The tech industry is the premier destination for innovators willing to explore new frontiers. Although, the industry is severely lacking in terms of gender diversity – where, as of 2023, women held just 26.7% of technology jobs. Incorporating the unique perspective of women will only accelerate the rate of innovation throughout the industry.
This March, we're celebrating Women's History Month by gearing our podcast to highlight women making strides in the lucrative fields of Technology, Life Sciences, Healthcare, and Engineering. In this episode of our four-part Women at Work podcast series, our host, Joe McIntyre, and Yoh's Senior Business Development Manager, Michelle Sohl, explore the topic of women in tech.
Listen to the Full Podcast Episode
Michelle Sohl's Experience as a Woman Focused on Tech Staffing
Michelle's journey into the staffing and recruiting space began seven years ago, after starting her career in retail. She joined Yoh two years ago and has made an immediate impact in helping clients achieve their most challenging technology goals by providing world-class talent. She prides herself on being a relationship person rather than a technical person, allowing her to create meaningful connections with tech executives and other brilliant professionals advancing this lucrative industry.
Michelle admitted that she had to overcome hurdles as a woman in the male-dominated field of sales and tech - often feeling inadequate based on people's reactions and perceptions. Which she believes is a direct result of imposter syndrome. Although from the outside looking in, it is clear Michelle possesses a wide variety of experience that gives merit to her voice and expertise in the tech space.
How has Yoh been instrumental in promoting women in tech and sales
As a global workforce solutions company, Yoh has committed to actively promoting and engaging in diversity and inclusion initiatives. Our Women's Resource Group works diligently to empower and amplify women's voices within our organization and establish an inclusive company culture marked by connectedness. In Michelle's experience, her voice has been boosted to help clients promote diversity by implementing inclusive hiring practices - specifically hiring women in the IT space. In client calls, she makes it a point to reflect on our prior success as a diversity partner by inserting women in leadership roles. Her commitment to promoting gender diversity in the tech industry has left an indelible mark on furthering the advancements women continue to make in tech.
Advice FOR women finding their way in recruiting and tech
The first piece of advice Michelle gives is to be confident in yourself. It's important to believe in your abilities and not fall victim to 'imposter syndrome.' Don't let anyone tell you you can't succeed in a male-dominated industry. Be confident in your skills, knowledge, and expertise. Your perspective as a woman in tech is valuable.
Next, Michelle suggests finding a mentor. Having a mentor who has already been through the challenges you're facing can be a great asset. They can help guide you through difficult situations, provide advice, and offer insights into the industry. Ultimately, the tech world is constantly evolving, so having a mentor to help you navigate a complex industry is invaluable.
Lastly, Michelle suggests relying on your network to learn. The candidates, clients, and colleagues she has partnered with have strengthened her knowledge base in tech and recruiting. Creating a community of tech professionals can positively impact your career trajectory as a woman in tech.
importance of giving women increased roles and growth opportunities in the tech space
Michelle suggests that, overall, there needs to be more encouragement for women to go into tech. Often women are pushed toward fields like teaching, guidance counseling, or nursing – roles that women traditionally hold. Fortunately, Michelle reveals that groups are working diligently to help women pursue tech from a young age. Though we won't see the full impact of these initiatives until younger generations transition into the workforce, the foundation is being laid to create a balanced industry marked by gender diversity.
When given a chance, women in leadership roles can stimulate innovation. By providing unique perspectives, women leaders can pioneer new products by thinking against the grain – crucial to an ever-evolving industry like tech powered by new ideas. In addition, women in leadership positions have been integral to creating inclusive environments and hiring practices. Employees are generally happier when they feel represented and exist in a diverse environment that gives power to all viewpoints.
But have women been given a chance to grow in tech? The harsh reality is that hurdles have stifled women from advancing in tech. A 2022 report from McKinsey found that only 86 women are promoted to manager for every 100 men across every industry, but when isolated for tech, that number drops to 52 women for every 100 men. This a telling statistic about the lack of opportunity afforded to women in tech. Despite this, Michelle has found that women landing leadership roles are being heavily celebrated on LinkedIn - speaking volumes about the momentum and yearning for women in leadership roles.
Listen to the Full Podcast Episode
Michelle indicated that there is a shift towards inserting women leaders in the IT space with beneficial outcomes for both companies and employees. She acknowledges that there is still work to be done to ensure women are appropriately represented in tech organizations. Learn more about how women are making massive strides in the tech field by listening to the full podcast episode. Tune into our other Women at Work podcasts, where we interview women making a significant impact on life sciences, healthcare, and engineering.