How To Thrive as a Woman in Tech & Other Male-Dominated Fields
In today’s “Financially Savvy Female” column, we’re chatting with career experts and women who work in traditionally male-dominated industries about what to do if you feel like you are being treated differently at work due to your gender, how to handle it if you believe your male colleagues are being paid more for the same work and other tips for women working in tech and other male-dominated fields. A recent study of the tech industry conducted by New View Strategies found that 1 in 3 women experiences gender bias and 43% believe there is a gender pay gap at their company. These issues are all too common for women working in male-dominated fields — but we don’t have to accept the status quo.
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Speak Up About Pay Disparity Issues
If you believe you are being underpaid, you should immediately bring this up with your human resources department or direct manager.
“It is easier now to verify salaries,” said Stacie Haller, career coach and expert at ResumeBuilder.com. “There are many online salary guides, and you can easily see where your pay should be, regardless of sex. This is the info to use in a discussion on pay disparity and in a discussion regarding the request to be paid the same as colleagues in the same position.”
Although this discussion may be uncomfortable, it’s vital that you stand up for yourself.
“Women need to voice their concerns, and with the war on talent during the Great Resignation, this is the time when there is an opportunity to tackle the bias and bring equity to the gender salary gaps,” Haller said.
Always Use Data To Make Your Points
In addition to using data to renegotiate your salary, you should also rely on data to get your point across when facing any other workplace barriers.
“Identify specific situations, projects or initiatives that could have been done differently [in cases where] gender has been the barrier,” said D. Sangeeta, founder and CEO of Gotara, a career growth and mentoring platform that aims to close the STEM gender gap. “Provide details about what happened and how it could have been done better. Use business impact as a reason to do things differently. In most cases, gender discrimination is not intentional, and folks don’t even realize they are doing this. Leading with data works every time.”
Invest In Yourself
Lauren Hasson, founder of DevelopHer, a platform dedicated to helping women in tech, said that strengthening your skills is the best way to ensure you aren’t paid less or treated differently due to your gender.
“You have to invest your time and money in yourself,” she said. “This includes practicing advocating for yourself, learning strategic ways to build your value so you can earn more and investing in resources to help you advance.”
Build Your Network
Cultivate a network of other women in your field who you can turn to for support, said Joana Fonseca Orvalho, career coach and founder of Coaching for Professionals.
“Getting the right support is a must,” she said. “No one will better understand the position you are in than someone that is going through the exact same thing. Therefore, find women that work in similar environments and use them as a support group. You can share experiences and tips on how to deal with specific scenarios.”
GOBankingRates wants to empower women to take control of their finances. According to the latest stats, women hold $72 billion in private wealth — but fewer women than men consider themselves to be in “good” or “excellent” financial shape. Women are less likely to be investing and are more likely to have debt, and women are still being paid less than men overall. Our “Financially Savvy Female” column will explore the reasons behind these inequities and provide solutions to change them. We believe financial equality begins with financial literacy, so we’re providing tools and tips for women, by women to take control of their money and help them live a richer life.
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