We all want to help women in tech.
A passionate leader in the women’s tech movement, Kate wanted to provide an environment where women could help other women professionally in a meaningful way.
Part of the Tech Ladies community is based on an #ASK and #OFFER concept, that allows the women in the group to confidently ask women in their industry questions, related to work or tech, and offer their help and services in return.
“So many people and organizations want to close the gender gap,” she explains, “but they don’t know where to start.”
So we went straight to the source: the women themselves. We asked women who attended the event to write their answer to one simple question:
- What do you need help with?
The response was overwhelming; as it turns out, there are endless ways that anyone who wants to be part of the movement can join, regardless of where you are in your career.
1.“Help me find a new job.”
As you know, it’s all about who you know! Someone might be looking for a job as a developer, and you might know someone who’s looking for a developer. It’s as simple as sending the job description to them and emailing your contact at the company to let them know you’ve got an acquaintance applying.
Don’t know of a specific opportunity for the candidate in question? Reach out to influential people and hiring managers in your network with a brief description of the candidate, her skills and strengths, and what sort of work she’s interested in. (Just be sure to get her permission first; if she isn’t comfortable publicizing the fact that she’s seeking a new role, you can still share high-level details and offer to facilitate an email introduction to anyone who responds.)
2. “Mentor me.”
Bet you had someone mentor you at some point in your life, and you probably really appreciated it. Get some good karma under your belt and do the same for someone else! They’ll be eternally grateful, you’ll feel great taking someone under your wing, and they’ll carry on your legacy for the rest of their career.
To find a mentor or mentee, use the power of social media. Write a post offering your services as a mentor and invite your network to tag others who might need a mentor. If you’re looking for a mentor, add your post to online groups you’re a part of to spread the word among people in the industry.
Trust us, it’s worth it.
3. “Give me an internship.”
There are always people looking to take an internship, from college students to adults who are finding their new path in life (think The Intern with Robert DeNiro).
We’re not talking those BS internships where you make them get coffee and run errands for you either. A good internship helps build important career skills, looks great on a candidate’s resume, and gives you extra help. Paid internships make it more likely for interns to secure employment after their internship is completed, but if your company doesn’t have budget, consider working with your intern to provide course credits instead.
To start, figure out what tasks you need help with and build a job description. Once you’re happy with that, approach your manager or HR department for approval rather than asking them to take the initiative. Establish whether there’s budget for a paid internship, and add to job search sites such as Indeed, LinkedIn, or ZipRecruiter. Make sure to share the job description via your personal network as well.
4. “Invite women to speak.”
Working in the tech industry isn’t easy for anyone, but sometimes not seeing a woman speaking on a tech-focused panel is discouraging. This might take a toll on encouraging other women to join.
It’s not about getting an all-woman panel at your event (although we know all women in tech are badasses); male allies are also key. Getting men and women to talk to young women who want to enter the industry and sit in on women-focused panels is a great way to influence women to pursue a career in tech and makes them feel supported. By having men attend these events, they hear first-hand of the problems women in the industry are facing, and in turn, women expand their network.
5. “Edit my resume.”
As small as this gesture is, having your resume edited by someone in the industry gives you a tremendous advantage. The changes might be small, but it’ll mean the world to a job candidate, especially if it lands them the job.
If you’re in a more senior role, consider offering to host a mock interview with a job seeker. Providing a safe space to practice and ask questions, as well as giving constructive feedback, can increase her confidence — which is key to landing a job.
Both applicants and potential editors can connect via social media. You can offer your services using the #offer hashtag, or solicit help using the #ask hashtag.
Solving inequality is a complex challenge. By taking even one of the steps outlined above, you can make a world of difference for women everywhere. Join the movement at https://www.hiretechladies.com/.