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Women in tech: 3 things to make the transition easier

by | Mar 24, 2022

Did you know women make up 32.2% of employees in tech companies and hold only 24% of technical roles?

Tech companies are such a powerful force with the direct impact they have on our communities, the economy, and the environment. We need more women to diversify the direction these companies are headed as they impact our future. If you’re looking to work for a tech company, you don’t need technical experience or an engineering degree to land the job. In fact, I’m here to dispel that myth and help you transition to a tech company. 

What is a tech company?

A tech company focuses on innovation. They may provide software as a service ( such as Zoom, Facebook), manufacture hardware (such as Apple, Peloton, Tesla), or serve as a marketplace (Airbnb, Amazon, Etsy). In this day and age, pretty much every company can be considered a tech company. These companies need accountants, human resource generalists, data analysts, administrative assistants, a sales team, a marketing team, project managers, and more to operate efficiently and effectively. 

How can you make the transition to tech? Below are three practical things to do this week.

Familiarize yourself with the different types of roles found in tech. 

Job Titles in tech companies may look very different from traditional companies. For example, a Customer Service Representative may be referred to as a Client Success Manager at a tech company. The term manager does not always mean you have direct reports or need to manage a team. 

A product manager at a non-profit will look different than a product manager at a tech company where the role focuses on the more technical aspects of the company’s product. Instead, the title project manager might be more transferable. A great way to familiarize yourself is to review career pages of companies you might be interested in. Identify two to five job titles and then check out LinkedIn to see what the people who hold these titles do and their previous job titles throughout their careers. This will help you notice trends in career paths and job titles.

Learn industry jargon.

Companies want to hire people familiar with their industry and or product. While they don’t always expect you to have professional experience in the tech industry, they want to get a sense that you have done the research and have a baseline understanding. You can demonstrate your knowledge by being intentional with the words you use on your resume and by using industry jargon when answering interview questions. 

Protip: Review job descriptions of roles you are interested in to understand what software and tools are commonly used in the industry you will be applying to. The tools used will vary based on role. If you are familiar with the tools, use the same terminology during your interview. 

Reach out for informational interviews.

While it may be challenging to know exactly how your previous experience translates into tech, a great way to find out is to reach out to people for informational interviews. Informational interviews are a great way to hear from the people sitting where you’d like to sit. This allows you to hear firsthand what to expect and how to approach your transition to tech. While it may seem intimidating to reach out to a stranger, you’ll find that people are more than willing to help, especially those in transition.  

Search for people on LinkedIn. Don’t worry if you don’t have Linkedin Premium; you can check out Hunter.io to help you find corporate emails once you reach your Linkedin contact limit. You should attach a small note when requesting to connect with people on Linkedin. 

You can also find virtual or local events to network via Women In tech Events, FairyGodBoss Networking Portal, Powertofly.comEventbrite, Meetup.com, and women in tech Facebook groups

If you want to learn more, check out the workshop below on conducting a remote information interview: 

So there you have it, three simple things to do this week to begin making the transition to tech. Know that many have made the transition; with research and intentionality, you can too! The tech space needs more women and you can be the next impact maker. 

Dive into the tech industry with Pathstream

Don’t code? Don’t have the time to go back to school? Pathstream offers four streamlined paths to help you transition to a high-growth tech career. No coding or previous experience is required. 

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