Taking action to overcome barriers for women in tech

Photograph of Ingrid Van Uden.

I’ve been fortunate to experience many different roles as a woman in tech. I started as a business analyst liaising with clients to define requirements, then spent time as an application developer using Java, HTML and C++.

After that, I moved on to business and sales operations, which has shown me how to run and operate an IT business that delivers with excellence while maintaining profitability. I’ve been in the sales arena for 15 years now, doing everything from bid management and technical solutioning for outsourcing models, to client account management across hardware, software, and services solutions.

Shattering the glass ceiling

I’m really passionate about championing women in the tech industry and helping my peers overcome the challenges they perceive as barriers to success. It reinvigorates my motivation to chase my own goals and aspirations as well as hopefully encouraging and inspiring other women too.

To that end, I’m involved in a number of diversity and inclusion networks and programs both within and outside of Adobe, that provide communities of support, awareness and change. This includes being Co-Chair of the A/NZ Diversity & Inclusion Council, an Action Circle Leader, part of a Women’s team called ‘She Takes The Stage’ that initiated a Women’s development program to increase the number of Adobe Women speaking at internal and external events, and participating in The Dream Collective Emerging Leaders Program.

As a recipient of so much great mentorship over the years, I like paying it forward now and mentoring others myself. I know how valuable that type of guidance is because women often lack the confidence to go for certain roles and paths. Good allyship and mentorship can give them the tools they need to pursue them. It’s such a key part of a woman’s growth in the tech industry, and it certainly was for my own.

The sky’s the limit

The unfortunate reality is there are still many biases that exist for women in the workforce. For instance, women who have children or are pregnant are often automatically excluded from high-profile client-facing roles that require a lot of travel and leadership.

In my opinion, that simply shouldn’t be the case. Women need to make their ambitions clear if these are the roles they want to take on, and their peers and colleagues should ask them questions about what they actually want instead of assuming they aren’t capable of doing what’s needed for a role.

Luckily, at companies like Adobe, the sky really is the limit for women. We have the opportunity to move roles within the company and take on new responsibilities – be it a career in engineering, sales, analytics, developing and coding, or marketing! It’s time for us to all support each other to overcome the barriers and biases we face, because women deserve the opportunity to build fantastic, rewarding careers.