From education to employment

As a woman looking to disrupt the tech space, what skills do you need?

Bukky Babajide, Founder of Female Techpreneur

#WomenInSTEM – Ahead of International Day of Women and Girls in Science tomorrow, Bukky Babajide explains everything you need to know about succeeding as a Female Tech Entrepreneur:

Women have been excluded from the tech industry for long enough, and even though the balance is slowly levelling out, there is still more that can be done to empower and support female tech entrepreneurs.

Only 26% of those in the tech workforce are women and according to the World Economic Forum’s 2021 Gender Gap Report, it will take 135.6 years to achieve economic gender parity.

So, what can be done to shorten that time?

Additionally, if you’re looking to disrupt the tech space, what skills do you need to do so?

The involvement of women in the industry is integral to its success, as it leads to growth, development, and diversity. There are barriers in the way towards most women reaching tech success.

One of the main barriers is demystifying the resources and education available to help gain those crucial skills or to support women along their journeys.

Let’s demystify some of this barrier.

What skills are needed?

When it comes to starting your journey into the tech industry, there are certain skills an employer will look for which fall under two categories: soft skills and technical skills, or ‘hard skills’.

Soft skills are non-technical skills that relate to how you work, such as how you interact with colleagues, how you solve problems, and how you manage your workload.

Soft skills in tech

  • Attention to detail – it feels obvious but it’s a must-have to be thorough and accurate when completing a task.
  • Business acumen – understanding how a company earns and uses money and a skill that can be developed over time.
  • Change management – the ability to handle change and disruption, especially in the world as it is now. Things may change in an instant and it’s how we respond to that.
  • Collaboration – working with others is a part of any job, and that definitely applies to the tech industry, so knowing how to effectively work with others is a main skill to possess.
  • Communication – interpersonal communication, verbal, and non-verbal to successfully exchange ideas, information, and feelings to those you work with, or want to work with is a vital skill.
  • Critical thinking – companies are looking for employees that are open-minded and can see past their own natural biases, and critical thinking allows for observation, analysis, problem solving, and decision making.
  • Customer service – depending on the role you go in to, you have to work with customers, and it’s a skill that combines many of the other soft skills, like creative problem solving and effective communication.
  • Problem solving – employers are looking for a combination of analytical and critical thinking, as well as creative thinking to solve any problems that might crop up.
  • Project management – how you manage your workload, the ability to delegate to others, and meeting any deadlines you may have to ensure the smooth running of any company.

These are skills that can be transferred and developed throughout your whole career, whether you’re just starting out in the industry, you’re looking to change jobs, or you’re wanting to better yourself in your current role. They’re also mindsets you can bring to being a lifelong learner.

How can the industry help women in tech?

Though it’s a big ask, changing perceptions of females going into STEM at school-level will attract girls into the industry at a younger age. Breaking the stereotypes surrounding the kinds of people that work in tech, that we know not to be truthful, and focusing on the good these roles can do for people and the planet instead.

Further focus on the importance of diversity in the workplace will encourage more women to enter the tech industry. Some women have even admitted to not wanting a career in tech because they don’t see themselves represented in the workplace, so entering it feels overwhelming.

The introduction of flexible and hybrid working has encouraged more women to enter industries that may not have been able to before. Remote working, or hybrid working, allows the work to fit around their lives, rather than the other way around – making a more attractive and empowering culture.

What support is out there?

As females in the tech space, we cannot go it alone. Networking, finding like-minds, and a support system can make all the difference.

This is why I’ve built Female Techpreneur, which is a community for female-led tech businesses, founders, leaders and business owners to connect them to mentors, thought leaders, grants, investors, education, business support and so much more.

Bukky Babajide, Founder of Female Techpreneur

I provide leadership, direction and strategy for the international Female Techpreneur community. FeTech is an ed-tech hub created to help aspiring, tech and non-tech female founders go from concept, launch and scale their startups. It is aimed at female-led tech businesses, leaders and business owners to network and provide practical help and support needed to build a successful enterprise.

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