OPINION: For women in tech unconscious bias is real. Here’s how to fix it

I founded my tech startup as a mother of five. A post-COVID-19 restart is a chance for the tech community to push women forward

As a PhD mathematician who spent the first decade of my career working in the government space before moving on to become founder and CEO of a tech startup, I’ve thoroughly lived the ‘woman in tech’ experience. And compared to even a decade ago, personal experience validates the idea that there is now a broader acceptance of women in leadership positions within the technology sector.

However, women pursuing such roles in our industry unfortunately still face a challenging path, particularly if that woman happens to be a mother. There is no shortage of stats that speak to the underrepresentation of women in science, technology, engineering, and math, but sometimes it is important to talk about the imbalance as it appears through the lens of personal experience.    

When I first founded my company in 2016, I intentionally avoided talking about my family and the fact I have five children to remove the investor bias of ‘how can she possibly run a business and be a mom at the same time?’

In a competitive fundraising environment, I didn’t want to risk anything that might impede their vision of my abilities as a technologist and entrepreneur.

Does my role as a mother undermine my ability to be a successful founder? Absolutely not – it arguably enhances it – but as most women working in this space can attest, that is not always the reality of the situation.

Unconscious bias is real, but the best way to overcome it for myself and the woman who will walk this path after me is by continuing to pursue and deliver substantive, undeniable value. I’ve never aspired to be a successful woman in tech; I aspire to be a successful founder and CEO – all other labels excluded.

Continue reading: https://news.trust.org/item/20210401084327-gf3vd

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