International Women's Day: Celebrating our Women in Tech
Today is International Women’s Day, and this year the theme is #EmbraceEquity - which means creating an equitable environment. An equitable work environment means understanding that everyone, regardless of gender, religion, ethnicity, background, or resources, brings strength to the workforce and that opportunities should be given to them based on their individual needs.
For Pulumi, it means a work environment where everyone can share ideas and respect them even when disagreeing. Women’s experiences - as well as men’s and nonbinary’s experiences - inform the direction of digital technology and innovation.
Being International Women’s Day, today we focus on women in tech.
Women in Tech Stats Awareness
- Women earn an average of 17% (US) to 13% (EU) less than men, according to U.S. Census Bureau and European Commission.
- 60% of women in tech said a parent or teacher encouraged them. Logitech and Girls Who Code’s report on understanding the barriers women face in tech noted the importance of having role models and people encouraging them.
- In small companies, 30.2% of employees are women, according to the report Top Companies for Women Technologists.
- 75% of women in tech are asked to handle more administrative tasks compared to their male colleagues, according to Navisite’s survey.
Below, you can meet some of Pulumi’s tech women - their experience, why they chose tech, and advice to thrive.
Pulumi’s Women in Tech
Jasmine Dahilig, Software Engineer
“A lot of people told me that I wasn’t smart enough to pursue computer science. My own parents told me I wasn’t good at math and that science “didn’t suit” me. At first, I believed them… I gave up before I even tried. Luckily, tech was just too interesting and I couldn’t stop myself from having fun writing software. Then I double majored in computer science and applied mathematics, and after 10 years in the tech industry… well I guess they were wrong! Hehe! Disclaimer: you do not need a degree to work in tech, but if you want a degree in STEM you can do it! Either way, I’m rooting for you!!!”
Sarah Hughes, Software Engineer
“I was lucky enough to go to high school with a ton of other girls who were into tech, so I took AP Computer Science in a class that was close to a 50/50 split. It really helped to start from scratch on equal footing. (Almost) everyone knew absolutely nothing, and it was obvious that our strengths and weaknesses were completely independent of gender.”
Lina Desloge, Account Executive
“I have always enjoyed problem-solving and working with people…which is what ultimately led me to a technical product. The advice I would give my younger self is don’t worry, just start!”
Kelsey Dirks, Customer Success Manager
“When I entered university I chose Electrical Engineering as my major. I soon learned coding was not my specialty and switched to Communications, but I loved the people in the classes. It was clear both the professors and students were passionate about their craft. I knew that when I left university, I wanted to work with these types of people, but I had no idea in what capacity. Over the years, my experience led me to be a Customer Success Manager.
What I would tell my younger self is to not stress about trying to figure everything out right away. Every job will have its ups and downs, but when it comes to a career, trust that it will all work out. The biggest piece of advice I can give to women entering the tech field is don’t be afraid to lean on your female support system. If you aren’t able to advocate for yourself, your sisters in STEM will.”
Jonelle Boyd, UX Designer
“If I could give advice to women entering the tech field, I would tell them don’t be afraid of change. Whether that be a role change or a job change, because every new opportunity is a chance to learn and grow. I’ve changed roles as well as worked at a variety of different places during my career and I’ve learned something new in every position. There’s tremendous value in having a wide range of experience, so never be afraid of making that change.”
Casey Huang, Software Engineer
“To my younger self - At some point, you’ve heard people sell working in the tech industry by saying the hours are more flexible - you’re not chained to your desk 9 to 5, you can leave early as long as you get your work done. This is somewhat true, but you should know: there is always more work to do. Some of it is important enough to move the business needle. Some of it isn’t as important, but you just care a lot about it. It’ll be up to you to define your boundaries, and it will be up to you to defend them. But it’s okay; if your work environment is truly a good fit for you, they’ll follow your lead and support you. You can’t min/max life like you like to do in video games. What you’re doing is good enough. Don’t be so afraid of making mistakes. If anything, you’ll learn faster that way.”
Guinevere Saenger, Software Engineer
“Working in tech provides me with significant financial independence, professional respect, and a flexible work schedule. These are worthwhile for anyone to have, but especially so for women.”