Overcoming Gender Biases in the Tech Industry and Beyond

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As a woman who has had the opportunity to grow within the tech industry and rise to the position of VP of Customer Growth at TrafficGuard, I hope that my personal journey will help empower more women to see their boundless potential and unleash it to conquer any challenge in their career path.

Mentorship and the need for women role models

In many ways, I have been fortunate from the beginning. My career in ad tech started in the US, with a young female as my direct manager. She ran the entire San Francisco office, and I had the privilege of watching her run the day-to-day operations with success. This made me realise early on that gender should not define what one is capable of achieving.

However, things were different when I moved to Asia eight years ago.

It was rare to see women in management positions within ad tech; it seemed that women had a harder time finding their voice. The external and internal barriers were more evident than in the US, and to be honest, this affected my confidence as a woman in the field.

I knew that I had to take active steps to overcome these hurdles, so I joined ad tech networking groups and sessions, which allowed me to connect with other female leaders in the space. A few of them went on to become my mentors, and to this day, I am grateful for them. Having people who could relate to my workplace challenges made a huge difference in my self-confidence. My mentors also provided the support and environment I needed to thrive. With women role models throughout my journey, I have been able to break external and self-imposed beliefs, especially around what women can or cannot do and how far they can go in the industry.

On top of that, I think that one of the greatest challenges faced by women is the belief that we must fit into a certain mould. We are expected to be assertive but not bossy, vulnerable but not weak, and empathetic but not seen as lacking toughness.

Letting go of these expectations takes time, but it's possible to take small steps each day. By focusing on our purpose, strengths, areas for improvement, and what brings us fulfilment both in and out of work, we can avoid letting gender perceptions define our value and limit our potential. It's important to remember that it's impossible to please everyone, and trying to do so is a recipe for unhappiness.

Personally, accepting and working on this has been extremely helpful in not letting the perceptions of gender define my value and what I can achieve.

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