How the Tech Industry Can Attract More Women Workers to Its Ranks

How the Tech Industry Can Attract More Women Workers to Its Ranks

While women have been making great strides in various industries, it seems like the computer programming sector still remains a bastion of men. Of all the computer programming jobs, only 21% are held by women.

Several factors have been cited for the small number of women among computer programmers. It has been found that among those who are earning bachelor’s degrees in computer science, only 17% are women. That’s a drastic change from the statistics in 1984 when 37% of those who were pursuing computer science bachelor’s degrees were women.

In addition, women have shown a tendency of not staying long in the industry. Studies show that among women in the tech industry, 56% of them leave their tech jobs for other industries. That’s more than twice the departure rate of male tech workers.

However, experts have argued that there are 3 areas that can work in attracting more women to the tech industry.

  1. Enabling Better Access

More women can join the tech workforce if the industry can open new pathways for women. Companies can use the popularity of their brands to increase awareness of the tech industry among women. These companies can offer scholarships for computer courses, even if these are just partial scholarships. Other companies can non-traditional graduates to enter the tech workforce by offering apprenticeships.

  1. Fostering Greater Awareness

Very few women think about getting a computer technology degree and one of the reasons is because most of them don’t even think that it’s a viable option. They don’t have enough role models in the industry, so subconsciously women think that it’s a job only for men.

Many women wish to make a difference in the world, and the computer industry should publicize how tech skills can help women make a difference. Women should also be made aware that the field is highly lucrative, and that there is a wide range of careers available in the industry. The simple ability to learn a code can enable a woman to join virtually any field in the business sector—since all industries use computers!

  1. Eliminating Self-Doubt

There are moments when we doubt ourselves. That’s universally true whether you’re a man or a woman. Yet for some reason, it’s a factor that’s noted only in women.

One basic type of self-doubt is the imposter syndrome. This refers to when we face a new task for which we feel that we’re inadequate and that we don’t belong. We feel like imposters, other words.

In moments like these, it can be very hard to cope when you feel alone. If you’re a woman in the tech industry, it’s easy to feel that way as there are very few women in the industry and the self-doubt can contribute to why so many women leave the field. However, women should seek out other like-minded women in the field through social media and corporate initiatives so that they can get some mutual support.

These areas have barriers that must be overcome so that women can find it easier to join the tech workforce. Hopefully, gender parity can be achieved even in this so-called men’s club that is the tech industry.

LA Startups Crew
Los Angeles Startups
Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.
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LA Startups Crew
Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.

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4 Tips For Building A Personal Brand

4 Tips For Building A Personal Brand

Here’s a list of how you can go about creating your own personal brand.


Most people know about company branding, and in fact, business execs spend an inordinate amount of time making sure that their company brand projects the right sort of attitude and reputation. But you also need your own personal brand, especially in the workplace and in your industry.

Your personal brand is like your shortcut identity in high school: like the jock, the nerd, the cheerleader, the tough guy, the musician, the artist, and the class clown. In the adult world, you will also need to cultivate your own personal brand and identity to help promote your advancement.

Your personal brand reflects who you are and who you want to be. It’s all about you’re your motivations, your principles, and your goals. All these are projected by how you dress and act in interviews, in the office, and in social media. You must know what your personal brand is and the reasons why it makes you unique, so you can use it to advance and achieve your goals.

So how do you do it? Here are a few ways that many business leaders have done it:

Clarify Your Core Values

You must know for sure what you really care about and stand for. These things are your core values, and they basically define who you really are. You have to know what these values are so that you can actually go about and project them to the people around you. If you don’t know what your core values are, then you can never be certain that you’re projecting them properly.

To figure out your core values, here’s a simple trick. Start by writing down 10 values that you most hold dear. It can be your honesty, integrity, your penchant for hard work, your love of knowledge, or your courage. Begin the list with 10 values, but then later you need to cut that down to 5 core values.

You can ask yourself this key question to help you out: How much would it hurt you if people didn’t believe something about you. Would it hurt if they didn’t think you were smart, honest, hard-working, or brave? If you’re okay about people not believing that you’re hard-working, then industriousness isn’t really one of your core values. But if it makes you feel ashamed to the very marrow of your bones if people think you’re a coward, then courage is absolutely one of your core values.

Then you can help yourself remember those core values by remembering a motto or a saying about them. You can also keep in mind a person who embodies those ideals. For some people, it can even be the lyrics of a song.

Set Aside a Time for Reflection

Most people spend all their time working, hanging out with friends, bingeing on entertainment media, or sleeping. Hardly anyone sets aside a bit of time to just pause and reflect on themselves. If you do want to solidify your understanding of the core values that make up your personal brand, then you need a block of time for self-reflection.

