Technology Record - Issue 33: Summer 2024

85 IN FOCUS: WOMEN IN TECHNOLOGY them there. The Grace Hopper Celebration is one of the largest events for women in the industry, offering chances to network. WomenTech Network is a global community where women can get mentorship, explore career opportunities and connect with industry leaders at our global conference and monthly networking events. GS: With allyship, it’s the little moments that matter. When you recognise that some microaggression has occurred, what I like to call an ‘inclusion inhibitor’, a colleague can step in and re-empower that person. The most important thing is to create a culture of inclusion. If we help people realise when they have power and privilege in certain situations and how to respond to that, then every individual feels valued, regardless of where they are in a hierarchy. What else do you think the wider technology industry can do to help inspire women and those in other minority groups to get involved in the sector, either whilst they are still in education or once they have joined the working world? CB: To inspire minority groups to enter the technology industry, it’s crucial to highlight the achievements of diverse individuals, offering role models and mentors for guidance. Early exposure through workshops and technology education in schools, combined with financial support like scholarships and grants, can reduce barriers. The WIT Network then works to lift women up through their careers. We do this through education, mentorship and networking across our 13,000 members, most of which work in Microsoft partner organisations. AR: Microsoft and other technology companies can expand their impact by partnering with organisations focused on women and girls. These collaborations can offer tailored educational programmes, workshops and events that introduce young women and girls to STEM early on. Such partnerships also enable mentorship opportunities, connecting industry professionals with aspiring technology enthusiasts to build networks and instil confidence. By working together, organisations can make technology careers more accessible. GS: Awareness of diverse technology roles beyond coding, such as product management, marketing and operations, is lacking. This deters women from pursuing technology careers, so organisations should promote job opportunities better. Similarly, universities should expand curricula to include varied positions beyond traditional IT roles. Additionally, upskilling programmes often focus too narrowly on certification, like requiring all Microsoft sales, marketing and operations roles to earn Microsoft Azure Communities within The WIT Network meet regularly to network, find mentors and be inspired through learning together