When you think of women working in technology, what comes to mind? Do you think of abundant career opportunities and excellent prospects for advancement? Do you think of employers actively hiring women to encourage and foster diversity and inclusion? Do you think of high demand for female candidates who not only have the chops, but also have great soft skills and love the fast pace of life-long learning?
If our list matched yours, that’s great! And it means you already know that women working in technology have broad skill sets and come with both technical and nontechnical academic degrees.
The truth is that every industry has tech-related opportunities, and those opportunities frequently don’t require women–or men–to be techies or know how to code. In fact, being curious, flexible and invigorated by an intense environment are some of the best reasons to consider a career in technology.
As a leader in the digital marketing landscape, RentPath is a technology company that helps people with one of their most basic needs: finding a home. So while technology is at the forefront of what we do, RentPath employees hold a wide range of roles and bring an assortment of skills, experiences and educational backgrounds.
For example, Elizabeth Bertasi, a Consumer Product Manager at RentPath, majored in Italian language at a liberal arts college. “I certainly had an unconventional background,” she explains. “I had a lot more to learn from the start than my peers who had majored in computer science and other tech fields, but asking questions and being around smart, experienced people really helped on that front.”
Women with a STEM degree or technical background appear to be the most obvious choice for a tech career. But even without those credentials, many women find great satisfaction in the tech space for a number of reasons, including having an affinity for a fast-paced environment or finding great fulfillment in the prospect of positively impacting people’s lives.
Daniele Osif, RentPath’s CRM Administrator, loves that she gets to use her creativity on a daily basis to develop solutions and directly help people. “I’ve always been in the customer service industry, and I consider my role at RentPath to be an extension of that,” Daniele explains. “I get to make people’s lives and customers’ experiences easier by enhancing technology to be more user friendly.”
Elizabeth appreciates the speed and agility of the tech sector. She explains that good ideas are often rewarded and acted upon more quickly in tech than in more traditional arenas such as government or finance.
As in many fields, women in tech can face challenges men don’t typically experience, such as being passed over for promotions, experiencing compensation inequality, or having to prove themselves more actively than their male counterparts.
Daniele says a stereotypical challenge she has contended with is working with people who want validation from a male counterpart before trusting her solutions or answers to their questions. “I believe this is becoming less common every day,” she says, “and I was excited to find that I almost never run into this at RentPath.”
In fact, with the movement to introduce girls to STEM subjects and attract young women into technical careers, many once common barriers are fading. Additionally, tech jobs often offer concrete ways to build skills and add value, such as becoming certified or formally demonstrating your knowledge, so opportunities for advancement can be less subjective than in some other fields.
Nilam Patel, RentPath’s Manager of Quality Assurance, counsels that regardless of your gender, maintaining positivity, professionalism and patience are key to a successful career. She’s also a big fan of finding a career mentor. “I had a really good mentor early in my career,” she says. “That relationship helped me put my professional goals in perspective and allowed me to develop a logical, methodical plan to achieve them.”
Organizations benefit from diversity of thought and experience, and women bring new perspectives to teams, companies and even entire industries. Brian Fink, a Sr. Technical Recruiter at RentPath, explains that when women participate or lead, conversations often go in new and different directions and result in better, more inclusive products. Elizabeth agrees: “Getting more women in the room enhances diversity and makes rising as a team to meet challenges more fun and more productive.”
If you’re thinking of a career in tech, you’re in for an exciting ride. Brian emphasizes that within the technology landscape, we’re in the midst of a technical transformation where changes happen every six months. “These changes don’t just lead to the challenge of keeping up,” he says, “they also lead to a wealth of opportunity.”
And “opportunity” seems to be the operative word. Just listen to Nilam: “Technology … what’s not to love about it! With the right set of tools, you can practically do anything and everything if you are willing to learn and apply yourself. The opportunities are endless.”
If you’d like to find out more about career opportunities at RentPath, we’d love to hear from you. Check out our open positions at workatrentpath.com.