What you need to do is to set up a “meeting”, except that it’s a meeting with just yourself. It doesn’t have to be done all that frequently.  Even once a month can work wonders.

During this time, you have several key goals in the agenda for the meeting. You need to ponder exactly what steps you’re taking to live up to the values that you supposedly hold dear. You need to assess your goals in your career and personal life, and then check up on how exactly you’re progressing to achieve those goals. You also need to find out what choices you have to make so you’re able to live your core values.

It’s not absolutely necessary that you always come up with clear-cut answers during this meeting of self-reflection. What’s more important is that you take stock of what you’re actually doing.

To do this right, you need to treat it seriously. It’s a meeting, so you don’t do it when you’re tired. You need to do it when you’re at your best instead. You can reflect while you’re taking a break alone in your favorite coffee shop, or even while you’re in the bathroom.

Find Your Role Models

Lots of people idolize trailblazers in their field. Artists love Pollock and Monet, musicians can go for hip hop artists and famous rock guitarists, and writers can idolize Austen and Shakespeare. Scientists have Stephen Hawking and computer nerds look up to Brin and Gates. The point of having a role model is that these people prove that it’s possible to succeed and do well in your chosen field. This boosts your confidence in your chosen profession, and their success can motivate us to achieve our own goals.

It’s not always easy to find the right role model that embodies all your core values. But you can narrow down your choices but assembling your dream team of advisors. These are the people who exemplify what you stand for, and whose advice you trust.

If they’re celebs, you can check out what they have to say through interviews and social media. They can also be more ordinary folks in your circle of friends and family or you know them through work. You can always try to meet up with them for a quick cup of coffee or for lunch, and you may pick things up when you do meet.

Don’t Always Play It Safe

Playing it safe all the time keeps you from taking risks, but is a very easy way to lose yourself into mediocrity. But senseless risk-taking doesn’t help either. So what kind of risks should you take? These are the risks that provide opportunities and rewards that enable you to reach your goals.

So if you value independence, courage, and leadership, you can’t be stuck into a safe job forever. At some point, you’ll have to man up and strike out on your own. You need to make sure that these risks to help you towards your professed goals and interests so that you can reap the highest rewards.

All in all, personal branding is all about knowing yourself and acting like yourself. Know what you want and who you are, and act to make really set out to achieve your goals.

Also, check out Fearlessly Elevate Your Personal Brand

LA Startups Crew
Los Angeles Startups
Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.
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LA Startups Crew
Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.

Best Project Management Practice For Complex Projects

Best Project Management Practice For Complex Projects

Managing a complex project requires careful planning and an accurate estimation in terms of resources needed and deadlines that need to be met – and this is all prior to starting to execute on the project. Requirements must also be clearly understood, forming the basis of the project plan and helping to clearly define the goals of the project.

Not all projects are worth the time and effort, and sometimes there is a tendency to overestimate the capability of a team. On the other hand, you cannot know the limits of your team unless you take the plunge. If you boil it down, there are only two reasons why a project would not be fulfilled by your team: it is either a matter of ability or of management.

For ability, there is no substitute for good training, hard work, experience, and team synergy. Those four core characteristics are essential.  Hundreds of thousands of scholarly articles and case studies have been done just to find out how to achieve these characteristics, and a short feature in this article will not do them justice.

On the other hand, proper project management is much more straightforward and truly has a gigantic impact on the productivity of a team, ultimately promising results if done correctly. Project management may sound high-level and strategic, and this is partly correct, but, at its heart, project management is actually very simple to learn and achieve. It is the execution part of the process that takes time and effort. Simply put, project management is how a leader fulfills steps in order to complete a project successfully. Here are a few things you can do to make sure that a project is managed properly.

1. Get a bird’s eye view and look for the forest to follow up with focusing on the trees

Whether it be for conceptualizing and starting your project, for troubleshooting and improving the process for the duration of the said project, inductive thinking, or the top-down thinking, can definitely help. By knowing that conclusion that you want to arrive and then start building up from there, the project will have a better structure and the execution would be easier. Looking at the bigger picture will allow you to find the bottlenecks and the problem.

You can do this by either looking at it with the mentality of a third neutral person or better yet ask an expert who has no part in your project. For instance, asking questions in Quora or opinions with your friends in your social media, provided of course that you can trust them with your privacy and secrecy, will definitely help you find a different perspective.

2. Make a superstar team who knows the project well

By superstar team, we do not mean the best of the best, which was very good can be quite costly and a team of geniuses does have its own unique problems. What we mean is that you should make your current team superstars. This is directly related to the first reason why a project could feel like something beyond the capabilities of the team. We are not just talking about the capability but also the synergy of the team. To make it more straightforward, we make the team learn during the project and not just do.

