Progress can seem frustratingly slow, but the situation for women in tech has changed quicker than we think.
By Malen Gómez (Head of SEO, Lamudi)
Some people believe women don’t want tech careers. How wrong they are.
In my work place, there is now a 50-50 gender split. Just as many women are on my team as men – who would have predicted that a decade ago?
To most people in most industries, this figure would not seem surprising at all. In fact, to some it is probably still too low. It is often said that the tech sector is one of the worst for gender inequality in the workplace. That may still be true. And yet, when I look back on my time in the industry, the change is remarkable.
I started my career in tech 10 years ago. Back then, I often felt like an outsider in an industry full of testosterone. These days, it is not rare at all to see a woman heading up a global tech team. As the head of SEO for the Berlin-based property start-up Lamudi, I have female peers across all departments: PR, online marketing and management – just to name a few.
And that’s only within our company – which employs an above-average number of women for the sector. In total, 50 per cent of our global workforce is female. We have three female managing directors in our global offices, plus three directors located at our Berlin HQ. But I also have peers and equals right across this city, which is often touted as one of Europe’s tech and start-up capitals. Is a women’s revolution underway in this vibrant industry?
I have a team of bright and extremely driven young women working alongside me. They come from all over the world to work here: from Bangladesh and Spain, the United States and Australia. Was it a conscious decision to hire these talented ladies? Well, yes, but not because of their gender. They all have one thing in common: they are extremely good at what they do. And they happen to have an interest in an industry that was once considered too ‘geeky’ to hold a woman’s attention.
What attracts these ambitious young women to the start-up scene? At the end of the day, they are after one thing: they are turning to tech because it satisfies their career goals. They want to work in a cutting-edge industry. They like the fast-paced environment that start-up cultureprovides. And in each of these respects, they are no different from their male counterparts.
So what do women in tech want? A rewarding career in a growing industry. But then, what else should they want?