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Challenging Gender Bias on International Women's Day

author by Lauren Simmons time Mar 08, 2022

International Women's Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity, where significant activity is witnessed worldwide as groups come together to celebrate women's achievements or rally for women's equality.

The official theme of International Women's Day 2022 is ‘Break the Bias’. Whether deliberate or unconscious, bias makes it difficult for women to move ahead, as prejudices limit opportunities for them. Simply being aware that bias exists isn’t enough – action is necessary to level the playing field. Gender parity is still a problem in insurance and technology industries, as they are predominantly male-dominated workspaces. At DOCOsoft, we choose to seek out and celebrate the talent of women, promoting inclusivity and equality.

In celebration of International Women’s Day, we met with Hazel and Annmarie from DOCOsoft’s QA team to discuss rejecting gender-biased attitudes in their field.



What does this year’s International Women’s Day slogan #BreakTheBias mean for you in your work life?

Hazel
: It means mentoring and encouraging other women to have belief in their abilities and to not let themselves think they are less capable. I learnt that if you portray confidence others will be confident in you too.

Annmarie: For me, it means leading by example and demonstrating confidence to empower others to be strong.

Why did you choose this career path and how did you feel as a female entering this workspace?

Hazel
: I chose this career path because I enjoyed working with computers, I started my career working for a large global technology company in their technical support department with only a handful of women.

This was daunting as it was nearly always presumed by colleagues and customers that I knew less because of my gender so I felt the need to constantly prove myself.

Annmarie
: I chose this career path as I felt it was a challenge. It was something that I didn’t think would be easy – I was right. I had already demonstrated a version of #BreakTheBias by becoming a mature student, so I’m used to being the unexpected candidate.

Gender didn’t really come into my decision to work in IT, I assumed that there would be equal opportunities. I find it amusing to see people’s reactions when I tell them what I work as, they don’t expect it and I suppose that’s down to gender and age.

Where do you think the technology industry is at today when it comes to diversity?

Hazel
: In my experience technology companies want to hire more women, but the CVs aren’t there as girls are encouraged into more female professions by parents and schools.

I think there is still some way to go but by guiding them towards the benefits of STEM careers and the industry continuing to adopt more flexible working practices they will choose to stay in the industry even when they have family caring responsibilities.

Annmarie: Although this recent article relating to the construction industry, I think it’s a shining example of how the lack of diversity in an industry can be challenged:

Sky's the limit: Young crane driver scales new heights (rte.ie)

After reading this inspirational article, I felt pride and admiration for Kate for being herself and doing what she was destined to do regardless of the significant gender imbalance in the industry.  I hope she will continue to do what she does, and I hope others are inspired by her.

I think that the gender imbalance in the technology industry is not as considerable as in the construction industry but would have been in the past.  This is proof that change is possible.

On International Women’s Day, what is the most important message you want to send out to young women thinking about their careers?

Hazel
: The Tech industry has a huge variety of roles and opportunities for advancement - it is more than coding. Examples include Training, Project Managers, Business Analysts, Product Owners, Database Administrators, Developers, Scrum Masters, Data Analysts, Testers… there really are roles for everyone. Never stop learning, network and don’t let self-doubt get in the way!

Annmarie: As the article says, the sky’s the limit.  You can literally be whoever, whatever and wherever you want to be, and don’t let anyone make you feel like you can’t.

In your opinion, why is it important that more women take up roles in your respective fields?

Hazel
: Studies have shown that women think differently so can bring a different perspective to the workplace leading to greater problem solving and often put more emphasis on soft skills within teams. 

Annmarie: Diversity is essential in the workplace.  Without diversity we cannot develop and reach our full potential.  There is no place for gender-based bias.

Together, we can all break the bias, on International Women's Day (IWD) and beyond. To find out more, visit the official International Women’s Day site. If you are interested in pursuing a career in tech and beyond, check out the DOCOsoft careers page here: http://docosoft.com/about-us/careers

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