Women in Tech

4 Ways Managers can Encourage Women in Tech


There are many blog posts, discussions, and initiatives out there on how to get more women into the tech industry. What is leading these initiatives is a lack of diversity in tech. What I’m here to write about today, is how to encourage women who are already in tech. We not only need to bring women in, but keep those of us who are already in the space.

Below I’ve bulleted common problems that women in tech face, and what their mentors or bosses can do encourage them at work.

Lack of Confidence/Shy/Impostor Syndrome

This is a big one I see online and floating around in Facebook groups. Many women, although good at their jobs and even well into their careers, lack confidence in themselves. They may even have a sense of impostor syndrome, which is a feeling of being hired by mistake and soon to be found out.

What Managers Can Do

  • Publicly praise them for a job well done or a good idea.
  • Talk to them to find out what areas they feel weak in. Support them in taking a class to improve their skills.
  • Assign them a mentor who can help them come out of their shell and build confidence.

Don’t

  • Make fun of them for being shy
  • Discount their skills or overlook their work because they are quite

Women Who Don’t Feel Challenged

Another common theme I see are women who don’t feel challenged at work. They may be women who want to move to a different field (i.e. move from HR to Engineering).

What Managers Can Do

  • Keep an open ear for women who mention that they would like to try something new.
  • Support the move by letting them participate in different departments.
  • Encourage them to take on a side project in their area of interest.

Don’t

  • Tell them, “now isn’t a good time” or “we’ll find something for you later”. They may end up leaving the company.
  • Dismiss their comments about not being challenged.

Women Who Want a Leadership Role

What Managers Can Do

Don’t

  • Put them in a leadership position without any support.
  • Promote them with words but no action (i.e. title change, salary change).

Women Who Think Their Ideas Won’t Be Heard

Just the other day a women in a Women in Tech group on Facebook posted this comic.

women ideas comic

A large comment thread followed of women who shared their experiences of voicing ideas only to be not taken seriously. Or they voiced an idea and the men in the room took it over.

What Managers Can Do

  • See above, “build confidence”. Women need to be strong enough to voice their ideas and carry them through to fruition.
  • Create an environment of respect for people who offer ideas.

Don’t

  • Say the idea isn’t a prioirty then say it as your own idea at a later time.
  • Say it doesn’t matter who the idea came from and assign it to someone else.

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