Key Takeaways for Recognising and Supporting Diversity in Technology

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Recognising diversity in tech blog

As a fast-paced and growing cloud consultancy focused on the enterprise, Sourced understands and embraces the importance that diversity can bring to our teams and workplace culture. Currently, we have approximately 20 per cent female representation globally across all functions and are always looking for ways to support and encourage inclusiveness and diversity within our employee base.

Sourced proudly sponsored the Women in Tech Fest 2018 at the Gold Coast, Australia, the Toronto DevTO International Women’s Day (IWD) conference and the IWD UN Committee breakfast in Sydney this year. Several Sourced representatives participated in these activities and were able to present, network and develop further insights along with the strong turnout for these events.

Women in Tech Fest 2018 – Gold Coast, Australia

Attending Women in Tech Fest was very inspirational for myself and my co-workers as several of the presenters were truly aspirational figures in the technology industry, with deep community connections across both large enterprise and innovative start-up organisations. We were able to build awareness of innovative changes, technologies and organisations that women have either created or led in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) industries along with future opportunities for women joining these industries.

Here are a few of my takeaways from the Women in Tech Fest and how they have inspired change in my future:

  • Follow your own journey rather than aligning with the wider society’s expectations;
  • Delve into your interests and passions and leverage them to build your future in the technology space;
  • All innovation starts with an idea, don’t be afraid to follow it and challenge the status quo;
  • If you feel like you are struggling to be heard, find a group of like-minded people who also have passion projects and build on those ideas;
  • If you cannot locate a workshop suitable for you, then take the initiative and start one up as there are bound to be people who share your interests;
  • Start going the extra mile and the opportunity will follow;
  • If you want to progress in your career or knowledge of technology, then start by going above and beyond expectations;
  • Learn from your colleagues, carry out your own research and attend training sessions;
  • Leverage the abundance of information that exists out there in the world, find an inspiring mentor and fight for your ambitions;
  • Find yourself mentors and business sponsors, ideally people who inspire you and work in the STEM career that you are interested in: Tell them what you do, visualise with them what you want to do and take on the advice and experience that they have to give;
  • Lastly, provide opportunity and advocate for diversity, encourage those around you and empower our future generations to be great, no matter what their culture, gender and professional background is.

DevOps IWD 2019 – Toronto, Canada

Sourced Group’s sponsorship of DevTO International Women’s Day demonstrated the impact that IWD events can have across the world. From our Toronto office, eleven individuals attended the event in order to show support for women in the technology industry in Canada.

Although I wasn’t fortunate enough to attend in person, speaking to my colleagues and catching up on the talks and presentations remotely, the key messages and take-aways were:

  • Discrimination and discouragement for girls to be interested in and pursue careers in STEM starts as early as age six. We should all support and encourage both girls and boys in STEM by buying books with a woman as a STEM protagonist, act as and promote female STEM role models and buy STEM related toys for both boys and girls. With this support, girls will hopefully increase their confidence to continue their studies in STEM.
  • The entire tech community needs men to act as mentors and allies for women in STEM. Without the support and encouragement of male allies, the tech industry will struggle to become the diverse environment we all need it to be.
  • To have a diverse workplace, everyone needs to support parents when they return from parental leave. The Parenting Playbook has many resources and tips that cost little but ensures that we are all providing a supportive environment for parents. One such tip is scheduling recurring meetings between 10am and 4pm, to avoid conflict with school drop-off or pick-up.
  • We are all guilty of listening to the voices in our head sometimes. They tell us that we are not good enough for the promotion, that we should not speak up in the meeting because we could be wrong or that we should not apply to the job since we do not have every single qualification. We need to stand up to this voice in our heads, tell it that we deserve the promotion, that our opinions are important and that we might be exactly what the job is looking for, even if we do not meet all the requirements. Stand up to the voices in your head and believe in yourself.

IWD UN Women Breakfast 2019 – Sydney, Australia

Every year without fail, UN Women National Committee AU, holds one of the biggest breakfasts in Sydney. This event is about the empowerment of women, raising awareness of domestic abuse and helping to close the gap in female political participation. Sourced Group’s sponsorship of this event is close to our employees’ hearts. As a multicultural company, we have individuals from diverse backgrounds who can relate to people experiencing various forms of discrimination. This event truly reminded us just how privileged we are to work in a company that values all employees’ opinions and backgrounds and provides support whenever required.

Sourced team members, clients and friends at the IWD UN Breakfast in Sydney, 2019

I feel incredibly proud to be part of an organisation that values investment in these worthwhile pursuits. We should all act as champions of diversity, help to shape the workplace and promote innovation, in order to bring a wide range of opinions and experiences to any project we work on. If you want to be part of a culture that not only promotes diversity but provides a safe haven for women and minorities to grow, prosper and go after the big challenges, then go to our Careers page and let us hear from you!

Sara Watkins, Operations and Resourcing Manager, APAC, is a member of Sourced’s global operations team. She is responsible for refining and integrating internal processes as well as ensuring client projects are appropriately staffed.