IT Brief New Zealand - Technology news for CIOs & IT decision-makers
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IWD 2024: Carving our place and shaping the future
Thu, 7th Mar 2024

In the tech world, seeing more women in leadership isn't just about equality; it's proof of the unique ideas and breakthroughs we bring to the mix. After more than twenty years in the IT game, I've seen firsthand how attitudes, policies, and practices are slowly but surely changing for the better, making tech a more welcoming place for everyone.

It's clear that women have a rightful place in IT. Still, it often feels like the tech culture is trying to catch up. Those articles pushing for more women in tech? They highlight the gap we're still working to close. Sure, we've come a long way, but we've got more road to travel toward a truly equal and open industry.

Navigating the space between what society expects of women and the boldness needed in tech leadership has been a real balancing act. Society, often subconsciously, imposes a narrow framework of qualities considered appropriate for women, such as gentleness, empathy, and nurturing instincts. While these are great qualities for leaders, they can clash with the tech world's often-praised decisiveness and bold confidence. For us women in tech leadership, it's about mixing these traits, showing strength with kindness, pushing forward ideas while building teamwork, and handling the gendered scrutiny of our leadership style. The real task? Changing the story about leadership to embrace a wider range of qualities that work for everyone, not just fitting into old stereotypes. We're not just trying to meet these expectations; we're aiming to redefine them, pushing for a leadership style that's both authentic and inclusive.

Tech's role in society is huge. It's not just about reflecting changes; it's about driving them, making the tech sector a key player in promoting diversity. By developing tools and platforms that cater to a variety of needs and viewpoints, we help build a more inclusive world. This focus on diversity ensures that the innovations we create truly meet the needs of the diverse world we live in, making tech a leader in championing inclusivity and demonstrating how technology can help bridge societal divides.

In places like New Zealand, away from the big city, the tech community is small but on the rise. For leaders here, it's vital to get out there and inspire the next generation. Moving forward means more than just sticking to it; it's about actively mentoring, advocating, and leading by example. We're working to speed up the tech industry's transformation into what we believe it should be. Imagine a future where the next generation doesn't even have to discuss gender disparities in tech because we've created an environment that welcomes everyone to tech.

Looking back, the change is obvious. From the early days when it was rare to see women in tech roles to now when our contributions are increasingly acknowledged, it's clear we're making headway. But we know this journey is far from finished. Our aim? A tech industry where gender is irrelevant, and diversity is just part of who we are.

To my fellow women in IT, especially those in quieter places like regional New Zealand, your voice is important. Your skills, your leadership, and your vision are key to the innovations shaping our future. Don't second-guess your place in tech; own it and lead the way for those coming after us.

Our story in tech leadership has moved from just getting by to setting the pace. It's all about breaking down the old barriers for future generations and building a tech world that reflects the diverse society it serves. Looking ahead, let's aim for a tech landscape that's as rich, vibrant, and inclusive as the communities we live in, marking articles like this as signposts of our progress and the journey ahead.