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Tapping the power of women in the world of technology

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Apache spark intern, IBM Spark Technology Center

Are you ready for some insights into the tech industry? Let’s start off with a question, then: How many women do you see around your office? Now: How many men?

That’s right—although more than half of college graduates are women, women make up only 30 percent of the workforce at technology companies. Even 160 years after the death of Ada Lovelace, women are few and far between at many technology companies.

Exploring the role of women in tech

Accordingly, IBM Spark Technology Center (STC) is embracing the unique perspective and style that women bring to technology by launching the “Women in Tech” group. In doing so, we aim to provide a collaborative space for both internal and external development of IBM’s diverse workforce, with a focus on developing and supporting women in technical and professional roles through the following:

  • Recruitment/hiring
    IBM does a lot of exciting things, and making that happen means hiring the best people available. Accordingly, we’re working on engaging with external sources of talent in ways that go beyond the old paradigm of recruiting events—in particular, through social recruiting strategies and employee referral programs.
  • Talent development
    http://www.ibmbigdatahub.com/sites/default/files/womentechnology_embed.jpgTo help IBMers excel at their work, we’re planning global mentoring sessions that will dovetail with periodic task assignment. These tasks will be designed to help employees adapt to IBM’s culture while connecting them with talent programs and processes through constituency outreach.
  • Employee retention
    We’re working to build connections with and among our employees, not only by hosting internal networking events but also through social media.
  • Market development
    Because our product is also our medium for conveying technology to our clients, we’re working to understand client needs at a deeper level than ever before. As part of this effort, we’re striving to engage with client-facing groups by building connections with diverse employee groups in client organizations.

Coming together for success

As both a woman and an IBMer, I know all too well that trying to do something extraordinary while maintaining work–life balance is a daunting challenge. Accordingly, to help you reach new heights in your career, we’ll introduce you to women who are doing great work at IBM. Among them are some who have been with IBM for more than 20 years—yet they have managed to balance both family and work while achieving excellence. As you strive to follow in their footsteps, we’ll teach you how you can do just that. And who knows? You might be the next future IBM fellow, distinguished engineer or distinguished developer that you meet.

No matter your questions—how to get your work recognized, how to blend in or much, much more—we’ll help you find the answers you need. To get started, ask us in person or on the discussion forums.

In addition to our monthly meetings, we’ll be hosting some exciting events designed to keep you excited about technology: “IBM goes to Grace Hopper,” “Black Girls Code”—the list goes on. For more details about these and other opportunities, attend our next monthly meeting, scheduled for Thursday, 8 December 2016, at 425 Market St in San Francisco. We’ll be hosting a holiday mixer featuring some fun events you won’t want to miss. Interested? RSVP here.

If you’re a woman in tech or a woman considering a career in tech, don’t worry about how you’ll dive into your field of choice. Being one of the few women in the room is more than a differentiator—it’s an asset. What’s more, it can enhance outcomes. Together, we’re making it happen. We hope to see you soon!

To learn more about women in tech, watch this space for the chance to hear about upcoming talks and events as they arise.