Being a minority in the IT industry is even harder today than it was just three years ago.
While most companies have diversity, equality and inclusion, or DEI, initiatives to intentionally build a more representative workforce, 75% of software and technology employers said the pandemic had impacted their DEI efforts, according to industry research. Additionally, only 32% of employees surveyed believe their company has an active and effective DEI strategy in place.
This negative impact on gender equality in the workplace has made the intentional recruitment of women and minorities a priority more than ever.
“We really saw first and foremost by being intentional that you can change the way your organization looks,” said Danielle Greshock (pictured, right), Director of SA Partners and Global ISV at Amazon Web Services Inc. “But also that without being intentional, there were a lot of outcomes and situations that weren’t perfect for a healthy and productive work environment.
Greshock spoke with theCUBE industry analyst Lisa Martin during a final analysis segment at the “AWS Partner Showcase S1 E3: Women in Tech” event, an exclusive broadcast on theCUBE, the studio live broadcast from SiliconANGLE Media. They discussed career advice and personal stories shared by successful women in tech at the event. (*Disclosure below.)
During the event, theCUBE also spoke with Vera Reynoldshead of engineering at Honeycomb.io; Sue PersichettiExecutive Vice President of AWS Global Strategic Alliances at Jefferson Frank, a Tenth Revolution Group company; Stephanie Curry, Global Head of Sales and Go-to-Market Strategy, AWS, at NetApp Inc.; and Hillary Ashtonexecutive vice president and chief product officer at Teradata Corp.
Women benefit from technology by bringing a diversity of experiences, and the workplace must change to meet their needs
Although the pandemic has had negative effects on women in the workforce, it has also had a positive influence, according to Greshock. Thanks to video calls’ window into people’s personal lives, there is more acceptance that workers have responsibilities outside of their careers that are of equal importance. When she talks to women who want to join AWS, they often ask if they can balance work, children, and family while still having time for themselves.
“A lot of people look at work very differently,” Greshock said.
One piece of advice that stood out for Martin was: “Be selective in choosing your bosses.”
“We often see people who are drawn to a company brand and think about it more than they do about the boss or bosses who can guide them along the way,” she said.
A supportive manager will provide opportunities and help a woman achieve her goals, but an unsupportive manager can place obstacles to prevent a woman from succeeding, Martin added.
“Reflecting on my own career, I can see how I had particular managers who had a major impact on my assist,” Greshock said.
Women who are unable to choose a job where they have a sympathetic supervisor should always seek out mentors, allies and sponsors who can help them pursue their career goals, she added.
The difference between mentors, sponsors and allies was also covered during the conference, and Martin and Greshock explained why each is important and how to benefit from their advice and guidance throughout a career. .
It’s a misconception that only STEM graduates are qualified for a tech career. In fact, Greshock sees her “zigzag” course as an advantage, not a hindrance, and many other women participating in the event agreed.
“For people who have been in the industry for 20 or 25 years, I think we can just say it’s a marathon. It’s not a sprint. You will always have new things to learn,” Greshock said.
Here is the full video interview:
(*Disclosure: Amazon Web Services Inc. sponsored this segment of theCUBE. Neither AWS nor other sponsors have editorial control over the content of theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)