There are no good or bad jobs: success is about finding the right employee/position fit, says Yoobic's Christel Grizaut
The Women in Tech Excellence Awards return in-person this month, after a two-year wait - and we can't wait to celebrate the amazing work women are doing across tech once again.
The Awards incredibly important to both the industry and all of us here at Computing. Celebrating diversity is vital as we move away from the long-established 'tech-bro' culture and towards a more welcoming one.
Christel Grizaut, SVP of marketing at Women in Tech Awards finalist YOOBIC, says it's important to move away from taking an exclusionary approach to tech; after all, women make up at least half of your intended audience.
Why do you support Computing's Women in Tech Excellence Campaign?
Despite the progress that has been made to close the attainment and equality gap between men and women generally across society, this has not translated to the tech industry. Current estimates indicate women hold around a quarter (25 per cent) of the roles available, despite making up nearly half the global workforce, and this is very much to the detriment of the industry. On a basic level, one of the key issues with this imbalance is that women also make up approximately half the intended audience for tech in all its various ouputs; therefore, they need to be represented at all stages of the research, product development and live-to-market phases if the solutions on offer are to appeal to this core audience.
If you are building global technical solutions, then it's essential to have input and ideas from a team that is as diverse as the audience you are aiming to attract. Having a variety of perspectives and talents in a business provides a vast difference to productivity and the bottom line. Women bring many excellent soft and hard skills to the work force and the differing viewpoints, ideas and insights a diverse workforce offers allows for better problem solving and an increase in business performance.
How did you get into the tech industry?
I am very proud to have spent my entire career working in the tech industry. Immediately after graduating from college, I landed a limited time job assignment at a US software vendor. This became a full-time job after six months and marked the beginning of a long career, from local, to regional and finally global marketing leadership roles. My own experience proves that the industry is one that has potential for a long and varied career. Consequently, I am very happy YOOBIC is supporting the Women in Tech campaign: initiatives such as these are important in removing the barriers to increasing female representation in the industry.
Why do you think the tech industry is mainly male, especially in technical roles and senior positions?
I believe that there is an ingrained bias that reinforces the myth that technical roles and computing jobs are more suitable for men than women. Unfortunately, this gender bias has become a self-fulfilling prophecy that sees women overrepresented in social, rather than technical and leadership roles. Not surprisingly, women working in tech experience being taken seriously as one of their key challenges. There is still a lot of work to be done to change this gender stereotype and I love associations like 'Girls Who Code in the US', who make a positive impact by changing this perception at the youngest age.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned in your career?
I have learned many lessons but the one I would like to share is that there are no good and bad employees or good and bad jobs. Rather it is a case of finding the right employee/position fit. I have seen people being let go from one company and thrive in the next one, and vice versa. Whether I hire someone for my team or I apply myself for a job, I always ask myself this question: is this the right fit? I recommend everyone asks themselves this question out loud before deciding to take a role. If you find yourself in a position where your talent is not recognised, do not waste your time trying: go and find another organisation that deserves you, because there will be plenty of those out there.
What are your three top tips for women looking to start a career in Tech? / What advice would you give to young women aspiring to take on leadership roles?
First, you must believe in yourself and do not let others make you doubt yourself. Remember that you know better than anyone else what's best for you. Always remain true to yourself and don't try to mimic the behaviours of others to fit in rather find your own way. Finally, build your network. Build or join a trusted group of like-minded people who help guide, encourage and share knowledge so you can support each other throughout your careers.