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7 Tips for Women Who Want to Break into Tech

Nicole Lee
March 1, 20227 min
In BC, women in tech only make up 18 % of the tech workforce. Safe Software wants to change that. Here are 7 tips for women who want to break into tech!

The tech industry is fast-paced, full of innovation and is constantly developing. As a result, the booming world of tech has become a highly sought-after industry to work in. Over the last few years, the global pandemic has only accelerated digital transformation in companies across the globe.

In British Columbia (BC) alone, the tech industry employs around 100,000 tech professionals. According to the Vancouver Economic Commission, there are over 10,000 tech companies based in BC. Additionally, it generates more than $23 billion in revenue and $15 billion in GDP in BC, and will continue to grow at an average 6% each year. Undoubtedly, technology is a key industry in BC and will continue to be in the foreseeable future. The tech industry connects industries and builds resiliency in every industry. Eventually, as said by the BC Tech Association, every company is a tech company.

Women in Tech: The Hard Truths

Diversity is important in every industry, and tech is no different. After all, it has been proven that diverse companies outperform companies that are not and are able to both hire and retain better talent. Diversity boosts innovation and inspires creativity. More importantly, as the tech industry continues to grow, it should be a more accurate reflection of what the world is today. Despite conversations about diversity in tech, women are not entering technology jobs at the same rate as men. Safe Software wants to change that.

International Women’s Day 2022

Women are still underrepresented in the tech industry. In BC, women only make up 18% of the tech workforce. This is far less than the national average in Canada! Gender equality is important to Safers. We all believe technology empowers. Hence, BC’s tech industry should mirror the diversity it has and continues to celebrate. Safe Software is passionate about supporting women in tech to thrive and be the best versions of themselves – role models for other women within the sector or for women who want to break into tech. We are determined to champion women who work at Safe Software this International Women’s Day and every day.

So You Want to Work in Tech?

What does it take to work in tech? Many women are not making their move into tech because of barriers they face or have put up in their minds. One common misconception is that you have to have had formal training (i.e a Computer Science degree) to work in tech. Little do people know, there are so many roles in tech that do not require technical knowledge. Like any company, tech companies need marketing talent, HR talent and the list goes on.

Like most industries, tech jobs also benefit from transferable skills. To reiterate, the most important traits to have to thrive and grow in the tech industry are not over the top at all. You need to be constantly curious, be determined to solve problems and be able to adapt to changes because the industry evolves and innovates quickly. You will be on your feet all the time. Is it really that simple? Yes.

Here are 7 other tried-and-tested tips for women who want to break into tech by women at Safe Software:

  1. Take Courses
    “In my journey to software development, I took a couple part-time evening courses at BCIT (Intro Courses to Web Development and Javascript) to dip my toes in before deciding I enjoyed it enough to pursue it as a career.” – Ellaine, Service Enablement Developerpicture of ellaine for women who want to break into tech
  2. Peek Social Media
    “Look on social media to gain insight and sense of the tech industry from other people online. That’s what I did. I looked on TikTok, Instagram and LinkedIn.” – Rachel, Marketing Coordinator (Co-op)photo of rachel for women who want to break into tech
  3. Pick Up Practical Skills Along the Way
    “Pick up practical skills that can accompany your existing interests! This is so important. For example, I studied biology with specific interest in freshwater conservation then found GIS to be a great practical medium for my knowledge. I’m not analyzing data on the front end about fish waste anymore but I’m happy knowing I’m helping others work with their own data.” – Jenna, Technical Support Specialist, FME Desktopphoto of Jenna for women who want to break into tech
  4. Connect Away with Those in the Industry and Ask Questions
    “My piece of advice would be to do some outreach and try to connect with professionals that currently work in the industry who are willing to share their advice and expertise with you. Get curious about the trends and what skills are being highly sought after. Explore what these professionals are seeing and living through their experiences. Listen to the advice and feedback that they have to share! Even if just for a quick 15-20 minute (virtual) coffee chat, you’d be surprised with how many people are willing to lend a hand if you just ask!” – Samantha, Senior HR Generalistphoto of sam for women who want to break into tech
  5. Build an Online Portfolio
    “Keep all your best school work, and add it to your portfolio. Add all the online courses you attend, any webinars, trade shows/conferences, certifications, or even books/publications (related to the field) that you’ve read. It shows that you are dedicated and continuously learning. This is especially true if you are looking for a career outside of your formal training. It’s also super neat to look back on in a few years and see how far you’ve come.” – Liz, Knowledge & Community Specialistphoto of Liz for women who want to break into tech
  6. Just Apply!
    “My advice would be just “go for it”. When the opportunity arises, don’t be afraid to take the leap: apply for that job, apply for that program. Even if you have doubts that you aren’t 100% qualified or feel like you aren’t “good enough”, we are our own worst critics. Just try, you may be surprised by the outcome.” – Mandy, Risk & Information Security Managerphoto of Mandy for women who want to break into tech
  7. Know What You (Truly) Love
    “One big item for me was to never lose sight of what you love doing (i.e. speaking to people/customers, resolving issues, improving processes). What truly gets you out of your bed and excited to start work? Once you have the answer to this question, get the right support from an experienced mentor in the industry to guide you through your journey and keep you grounded. You can only be successful and great at what you do if you truly find your passion in it and fully understand what it takes to get there.” – Malika, Channel Team Lead (EMEA)photo of Malika for women who want to break into tech

Begin Your Journey in Tech Today

From taking courses to simply taking the opportunity to apply, no matter what your first step is, make it. We hope these tips will help you take the next step in your career search or make the career change you’ve always wanted to. Check out our webinar about empowering women in tech too!

Safe Software empowers women and continues to support Women in Tech initiatives. Safe Software has supported SFU Technovation since 2017 until its conclusion in 2021. We will also be supporting Science World Girls and STEAM in February 2022. This will be our 5th year supporting this phenomenal program. We’ve supported this program since 2018.

If you have any questions, feel free to comment below or email our ladies at info@safe.com. We are also currently hiring!

Other Resources:

[Webinar] Coffee Chat: Empowering Women in Tech

BC Tech Association: Women in Tech Series

16 Women in Tech who are Driving BC Forward

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