The tech industry is being taken by storm by a new wave of professionals who rock curly hair, brown skin, and fierce personalities. And honestly, it's just the change we need to see in 2022.
Because let's face the facts. Within the past few years and beyond, it's been a rare sight to see a young woman of color working closely in any position in the tech industry.
The male-dominated arena would never be seen as a place for us simply because we "don't belong," as the signs are subliminally showing. We'll dive into that later on in this blog.
We are now tapping into the area in 2022, and we are making our mark known for others to see!
Today, we will explore how black women have stepped their feet into the tech arena and how our impact in the field will be a lasting one for years to come.
Where It All Started
It all started with a call for accountability…and a need for more diversity in more male-dominated industries.
Tech is one of those industries, along with the STEM career fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), where glass ceilings are breaking to allow minority groups to add their touch to the growing area.
And one of the main reasons why women like us are making this bold move? Because of recent alarming pieces of information stated by research facilities such as the Pew Research Center:
People of color in the STEM industries only account for 9% of those employed within the field.
People of color, especially women with STEM careers, are paid less on average than their white male counterparts.
Mind-blowing, right? Yet not surprising at the same time.
So it's only fitting that we decide that enough is enough! It's time to change the narrative brought on by statistics like these and pave a new pathway for us to walk gracefully into and dominate in industries like these.
How To Set A New Tone For Years To Come
Deciding to make our mark in tech was an easy decision. However, the road to getting there is still a tough one to bear.
As with all obstacles we face as women of color already, sacrifices have to become part of your daily routine. There are no excuses and no time for complaining once you begin a harrowing journey like this because society is watching your every move.
What does that mean for you? It means if you're trying to tap into the tech industry, the moment you slip up is the moment they'll say you failed. Then, they won't stop talking about that failure.
So, let's work together to prove to ourselves (not them) that we can complete any task we start!
Elaine Montilla is an entrepreneur and woman of color who recently made her mark in the tech industry. She serves as one of the prime examples of what happens when you don't give up on your dreams, and I want to highlight some of her tips to breaking barriers in tech:
Build your network and close circle as you begin your journey in the industry.
Be prepared to speak up for yourself at all times, whether to negotiate salaries or promote yourself and your abilities.
Embrace that uncomfortable feeling that you'll feel while walking your journey because it will build you into a leader of the industry.
What Do Black Women In Tech Look Like?
At first glance, you would consider this to be a silly question. However, if you look at the underlying meaning, it'll make more sense why we must ask this question.
When thinking about this question, don't think about a physical appearance. Instead, think about the qualities that we as women of color can display for tech industry leaders to take notice.
Just like the tech industry requires specific skill sets and knowledge, so does being a woman of color in the industry. The moment others know this is also the moment the word 'diversity' is redefined in the STEM industries.
So the next time someone provides you a reason as to why more people of color, especially women, aren't making their marks in tech, don't forget these points:
Women of color are making their marks; you just haven't seen our impact yet.
As women of color, we bring new and updated skill sets that are not displayed within the tech industry yet. But when they are, watch the industry dynamics do a complete 180.
It takes more than adding more people of color to your board of directors and management teams to be truly diverse. True diversity is where all cultures and ideas are accepted to advance the company.
To conclude, our mission of having more women of color in the tech industry is within arm's reach. We have to remind ourselves of our why for making this dream a thriving reality, especially for the next generation of tech leaders.