Getting an experienced expert is good, but if you are thinking long-term, which you should, cultivating talent is the way to go. In managing a project, deal with it as an opportunity for your team members to level up, whether by improving on their abilities and talents or by improving the synergy of the team by making them more integrated and knowledgeable about the team members and the long-term vision and goals of your business.

This can be done by integrating tools into your project management that not only remind them of their duties and responsibilities but also make the team aware of where the progress of the project is currently. One way to do that is to use software light Trello or Scoro. These tools will not only give a visual representation people assigned, they will also allow you to put comments and do even time tracking and reports on finances and project progress. If you do not have a project management tool yet, please get one as soon as possible. You will see your efficiency improve by leaps and bounds.

3. Communication should be proper

You may have a plan that has a great top-down perspective and you may have the best tools for your project management, but one thing where a competent team can fail is the breakdown of communications. We are not just talking about the lack of communication. What we are talking about this proper communication. Communication is a two-way process, in the listener or receiver is as important as the sender of the message.

The best way to ensure that there will be no misunderstanding or miscommunication is to use not only a reliable tool but to also properly word your messages. There are communication tools like Slack and in fact, most project management tools have their own communication channels. Instant messaging is best and will beat out not only e-mail but also voice calls because instant messaging is faster and easier to understand.

As for your communications, it is best to use simple language for instructions and more detailed sentences for the process. It is best to start with what should be the result by use of descriptions using adjectives and adverbs and then followed by a series of instructions which has a lot of verbs and concluded by recommendations for processes. That way, your communications are easier to understand and by using words economically.

In simpler words, you can improve your project management by focusing first on the bigger picture, followed by the proper use of tools and lastly by using proper communication channels and techniques.

Overall, a project manager must be an expert in leadership, communication, and organizational skills. With the high workload and stress, it is critical to have the skills required to bring a project to the finish line. Staying accountable and aware of all aspects of the project will guide you to project management success.

Also, try these 10 shortcuts to boost your productivity.

LA Startups Crew
Los Angeles Startups
Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.
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LA Startups Crew
Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.

6 Top Soft Skills You Need To Work At a Startup

6 Top Soft Skills You Need To Work At a Startup

When Google first started, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, set up their hiring algorithms to sift for Computer Science students with top grades from the elite universities. Their belief was that technology can only be truly understood by those who actually studied technology.

They found out much later that this hiring principle wasn’t exactly accurate. In 2013, Google computers tracked all their data concerning their hiring, promoting, and firing of employees. They then found that among the most important qualities of the most successful Google employees, STEM knowledge actually came in last!

The other more important skills are what we call “soft skills”. These are the non-technical attributes that help employees become more productive and better able to work with others.

The soft skills that many startup companies today are looking for include:

Communication Skills

Being able to communicate well is a crucial skill if you want to work well with others. After all, what’s the point of having a good idea if you can’t communicate well enough to convince the other team members about the merits of your idea? If you’re able to communicate well, then you can help convince the rest of the team to believe in your idea. They can understand the idea because you’re able to explain it.

Self-Awareness

This is the ability to recognize how your words and actions affect others. A successful leader needs to develop this mindset because they can then discover how to encourage and motivate others properly. They can also avoid awkward situations when their words and actions hurt and offend their teammates.

Project Management

This means you’re able to organize the work and the team, you can focus on the task at hand, and can work under pressure and time constraints. Even if you’re not the project manager, you can do your part by meeting your deadlines.  You can give updates on your progress and send alerts if you’re having trouble.

Perseverance

You should be able to commit to an assignment until you complete it, even if takes longer than what you anticipated. This also means you need to be flexible, as requirements may change before the due date and you should be able to adapt to the new scope of the project.

Team Mentality

Plenty of people automatically say that they’re a team player, but of course, it isn’t always true. The true team mentality is about getting the work done and helping out one another. But some people seem more focused on getting credit for the success of foisting blame on others when things go wrong.

Willingness and Ability to Learn

Things change all the time, and that’s especially true in the workplace. What employers are looking for are workers who can change with the times and adapt to the new conditions. You can’t be dead-set on using traditional ways when new and more effective tools and processes become available. This means you need to demonstrate your willingness to learn, and that you can and have learned before.

During your job interview, it’s not enough that you demonstrate your technical proficiency for the job. Try to demonstrate these traits in your responses to interview questions, as these are the traits your future employers are looking for.

Also, check out these 5 Things NOT to Say to a Recruiter

Founder, Editor-in-Chief
LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.
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LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.

How to Build a Better Tech Talent Pipeline

How to Build a Better Tech Talent Pipeline

In the tech industry, your brand is only as good as the talented people you have. That’s why you need to make sure you have a strong tech talent pipeline.

