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How to get ahead as a female contractor in the tech industry - women in tech - Contracting Scout

How to get ahead as a female contractor in the tech industry

It’s well known that the technology industry is male dominated, with women comprising only 17% of the workforce in the sector. However, things are improving, with more tech companies and businesses pushing for greater equality between men and women in the industry. This is not only positive for women but could also help boost the economy – after all, it is predicted that the UK economy would benefit from an added £2.6 billion every year if more women worked in the tech sector and filled prominent IT job shortages.

 

International Women’s Day takes place on the 8th March with a campaign calling for progress to be made towards gender parity. As gender equality is firmly on the agenda, and with the tech industry being one of the most male dominated sectors, now is the perfect time to talk about how female contractors can get ahead in the tech industry, whether you code, project manage, or work in HR, marketing or other roles attractive to an IT company.

 

Networking brings IT contractors together

Leading professionals in the sector stress the importance of networking as a way of getting ahead in the industry. This can offer invaluable support through helping you connect with like-minded individuals, reaching out to new clients and landing new contracts. Attending networking events aimed at women provides the perfect opportunity to meet other women in the industry, build confidence, and develop professionally.

 

Alternatively, go online and enjoy the benefits of web-based communities. Start by checking out Ada’s List, an online space where women can share job opportunities, talk off the record, and offer advice. Tech Ladies  is another site where women in tech can seek, gain and offer support.

 

Receiving guidance and advice from women in similar positions to yours is a great way to gain confidence and prove to yourself that you’re not alone. Networking is also a great way of finding out about new opportunities and how you can acquire skills that clients are looking for. As a contractor, networking is particularly important for helping you gauge the job market. It’s worth having a look at communities such as the Women in Freelancing Network for contracting opportunities and advice too.

 

Find a mentor, when you are ready – they don’t have to be a contractor

Get ahead of the rest by learning from the best. Another valuable source of support comes from having a mentor. Be it male or female, it’s important to have a role model who can help you advance in your career. Mentors can be established contractors, consultants or IT business owners who’ll help you by imparting their wisdom and experience, as well as finding you new opportunities. Using a mentor is an excellent way of learning more about the tech industry and how to thrive and succeed within it.

 

Do what you love and let your passion show

Being passionate about what you do and showing that off will always help your career progression. Your enthusiasm should be obvious in both your written and verbal communications at all times. This will help if you’re applying for a project or if you’re looking to bag a new, better-paid contract. Keep up to date on current industry trends and news to highlight your interest in and knowledge of the sector. Contractors in particular need to be able to effectively sell both themselves and their skills in order to win work. Showing your passion for what you do will help you stand out, win contracts, and ultimately succeed in your contracting career.

 

Be a proactive IT contractor

Finally, be proactive. Seek out opportunities, don’t just let them come to you. Engage with others in the industry and get your name out there. You’ll find it’s easier to have the confidence to take on new experiences within your career if you’re constantly pushing yourself and are supported by a strong network of peers.

 

Technology is constantly and quickly evolving, so empower yourself by learning new skills. This will help you get ahead. Whatever part of the industry you work in, follow this advice and you’ll find it’s easy to get ahead and tip the balance in a male dominated industry.

 

Next Steps

Happy International Women’s Day from all of us at Contracting Scout! Give us a call to see how we can help your career with a range of financial solutions.

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