Global independent digital strategist Stine Mølgaard Sørensen (pictured above) reflects on how we can all contribute to a more diverse workplace by developing our careers.
I often get asked about being a female in the tech world. When this happen I try to ‘level-up’ the conversation to talk about diversity in the workplace instead. I think this is a more relevant discussion than limiting the conversation to gender matters only. Diversity to me is about the inclusion of competent candidates without considering their gender, age, physical disabilities, religion, race or sexual orientation. Not having diversity in the workplace is a loss for us all, as we need different skill sets and perspectives in order for businesses to stay innovative, creative and compete in a rapidly changing business landscape. But how can we all contribute to making the business world more diverse and have more qualified women in top management, too? It starts with ourselves and our willingness to help. I personally am astrong advocate for three issues in this matter:
Getting to do work you are passionate about is incredibly hard work. There are no shortcuts to success. During my career, I have sought help and advice from people I admire and look up to, which has helped me navigate a lot of things. Therefore mentorship initiatives mean a great deal to me. Whoever has reached a level that he/she is proud of has a responsibility to support and open doors for others to reach their career goals as well.
Recommending your network
We should be better at vocalizing our strengths to our network so it is obvious who to contact in cases where a problem needs to be solved. We should also not be hesitant to recommend qualified candidates from our network for a position, as this increases the odds of a hire.
Being vocal about your career goals
The only way someone can help you reach your career goals is by knowing what you are trying to achieve. Therefore, be vocal about not only your strengths but also what you want to achieve, so your network will keep you in mind and reach out whenever they come across opportunities which fits your aspirations. It’s much easier that way, really.
Ultimately I believe that we should encourage a diverse workplace because it benefits us all. To do this, we need to step out of our comfort zone and embrace the unknown. This requires strong leadership skills as it is quite a challenge, however in the long run, the benefits definitely outweigh the costs.
Follow Stine on Twitter at @stinesorensen