If you’re in the tech startup world, then you’re certainly quite aware that competition is growing fierce these days. It’s like there’s a new company cropping up each day. This increasingly crowded space simply emphasizes how you need to have the talent your business requires to get ahead of your competition. But how you can build a strong tech talent pipeline when there’s a lot of demand and the supply isn’t up to par?

A Smaller Talent Pool

This disparity between the great demand for talent and the scarcity of tech people is one of the main challenges to building a better tech talent pipeline. Recent studies indicate that the pool of tech talent from which the industry can draw may dry up by the year 2030.

Not that this is surprising news. Surveys reveal that almost two-thirds (65%) of CIOs foresee that this scarcity of talent will cripple the industry in the future.

It’s even happening now. Companies are increasingly becoming dependent on new technology to generate value for their products and services, but they have not invested in the needed human capital to keep the tech coming.

As a result, these companies reap what they sow. Up to 86% of companies are having difficulties finding and enlisting the tech talent they require. Almost as many companies feel that the tech talent they have is insufficient, leading to delayed development and missed revenues. The talents they have in turn are overly stressed and more of them feel burned out.

Overcoming the Challenges

So what can you do in light of these problems? Here are some suggestions:

  • Make your company more attractive to potential hires. That means offering competitive salaries and benefits. You also need to customize your approach so that you can hire specific points about your company that will attract a particular potential employee. You have to consider what their goals are, and figure out how your company can help them achieve those goals.
  • What’s more, you need a healthy company culture that actually entices people to stay. Some companies are so enjoyable for workers that they refuse higher bids for their services, knowing that other companies may have a worse working environment.
  • Enhance the training for your current workforce. If you can’t find the trained talents for your needs, you may find them among your current employees. Or you can find the workers with the right potential and then offer to cover their training. You can then support them when they learn new technologies and new coding languages.
  • Invest in high school students. Identify which students have the smarts and the character that best suit your needs, and then help them out. Perhaps you can offer to pay for some training, or even offer a partial scholarship. At the very least, the relationship you forge will then make your company first in line as prospective companies to work for when they graduate from college.

Admittedly, these measures don’t hide the fact that a dwindling talent pool is a serious problem for the tech industry. But by considering our suggestions, you can do better than your competition in dealing with this issue.

Founder, Editor-in-Chief
LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.
×
LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.

4 Secrets to Retaining Your Tech Talent

4 Secrets to Retaining Your Tech Talent

The supply of tech talent is dwindling, so how can you entice your current tech workers to stay? We have some tips to help you convince your workers to remain.

Many smaller tech companies these days feel like they’re the Kansas City Royals when they have great shortstops and pitchers. Once the Yankees and the Red Sox come calling, these small market teams have to no choice but to say goodbye to their superstars.

Is it then inevitable that you’ll lose your tech workers when headhunters dangle more lucrative salaries for these wizards? Not necessarily. There are ways for you to foster the kind of work environment that makes people want to stay. To achieve that type of work environment, here’s what you need to do if you’re the boss:

1. Remember the Human Element

Sometimes we just think of our employees by their job titles and what they can do for the company. But they’re not just chess pieces we move around the board. These are people, with human emotions and beliefs. You can’t forget that.

That’s why you need to learn how to emphasize and listen to your employees. One way to improve your skills in these aspects is to take coaching courses and read coaching materials. You’re more like a coach of a sports team rather than a chess player with unfeeling game pieces.

2. Have a Clear Vision and Mission

It’s not just money that drives people. Sometimes it’s as simple as wanting to succeed, especially when the purpose is something they wholeheartedly believe in. To help your employees get on the bandwagon, you have to make it clear what your company’s vision is regarding its purpose. Workers are then more apt to be motivated to work for a noble purpose, and they’ll be more engaged.

Disengagement is a huge problem with workers, as this state makes them more likely to leave and find something more engaging. That’s why you need to set clear goals. Your workers need to know that what they’re doing is actually important.

3. Help Your Talent Become Better Leaders

You should have processes that support team leaders, especially those who have been thrust into leadership positions for the first time. Helping them to succeed helps your company in many ways, as you improve the productivity of those teams. In addition, you give your new team leaders a sense of belonging in your company, as they have a greater influence on the success of your business. Once they believe that your company is also in a way “their baby”, they’re less likely to abandon their position for a new company.

4. Offer Recognition

It’s no secret that the majority of employees tend to work harder when they’re recognized for their efforts. They’re disheartened when their efforts are seemingly ignored, which tempts them to leave for other companies where their efforts may be more appreciated. You don’t need to give them lavish prizes—just offer the recognition in a timely manner and make it personal. Make sure it’s sincere, and not just something that seems forced.

Remember, people aren’t always motivated by money. People can love their jobs not just because of the money, and if they love their job while they work for you they’re less likely to leave.

Founder, Editor-in-Chief
LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.
×
LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.