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Empowering Women: The Power of Supporting Each Other

Surprisingly, out of the 7.8 billion people inhabiting Earth, women make up the majority. Yet, ironically, women worldwide still face a significant disparity in rights compared to men. Despite considerable efforts to improve societal norms and enact reforms to empower women, gender inequality continues to persist in the workplace.

Tech companies, in particular, tend to perpetuate a pattern of hiring employees of the same gender. The most recent statistics on women in the workforce highlight a concerning trend: only 26% of positions in computer-related fields are held by women.


With the challenges facing women in business, it would be a natural inclination to band together rather than compete with one another. However, there is still a challenge when women get together:

  • Lack of support

  • Talking about each other in a way that is less than complimentary.

  • Sometimes, the direct intended destruction of another woman’s path. 


How can we change this? How can you be the woman who is an ally and supports the goal of more women joining and staying in the tech industry? Consider the following recommendations.

The Seating Arrangement and Airtime

Have you ever noticed that women often find themselves on the periphery of the conversation in meetings? While men confidently take front-and-center seats, we sometimes gravitate towards the edges. Additionally, women tend to receive less airtime and are frequently interrupted, even by fellow women. This disparity in participation can leave us feeling unheard and undervalued.

So, what can we do to change this dynamic? It starts by setting a positive example. Let’s be the women who sit front and center and speak up in meetings. Encouraging our female peers to do the same can make a significant impact. Let’s interject when one of us is interrupted and give her the space to finish her thoughts. When a colleague takes credit for a woman’s idea, let’s tactfully acknowledge its origin. By actively advocating for each other, we create a more inclusive atmosphere and reinforce our positions as leaders.

Challenging the Likeability Penalty

Like many others, the ICT channel often subjects women to a double standard. Men are expected to be assertive and confident, qualities that are readily accepted in leadership roles. However, women are often expected to embody nurturing and collaborative traits, which can lead to pushback when we assert ourselves as leaders.

This phenomenon, often called the “likeability penalty,” can manifest in the language used to describe us. Terms like “bossy” or “shrill” can be applied to women who exhibit assertiveness, while men displaying similar qualities are labeled as “confident” and “strong.”

To combat this bias, we need to choose our words and attitudes towards each other wisely. When we hear a woman being unfairly characterized, let’s ask for specific examples and question whether the same criticism would apply to a man. We can collectively challenge the likeability penalty and uplift each other by extending empathy and understanding towards our female colleagues.

Celebrating Achievements and Acknowledging Unfair Blame

No matter where you are – personally or professionally, we should celebrate each other’s achievements and address unfair blame. Women and men often respond differently to recognition, with women tending to downplay their accomplishments and credit external factors. In contrast, men are likelier to attribute their success to innate skills and qualities.

To bridge this gap, we can actively seek opportunities to celebrate women’s achievements within our industry. Whether it’s highlighting a colleague’s accomplishments during introductions or participating in mutual celebration within a group of women, acknowledging each other’s successes can go a long way.

Additionally, we should be vigilant when it comes to assigning blame. Women often receive less credit for successful outcomes and are held more accountable for failures. 

We can create a more balanced and equitable work environment by recognizing and addressing these biases.

Empowering Self-Doubt and Encouraging Initiative

Women often grapple with more intense self-doubt than men, primarily due to biases and expectations in the workplace. This self-doubt can hinder our professional growth and deter us from taking the initiative.

We must actively encourage each other to seize opportunities to combat these doubts. Recognize the accomplishments of your female colleagues and remind them of their capabilities when they express uncertainty about new projects or roles. Offer support and mentorship and be a thought buddy to help boost their confidence as they navigate their career journeys.

Providing Constructive Feedback and Advocacy

Effective feedback is essential for personal and professional growth. Women often need more specific and helpful feedback than men. Men may hesitate to provide critical feedback to women, fearing an emotional response.

To address this disparity, we can take the initiative to offer clear, actionable feedback to our female colleagues. Encourage a culture of open and constructive feedback, and remember that feedback, when delivered sincerely, is a gift that helps us learn and grow.

Moreover, mentorship and sponsorship play pivotal roles in career advancement. As women, we should actively engage in mentoring relationships, offering guidance and support to those starting their careers. If you occupy a more senior position, go beyond mentoring and sponsoring talented women, advocating for their advancement within the industry.

Together We Thrive

Specifically, as it relates to the ICT Channel, where women face many challenges, our unity is our strength. By actively supporting and uplifting each other, we can overcome biases, break down barriers, and achieve our fullest potential. Let’s shift our focus from talking about each other to talking to each other. Let’s be the allies we need in this dynamic field, and together, we will thrive and lead the way toward a more inclusive and equitable channel workforce.



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