I am text block. Click edit button to change this text.by Abby Drexler, Senior Digital PR Specialist at HigherVisibility
Women are making strides to become leaders in various fields like tech. In some cases, these are fields and industries that have long been dominated by their male counterparts. Entrepreneur credits some of the growth that tech has experienced recently with women entering and succeeding here. The process of succeeding, however, in such a competitive arena definitely requires building a solid network.
It is important to not only surround yourself with other experts in your field. You need to stay current with emerging trends that affect technology and the products and services associated with it. There are many different ways that women in tech have found to assist them with networking and making professional connections. This means tapping into resources and opportunities.
There are more and more organizations and conferences that focus on the growing number of women in tech. Attending these is a good way to strengthen your network. At the same time, consider tech-based events that may not be solely specific to your area of expertise. It is possible to make a career promoting connections with a little research. Let’s take a look at some useful ways women in tech build their networks.
Succeeding in a competitive arena definitely requires building a solid network.
- Join National Organizations. You may not be able to travel to attend industry events whenever they occur. It is a good idea to learn about them and other things that women in tech are doing. Joining national organizations, such as the National Center for Women and Information Technology is an option. Some of these will provide members with access online, as well as, local chapter information if applicable.
- Volunteer in the Industry. According to Tech Jury, 74% of girls wanted to pursue careers in STEM fields in 2018. These are desires that need to be cultivated and nurtured. Volunteering to assist these girls as they learn is not simply a way to give back. It allows women in these fields to meet and work together to benefit the future and growth. Black Girls Code, Girls in Tech, and Girls Develop It are organizations volunteers consider.
- Attend Annual Conferences. There are few better ways to see up-close the diversity that exists in tech, than by attending annual conferences. One of the most popular of these is the Women in Silicon Valley Conference, which takes place each year. This is an effective way to meet women from around the world who have similar goals as you. Awards events throughout the country are also great opportunities to build your network.
- Find a Mentor. Today, it is much easier to find and connect with a mentor. No matter where they may be located, the internet brings us all closer. Social media, email, and various other outlets are available to develop a relationship with one or more mentors. These are typically people who have already accomplished some of your goals. The information that they provide can be instrumental in what you pursue next.
- Subscribe to Industry Periodicals. It doesn’t matter whether it is a newsletter or a magazine. These periodicals can provide a lot of useful information about your industry. Those that are specific to women in tech are particularly beneficial and help to provide opportunities. Information about regional and local events may only be advertised in these resources. Using a variety of ways to stay abreast of the industry can lead to networking.
- Develop Local Groups. Small Business Trends reported that in 2018 only 20% of the jobs in tech were held by women. There has been much growth over the last 10 years, but much more is needed. Being able to connect with other women in these fields regularly is an important way to expand your network. Depending on the city or town that you live in, there may be a lot of interest in such local groups.
There are many creative ways to continue to grow as a woman in tech. A lot of these are also ways to find out about opportunities with different businesses, companies, and corporations. Not all opportunities fit neatly into the classical technology box. This is why investing time in networking in tech areas is critical to making connections that are beneficial to your career and future goals.