A Call for Confidence: My thoughts on International Women's Day Inspired by #IWDTO

Written by Avery Francis

Rangle's Sr. Talent Manager, Avery Francis, had the opportunity to spend the evening surrounded by brilliant women and men as they listened to thought leaders in the industry challenging the conversations, perceptions and stereotypes around women in tech. Below are her thoughts about the event.


I have attended a lot of technology focused events in the past and I can say that it was refreshing to have such raw and honest talks from the six speakers (Dominique DeGuzman, Julia Nguyen, Sylvia Ng, Helen Zeng, Adrienne Marshall and Juan Musleh) who shared their thoughts and stories with us at DevTO's #IWDTO. All of the speakers were unapologetic, vulnerable, and honest about obstacles that they and most women deal with that directly impact our professional lives. Sexuality, gender, mental illness, professional adequacy, and confidence were all recurring themes in last night's discussions, as well as in my one-on-one conversations with attendees. It’s no secret that there are no simple solutions to fix the Gender Gap in tech. With that in mind, as Sr. Talent Manager here at Rangle.io, it is something I am working towards on a daily basis, and something that our Women in Software Guild is tirelessly committed to. Through regular conversations with the most talented developers in the industry, I have indeed noticed a difference in my conversations between genders. It is a difference that Sylvia Ng, VP of Growth at ScribbleLive, spoke to yesterday and that is; CONFIDENCE.

Emily Porta, Scrum Master at Rangle.io

With leading companies in tech investing time, money, and resources to close the gender gap by attracting, recruiting and retaining women on their teams, the question for how we can all contribute to the effort remains. In my opinion, finding our confidence should be at the top of that list. The research is out there and it has been proven that diverse teams are more efficient and more profitable, so of course this is a top priority for a lot of organizations. An HP report found that women applied for a promotion only when they believed they met 100 percent of the qualifications listed for the job. Men applied when they thought they could meet 60 percent of the requirements. At HP, and in study after study, the data confirm what we instinctively know. Underqualified and underprepared men will not hesitate to lean in. Overqualified and over prepared, too many women still hesitate. Women feel confident only when they have exceeded the expectations. What does this tell us? We need to shift the focus towards empowering and promoting confidence in the women around us. There are a lot of conversations happening right now around women in the workforce. We are told to lean in, grab a seat at the table, and find our voice. But, we need the confidence, reinforcement systems, community, and encouragement to do that.

Helen Zeng, Partner Engineer at Twitter after her talk at IWDTO.

As women, we are taught to play it safe and to avoid risk and failure. In the spirit of International Women's Day and empowering the talented women around us in tech, let’s vow to work on our confidence. As much as we need employers to take an active role in reconciling the gender and diversity gap, we need the women around us to empower, coach, and mentor each other. We need women to apply for those jobs that might seem out of reach. I implore you to apply for the jobs you want but may not have all the qualifications for, to put your hand up for that promotion, and if you have a great idea have the confidence to share it. Six brave women spoke at yesterday's International Women's Day Talks with DevTO. They were powerfully vulnerable and unapologetically confident. Although different, all of the women had one thing in common, and it wasn’t that they were badass or that they work in Tech (which is also true), but they were all confident enough to go for it. Inspired by International Women's Day, and the fierce confidence of the speakers last night, let’s make a difference together and disrupt the status quo. Let's find our confidence and make it contagious.

Avery Francis, Sr. Talent Manager at Rangle.io.

If you are a passionate woman in tech, I encourage you to apply to join our growing team. You can check out our open positions here or you can connect with me directly to learn more about opportunities at Rangle via @AveryFrancis on Twitter or via email avery@rangle.io. I look forward to hearing from you.