For the International Women Day, Margo’s employees share their experience as women engineers working in tech.
Juliette, Software Engineer at Margo in London
It is often said that the tech community is very masculine. Cliché or reality?
Unfortunately, it’s a reality. In 2017 in France, there are only 15% of women in tech roles. There is very little diversity. And we still see a lot of women, who had chosen this path, and who finally decide to move to less technical jobs after a few years in order to escape these toxic atmospheres.
It’s a shame because being an Engineer is exciting! You have to look for solutions, it’s at the same time, very concrete and very large. Everyone can find her place, depending on the company and the position.
What would you say then to convince women hesitating over working in the tech industry?
Do not give up a job you are interested in! Especially since we have a role to play in the evolution of mentalities: I did not expect it but I received some feedback from girls saying that I was a role model, that thanks to me, they had dared to specialize in very technical fields, whereas they were suggested to do something else. It’s good to realize you can make attitudes change just by being yourself and showing that it’s possible for a woman to work in the tech industry.
Leila, VP & Lead Business Agility at Margo in Paris
In your view, how can we solve parity issues in the tech industry?
I think parity issues in the IT industry are deeply related to culture and education. From the earliest age, parents and schools guide children through specific jobs or industries. Today, we try to recruit more and more women engineers, but we meet them far too late, when they already have made their course choices. We should educate girls earlier and tell them about engineering jobs as soon as they enter primary school, so they are aware of all the opportunities they have.
Moreover, I think women have their own role to play. In general, we have less confidence in ourselves. A woman will apply for a job only if she meets 100% of the criteria, whereas a man will apply if he answers 60%. Similarly, a woman will not dare to negotiate her entry salary, while a man will not hesitate to do so. I think that’s one of the reasons we see pay gaps between men and women. Of course, it is not the only one, but it is a factor on which we can act. And our co-workers, men and women can help us, by making us aware of our value.
Florette, Business Analyst at Margo in Paris
What is the strength of the network in a tech world which remains predominantly male?
I have been part of Margo’s women network since its launch. I have a great memory of our first meeting when a coach told us about public speaking. This network is an excellent initiative and gives us the opportunity to gather, to address the challenges that a woman meets in a company and to exchange our best practices. Receiving the feedback of other women at Margo was for me revealing. Daring to talk about discrimination, differences and balance between professional and personal life is a source of new ideas.