Women of Webroot and Carbonite talk about what drew them to the field and their advice for others looking to break into STEM.
The lack of representative diversity in tech has been long acknowledged and well-studied.
Organizations and non-profit groups like National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), Girls Who Code and She++ do excellent work to help address the issue. CIO, a digital magazine for tech business leaders, maintains a helpful hub of resources “dedicated to uplifting women in tech, pushing inclusivity in the workplace and closing the diversity gap.”
Unfortunately, despite this wealth of organizations dedicated to researching and addressing the problem, meaningful progress has been harder to come by. (And if you’re not convinced this is a problem, consider this: a study of 500 U.S.-based companies found that racial and gender diversity was associated with increased sales revenue, market share and relative profits.)
CIO reports that women in tech remain underpaid, underrepresented and more likely to be discriminated against. Despite holding 57 percent of professional positions in the U.S., women hold only 26 percent of positions in tech. Half of all women in STEM fields report experiencing workplace discrimination. The percentage of female computer scientists is actually falling in America.
September 14 kicks off National Coding Week and the third Tuesday of September (September 15 this calendar year) is National IT Professionals day. In celebration, we’ve asked some of the female IT professionals within our organization about representation in IT, what drew them to the field and advice for other women interested in STEM.
What led you to a career in STEM?
“After starting my career as a web design and developer, I became more involved in the web development which led me to where I am today, a principal UI engineer. I’ve always had a passion for making flat designs come to life and find it very exciting when I see my work go live.” – Christiane Evans, Principal UI Engineer
What makes you proud to be a woman in STEM?
“Realizing there are no wrong questions and no one knows everything, I resolved to challenge myself to learn something new every day. If being a woman in tech makes me different, then I am proud to be different. So, I say follow your passion. That passion and talent will take you miles, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.” – Kirupha Balasubramian, Sr. Devops Engineer
What advice would you give to women looking to join a STEM field?
“Be curious. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Challenge yourself to solve problems. Never stop learning; continue learning new technologies to buil your skills and toolset. Put in the hard work, know your work inside out and you’ll feel confident in your abilities.” – Krystie Shetye, Director of Software Development
What would you say is one of the greatest challenges for women working in STEM?
“Working in engineering is its own constant learning curve. I think women should look for support everywhere we can to assure ourselves. We can and should do whatever we want to – no matter the barriers. Technology changes so fast, we have to constantly adapt. Though that’s part of the reason I love it here and why I love engineering as a career.” – Mingyan Qu, VP of Quality Engineering
Putting our values to work
The skills gap in cybersecurity is real and a detriment to businesses of all sizes. We believe there’s room enough for everyone in STEM, and the industry needs all the help it can get.
Webroot and its parent company OpenText are committed to diversity in hiring. In its 2020 Corporate Citizenship Report, OpenText reaffirmed its support of the 30% Club and committed to the goal of 30% of board seats and executive roles to be held by women by 2022.
To see what positions are available for you at OpenText, visit our careers page here.