into the skills and experiences necessary for success in the tech industry, helping mentees tailor their professional development plans for maximum impact.

Mentors can also open doors to valuable connections, introducing women to key figures in the industry and providing access to opportunities that may otherwise remain hidden. Beyond networking, they also play a pivotal role in skill development. Whether it’s mastering technical skills or honing leadership capabilities, mentors provide a roadmap for continuous improvement.

A Strategic Imperative

Mentoring is not just a feel-good initiative; it’s a strategic imperative for women in tech. The statistics highlight the uncomfortable reality some male managers feel about participating in activities such as mentoring. However, it’s precisely because of these challenges that mentorship is crucial.

As the tech industry strives for diversity and inclusivity, mentoring is a powerful tool to empower women, foster confidence, and pave the way for a more equitable future. So, to all the women aspiring to conquer the tech world, seek a mentor – your guide to breaking barriers and achieving success.

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