Tecknuovo’s Renee Hawkins, Erin Gray, and Maya Sargent on championing equity for women in tech

Mar 8, 2023
  • 4 min read

Happy International Women’s Day 2023! This year’s theme is “embracing equity”.

Equality means giving all individuals or groups the same resources and opportunities. Equity, on the other hand, means recognising that everyone starts with different circumstances, and allocating the amount of resources and opportunities needed to create equal outcomes accordingly.

So in the spirit of embracing equity, we’re sharing three Tecknuovo women’s takes on how the tech sector can lift up women in tech in 2023 and beyond.

Read on to learn what Renee Hawkins, Erin Gray, and Maya Sargent have to say on the topic this International Women’s Day!

Renee Hawkins — Chief Operating Officer at Tecknuovo

Now at Tecknuovo, Renee has a 10-year history in the technology industry in both the US and UK, notably as COO and a string of other senior roles at a large technology consultancy. Renee comments on what technology companies can and should do to lift up women in the industry:

“Women are often underrepresented in the tech sector, particularly at a senior level. This means there are very few role models for women starting their career. Coupled with a lack of equal opportunities, this causes many to struggle with imposter syndrome. While it’s important that women work to overcome their self-doubt, tech companies must also create supportive environments that allow female employees to thrive. Seemingly small changes like using gender inclusive language in job descriptions can really make a world of difference.”

Erin Gray — associate Scrum Master for Tecknuovo

Erin Gray, our associate Scrum Master on a nationally critical project for a major government department, gives her top tip for mastering imposter syndrome as a woman in the tech industry:

“Don’t let imposter syndrome prevent you from applying for a job or a promotion; you don’t have to wait until you tick every single box to put yourself forward for an opportunity. You deserve it. Put yourself out there, show them how passionate and hard-working you are and good things will come your way.”

Asked how institutions should help women and girls start to build their confidence in the IT industry from a young age, Erin notes:

“Schools should be inspiring girls from a young age to take an interest in IT and technology and doing more to develop their skills. With children growing up using technology from such a young age, it's only natural that they have an interest in it. We should therefore be nurturing that passion by showing them how to develop websites and teaching them about the back end of the apps they probably use everyday.

Another issue is the lack of senior female role models in the industry. As many as 83% of women can't identify a role model who inspires them to work in tech. If you can see it, you can be it, so we need to work on increasing the number of female leaders in the sector if we hope to inspire future generations.”

Maya Sargent — Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Tecknuovo

Finally, our own Head of DEI Maya shares her thoughts on how the tech sector can promote equity for women by challenging unconscious bias in its hiring processes.

With a background in recruitment in the tech industry, Maya has unique insights on how its hiring practices often work to women’s disadvantage:

“[A lot of the decisions made when hiring for technology roles] link back to one of the primary reasons that so few women believe the tech industry is a closed door to them — unconscious bias. It’s undoubtedly an issue plaguing businesses across the globe in every sector you can imagine. Even those which strive for gender equality often have a C-suite largely made up of men.

I’ve seen how affinity bias can drive hiring decisions, with CEOs more likely to interview people that went to the same university as them, or grew up in the same area, rather than even considering someone from a more diverse background. Without action, this will continue, and it’s not only toxic but actively harms the productivity of both the companies at fault and the wider economy.”

Taking action to strive for equity

As we continue into 2023 and beyond, we’re looking forward to taking on thoughts and actions from women like Renee, Erin, Maya to transform how we champion equity for women. That goes for the tech industry, the wider business community, and our society at large.

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