I’ve been a ‘Women in Tech’ for about 10 months now, I’ve been a woman for considerably longer of course but this label in particular is a new one and I feel like I’m still trying it on for size.
I started my career on the Ogilvy and Mather graduate scheme and 50% of our graduate intake were female. My boss was a woman, her boss was also a woman and we were working under fabulous head honchos (as?) such as Cheryl Giovannoni, Jo Coombs and Annette King. In this context it never really occurred to me that I was a Woman with a capital W.
However since founding Good-Loop at the end of last year I have been told I am a Women In Tech several times. I had an article written on The BBC about my social startup, titled ‘Women in Tech for Good’. I’ve been advised I should focus on female-only investors and I’ve even got this amazing opportunity to come to Cannes Festival in collaboration with Campaign Magazine because of the GoDaddy Scholarship for Women in Tech. So being a Women has suddenly afforded me some amazing opportunities and it’s given me an invaluable platform from which to promote my fledgling company.
But it’s also strange to be afforded special privileges because of my gender – especially when I’ve been lucky enough to never have experienced any real barriers in my career because of it. It makes me wonder what kind of ‘Woman in Tech’ do I need to be? Am I ‘technical’ enough? Am I making the most of it? Do I deserve it?
But at the end of the day, I think this new label isn’t really about me. It’s about championing women more generally; making their successes more known and their voices more heard – especially in sectors where they are traditionally not as welcome or encouraged. I am privileged to have had such strong and iconic female leaders in my early career. Seeing other women climb the ladder – equipped with stiletto heals and the phone number of a solid baby sitter – it’s made me know I can do it too. It’s given me a picture of the type leader I want to be one day and it’s given me something tangible to drive towards.
So maybe ‘Women in Tech’ wasn’t a label I chose but I’m incredibly proud and fortunate to be a part of a movement that helps everyone to see more brave, feminine, powerful, confident and badass women getting shit done.