Tech has historically been one of the most male-dominated industries. Women account for 32.9% of the total workforce but only comprise 25% of technical roles, according to a study by Deloitte.
Although the share of women in tech is growing, the increase has been very gradual. Despite women being disproportionately affected by the pandemic, tech companies have been able to keep female representation on an upward trajectory as companies offer more flexible working.
With the trend of women in tech moving in a positive direction, we explore what it is like being a woman in tech in Asia!
We had the privilege of talking to, Jackie Wong our Digital Project Manager and Athena Lai our Business Analyst from our tech team to share their thoughts about working in tech in Asia!
- Jackie Wong – JW
- Athena Lai – AL
Have You Always Wanted to Be in Tech?
AL: “For me, I have always loved tech! Since I can remember, I have always had a profound interest in computers and it was clear from a young age that I wanted a career in tech. I majored in a computer-related field at university and went on to do my masters in Information Systems.”
JW: “My path to tech was completely different to Athena’s. I never thought I would end up in the tech industry, it was purely by accident. However, as accidents go, this would be considered a good one as tech is fast developing into one of the most important industries! So, I would say I’m pretty lucky on how things worked out.”
What Would You Say is the Biggest Challenge Working in Tech?
JW: “In a corporate setting, we have to work with a lot of different people, including tech and non-tech people. Tech can be pretty complicated for even us who have a tech foundation, so getting people with no background on tech to understand processes and projects can sometimes be a struggle.”
AL: “I would totally agree with Jackie. Balancing client requests with technical capabilities is probably the most difficult aspect. Many people can think of wonderful ideas to implement and from a non-tech person’s perspective, they seem like simple upgrades, but what they do not factor in is the technical aspects involved with carrying out the project or process.”
Tech Has Been a Predominately Male-Dominated Industry, Have You Noticed Any Gender Biases During Your Career Working in Tech?
JW: “It’s true that there are more men working in tech but luckily in Hong Kong, the chances for men and women are quite equal. As long as you have the technical skills, you will get the opportunity to progress in your career. The tech industry is also changing rapidly and is no longer just about coding like it was back in the days, it now involves so much more, like UI, UX, etc. This has attracted a lot more people into the tech industry as there are many different skills needed. So, in short, my answer would be no, it’s about ability rather than gender.”
AL: “Links is actually my first full-time job, so I can only speak for my experience here at Links. The idea of gender bias has never crossed my mind while working here. I feel like everyone here is very supportive no matter their gender or seniority level.”
From Your Previous Answer, I’m Guessing Gender Hasn’t Affected Your Progress in Work Here at Links?
AL: “No, definitely not. In fact, I think it has helped! The diversity in Links’ tech team really helps with creativity. We can bounce ideas off each other and I can see things from different standpoints, which I wouldn’t be able to see if it wasn’t for the diversity. The working environment is also very female-friendly and I feel very comfortable here.”
Is There Anything Else Links Can Do to Promote Gender Diversity or Reduce Gender Biases?
JW: “To be honest, it’s already very good here at Links. Harking back to what Athena said, the working environment is very female-friendly and supportive. For example, there are a lot of supportive measures for women who are pregnant and flexibility to help staff balance their work and personal life.”
Would You Encourage More Women to Take Up Tech Careers? And What Advice Would You Give Them?
AL: “Everyone has their own interests and goals, the best advice I can give is just follow your heart! Don’t be afraid to try it because of stereotypes or others’ opinions if tech is something you are interested in, then you should try it.”
JW: “Honestly, working in tech is the same as working in any other job. If it is something you are interested in, then go for it! There are still stereotypes attached to tech and news of long hours may scare people off. In every industry, hard work and patience are involved, and this goes for tech too. But if you are genuinely interested in tech the rewards you get from a good career in tech is worth it.
I hope that one day in the future, there will no longer be campaigns like ‘Women in Tech’ because when women in tech is not ‘special’, it means that women are no longer a minority in the industry and the stereotypes of women in tech has gone. So, I would encourage more women to take up tech careers now to make this a reality in the future.”
A big thanks to Jackie and Athena for their thoughts on working in tech.
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