Working in business technology as a woman comes with several obstacles, such as low representation and lower wages.
In 2018, the Instituto Brasileiro de Tecnologia e Estatística (IBGE) showed in a survey that only 20% of the IT market was occupied by women and that salaries were 34% lower than those of male colleagues, regardless of educational attainment.
This scenario is not unique to Brazil and not even to the technology industry. Of the top 500 companies in the world, only 15 of them have female CEOs, showing that there is still a long way to go.
As if external factors weren’t enough, we often have to deal with internal trust issues and biases that we don’t even realize we have and that takes time to overcome. I attended a women’s leadership event once, and one of the exercises we did consisted of telling immediately and aloud whether the word on the screen was more male or female. As the gap between them narrowed, we saw that the association between words resembling “family” and the female gender increased, as did words resembling “work” and the male gender. In a moment, I even associated “recognition” with the male gender.
When we talk about innovation it is necessary to explore new paradigms and make mistakes efficiently, always looking for best solutions. These ideals fit perfectly in a plural work environment.
Working with a team that has different profiles and backgrounds increases the chances of having a skilled and complete team, and allows the final product solution to take into account more points of view.
And why is it important to invest in diversity from the start? Companies that already have an established and diverse team find it more difficult to implement this kind of change in parallel with their development processes.
Varstation has this ideal well-established. There are currently women on all teams, two of whom are on the development team and two are heads of their groups. The impact of this goes beyond the numbers: internally it is motivating to know that this topic is treated with importance and externally we have a chance to show future generations of women that there are technology options for them.
My personal experience has been very positive and rewarding. Being stimulated out of my comfort zone had positive impacts on my self-confidence and I was able to work on many of my personality points that a year ago would go unnoticed. Of course, having other women in the group with whom I share a lot of my background made an incredible difference.
We’re always getting better together and this is just the beginning!