I’d like to welcome you to the Tech Sassy blog! Here I will use my personal journey of working in an information technology (IT) role to show how I navigated and became comfortable as a woman in a male dominated department and how I refused to compromise on my personality in order to play a valued role in the organization. My goal is that through the sharing of my experiences, I can be an inspiration to other women who struggle to find their authentic voices because I think we all have valuable things to say.
To give you some background on why I feel that I have authority in this area, here is how I came to be on an IT team:
Three years ago I was working on the customer facing team of the CoreSource platform at Ingram Content Group (ICG). For those who aren’t familiar, CoreSource is a digital asset management tool for publishers. We store thousands of e-content files and the associated metadata for publishers and distribute them to hundreds of retailers (think of folks like Google, Apple, and Amazon – to name a few). I wasn’t really happy in the role and had been looking for new opportunities internally for awhile. When a role opened as a business systems analyst for CoreSource on the developer team, I jumped at the opportunity. The role was new to the team and I had no experience, but I had a lot of professional relationships within the company and the hiring manager had faith in me and offered me the job.
Initially, I struggled in many areas:
- Learning a new technology language. (Jargon, jargon, and more jargon.)
- Learning what a business analyst did and how to do it.
- Having to create my own work processes without following the path of a predecessor.
- Being the only woman on the team and in most meetings.
- Showing bravery to ask questions that the team already knew.
My confidence was shaken at many times and I confess to not speaking up as often as I should. However, three years later, I feel that I have progressed well on the team and I have grown to treasure my unique role on it. I have been very fortunate to have co-workers and a manager who are all very patient with me and respect me as they would any male colleague. With that said, the struggles that women have in male dominated arenas is a hot topic and I’ve heard many stories (and have my own firsthand accounts) in which the suggestions of a female have been either bypassed entirely or not taken seriously when first raised. It’s hard not to take it personally when it happens, and I think that reacting with grace is the best tactic (also easier said than done).
My hope is that I can offer some real perspective on this topic. I will use this blog as a record of my professional development, share ways in which I am taking ownership of my career path through attending classes and networking events, and giving my honest feelings on the growth of the female position in technology industries.