How Women in STEM Build and Preserve Boundaries

by | Mar 10, 2023 | Career Advice, Diversity & Inclusion | 0 comments

Women have long been underrepresented in the tech industry, with many facing challenges such as discrimination, sexism, and bias in the workplace. While the industry has made progress in recent years, there is still a long way to go in terms of gender diversity and equality. One important aspect of creating a more inclusive workplace is building and preserving boundaries, which can help women in tech feel more empowered and confident in their work.

Building boundaries involves setting limits on what is acceptable behavior, defining personal values and goals, and communicating these boundaries clearly to others. In the context of the tech industry, this may mean establishing boundaries around work hours, communication channels, and acceptable conduct in the workplace. By setting and enforcing these boundaries, women can create a safer and more supportive environment for themselves and their colleagues.

One example of a woman in tech who has successfully built and preserved boundaries is Ellen Pao, a former venture capitalist who sued her former employer for gender discrimination. It’s important to set boundaries early on in your career. You have to set those boundaries right away, and then stick to them. And if somebody is pushing those boundaries, you need to say something and push back. By standing up for herself and her values, Pao set an example for other women in the industry to follow.

Another important aspect of building boundaries is advocating for oneself and seeking support when needed.  According to the Federal Statistical Office (BFS), only 21% of IT jobs are held by women. This underscores the importance of building a network of supportive colleagues and mentors who can offer guidance and encouragement.

Building and preserving boundaries is not always easy, but it is a necessary step towards creating a more equitable and inclusive workplace. As more women enter the tech industry and rise to leadership positions, they can serve as role models for future generations and inspire others to stand up for their values and advocate for themselves.

In conclusion, women in tech face unique challenges when it comes to building and preserving boundaries in the workplace. However, by setting clear limits, advocating for themselves, and seeking support from their colleagues and mentors, women can create a safer and more inclusive environment for themselves and others. As the industry continues to evolve and more women enter leadership roles, it is our hope that the culture of the tech industry will become more equitable and supportive for all.

This post was written as part of the event “Navigating your career in the Age of AI”, which took place on the 31st of August 2023 in collaboration with digitalswitzerland, LzLabs and Singapore Global Network.

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