I never realised being a feminist. On the contrary, I found myself getting a little bit annoyed at a recent event when two women began to attack a charming guy right in the middle of his general presentation on investment funds for entrepreneurs in technology. The two middle-aged culprits questioned whether he took gender inequality seriously when processing the fund applications. Before the guy could even finish his response, one of them started to shake her head and exclaim loudly that he was lying. I felt sorry for the guy and blew him a kiss. He looked confused and did not catch my air kiss…
But, I must admit, after starting my job in IT Consultancy at Deloitte Digital, I have found myself part of the 3% of women working in technology. My occupation of consultant in technology noticeably lacks a female contingent. Where are all my fellow busty bitches rocking the technology department?
There are lots of theories as to why women make up a smaller percentage than men in the technology field — there is a scarcity of female role models present in technology; girls tend to veer toward careers that offer more social interaction and visually attractive outcomes; IT is solely for geeks wearing dusty glasses etc.
Personally, in the early days of my turbulent student life, I observed a vast perception that women are good for jobs in hospitality, communication and marketing. Yet I find that not to be true at all; I am passionate about innovative marketing strategies, in particular the digital side of things.
However, one of the biggest challenges I faced early on was how I could close the gap between my passion for creative marketing strategies and technology. Furthermore, the next challenge I faced was doubting my abilities and the ridiculous expectations I set for myself. I felt constant pressure to prove myself, that in order to be a successful consultant I had to immediately provide the right answer to any and every question. Even though it is impossible to know everything about Salesforce.com and the whole industry in a few months, I often felt I had failed myself and my clients if I had to research something or reach out to other resources to get an answer.
I studied hard for my Salesforce.com certification and as a result, I now have the confidence to say ‘I don't know but I will get the answer.’ In addition, I have realised that being an ambitious working woman in whatever role, it is very important to experience, observe and understand how organisations and businesses in different industries actually operate. Plus, how implementing the latest technology can impact and change the way of doing business, the way of working, the way to market themselves and their products or services as a path toward making people's lives better.
Developing new technologies is about oscillating from extreme focus to wide open creative exploration (in order to understand people and their motivations as well as their problems). As a woman thinking about these complex issues, you have a rich and deep understanding around details like safety and privacy, but also around tone, cooperative communication and gathering feedback.
So, by recognising all this I am embracing my role in helping organisations and businesses excelling in what they do and I am proud to push them through the waves of innovation. Yes, working in technology with a lot of men is challenging, exhilarating, scary, but rewarding and amazing all at the same time. For all the women who have dreams of building a career in technology, I will say, ‘dream big and shoot for the stars.’ Strive for leadership positions and always remember how valuable you are.
Nhung Le Nguyen
Mijn naam is Nhung Le Nguyen en ik ben werkzaam als CRM en Digital Solutions Consultant bij Deloitte Digital. Over de jaren heb ik me vooral bezig gehouden met Digital Marketing en Digital Branding Strategies voor uiteenlopende bedrijven, overheden en organisaties. Mijn passie uit zich in het motiveren van mensen en bedrijven om zich te blijven ontwikkelen op het gebied van de laatste technologieën.