I recently had the privilege of speaking at a Teleforum for CanWIT (Canadian Women in Technology).
The first speaker, Ms. Shelley Hessian, presented us with the statistics of exactly where we stand with regards to representation in this industry. The truth is we are under represented in the field and that under representation gets more and more significant as you move up the career ranks. It is shockingly low when comparing the numbers of start up founders and C-Level positions held by women versus those held by men.
The third speaker, Chadia Moghrabi, enlightened us on the challenges and statistics of positions and income levels of females in Academia. Similarly the differences in salary and opportunities for women in technology and Academia in general are significant. As women it is often our careers that suffer in the face of heavy obligations outside of our careers.
These challenges are real, significant and surmountable. I have been extremely fortunate to have bucked the trends outlined by my fellow speakers. I graduated from a high tech college, I climbed the career ladder to the directorship level and I started my own tech firm.
The most significant statement I would advise women to take from the forum was a question from Ms. Simpson-McKay.
The question was: “Eunice, Did you have a mentor ?”
The answer is that I have had a mentor throughout my entire career, someone that advised me, helped me navigate my career for the sake of my success. In the coming posts I will write about my mentors, how they became my mentors and how they allowed me to be as strong and committed in this career as I have been.
So I have a question for you. Are you a women in technology, do you have a mentor?