Women Are Constructing the Workplace of the Future

Reflecting on my initial debugging experience, I realize just how far I have come in my career path to become the Senior Manager of Client Services at Works. My college experience was profoundly impacted by taking an introductory course in computer science. After an entire day of attempting to diagnose why my code would not compile, I was immensely satisfied when I discovered the mistake was simply a misplaced semicolon. This experience ignited my passion for programming and I have been devoted ever since.

My career as a woman, technologist and leader in this field has been a journey of continual growth and development. At Works, I began as a Technical Success Manager before becoming the first female Senior Manager on the Partner Engineering team. From this position, I have witnessed first-hand the powerful influence that women in tech leadership are having on the trajectory of business. Despite this, there is still a long way to go; McKinsey’s “Women in the Workplace 2022” report states that only 21% of C-suite CEOs are female, and only 4% of executives in the US are women of colour.

I am honoured to be a Senior Manager at Works, where almost half of the executive team is comprised of women. Our esteemed leaders, such as Director of Talent Partnerships, Vice President of Product, Head of Product Design and Chief of Staff, are dedicated to making a difference. Through my experience, I have gained insights which have enabled me to take tangible steps towards achieving gender equality in the workplace.

The moment you discover you are overqualified for a position, raise the bar.

I was initially drawn to Works’ Fellowship Programme for Asian Software Engineers due to my professional background. After determining that I was overqualified for the boot camp offer, I chose to explore further opportunities and eventually secured a Software Project Management position at a FinTech firm. After gaining invaluable experience in this role, I decided to establish my own consulting practice and a summer camp for young programmers.

Upon my second consideration of Works, I recognised the opportunity to contribute my unique set of skills and abilities to the company’s mission. I felt inspired to apply for the Technical Success Manager position and am pleased to have achieved success in my profession and to have built a strong team here. The conclusion of the Hewlett-Packard report – that males will apply for employment given that they meet only 60% of the requirements, whilst females will wait until they meet all of them – is particularly striking to me.

Due to the structure of the system, many of us unintentionally remove ourselves from being considered for something. The most that may occur if you attempt to apply for something you feel you are suited for is that you will not obtain it. Those who may be overqualified may view this as a sign that they could possibly find more success. It would have been a set back to my career to accept the Works fellowship. What other choices did I have with the capabilities I had at the time? I am pleased that I followed my goals elsewhere and was able to return to a role that was more fitting for my abilities.

Be proud of your accomplishments, and let others be proud of you, even more so on a distributed team.

I believe that working from home offers a great opportunity to achieve a healthy work-life balance. It can also create new professional advancement opportunities that may not be available in a traditional office setting, which can be especially beneficial for women who need to make decisions about pregnancy, marriage, and other personal activities.

I believe that women in rural areas tend to be less forthcoming about their achievements. In an isolated environment, it is easy to go unnoticed. Therefore, I think it is essential for women to recognise and appreciate their own accomplishments, and to share their successes with their colleagues. Not only will this be beneficial for performance reviews, but it is also important to celebrate achievements more regularly.

Leaders wishing to foster gender equality in the workplace should be proactive in recognising and rewarding the successes of their employees. As remote working has become increasingly prevalent, it is important to ensure that achievements, no matter how small, are not overlooked. Women deserve to be acknowledged for their efforts, and appropriate recognition should be consistently provided in the workplace.

The ability to manage others is a crucial employment skill.

Upon joining Works, I was responsible for the technical delivery of over 40 engineers. I made sure to address any existing issues with processes, while taking into account both the talent and client perspectives. To further aid these engineers in their careers, I provided guidance and support to ensure they reached their potential. I am now in charge of the managers of managers, a role I have embraced.

Since being promoted to Senior Manager, I have had to shifted my focus from supervising engineers to supervising managers. This has resulted in me adopting a different approach to leadership. I have put a greater emphasis on implementing structures and procedures that help ensure the success of our team, rather than focusing on the technical delivery. I believe that at this level, it is more important to manage people than competencies. Additionally, I have to handle various management styles among the managers that I directly supervise.

In order to maximize my effectiveness as a leader, I consider it essential to cultivate a workplace atmosphere in which all staff feel comfortable sharing constructive opinions and suggestions. Working together is likewise key; I endeavour to cultivate an environment in which colleagues feel empowered to request assistance and collaborate with personnel from other departments.

It is essential that female colleagues aspiring to senior leadership roles and those managing them feel supported in taking on additional managerial responsibilities. Unfortunately, it is often the case that women are asked to take on more responsibility without the necessary resources or training. I am grateful for Works’ open-door policy which allows me to approach my manager, their boss, or even their manager’s manager for assistance when needed. This is an invaluable asset.

Despite the fact that there is still plenty to accomplish, tangible progress is being made each and every day.

The McKinsey 2022 study, Women in the Workplace, forecasts that if current hiring and promotion trends persist, the proportion of women in managerial positions is expected to increase by only 1% over the next decade. It is essential that this is not accepted as the status quo. Furthermore, it is paramount that supportive structures are implemented to ensure that women in managerial roles are provided with the respect and assistance they are entitled to. Unless burnout is adequately addressed, progress towards gender equality in the workplace will be thwarted despite any advances in promotions.

I devote a significant part of my day to providing exceptional technicians with the chance to work with some of the world’s leading companies. What drives me is this.

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