It isn’t always easy for a man to talk about WIT (Women in Technology) without sounding patronising or even insincere, but as Maya Angelou said, “How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!” Therefore, I’m handing over this celebratory 200th blog post to recognize some of the women in technology that I’ve been fortunate enough to work with.

Tip 1 – Erica Kuhl – Vice President of Community at Salesforce  

As little as 26% of tech jobs are taken by Women in the US (according to the American Association of University Women), thats compared to an average of 52% of the actual workforce being female.

At Salesforce we try to even the balance by making equality a core value for the company, and working to increase equality by focusing our efforts on equal pay, equal advancement, and equal opportunity.  But there is still more we can all do.

If you have female colleagues, or potential members of the salesforce eco-system, here are 3 things you can promote:

– Join a local Women In Tech (WIT) User Group

– Find a mentor or become a mentor to strengthen the community

– Read this inspiring blog post by our head of Employee Success, Cindy Robbins

Tip 2 – Laura Diaz – Paris France Salesforce WIT Group  

When I started the Paris WIT group, my aim was to gather together women that are as passionate about technology as I am. It surprised me how difficult it was to get women to join our conversations, meetings etc. because they feel they do not belong to the Tech community.

In my opinion some women are afraid of not being perfect, as they have been taught since they were little girls, instead of just having fun playing around and exploring.

I think women need to be brave in order to define themselves as women working with technology, brave to fail and brave to find our place in a male dominated environment.

Tip 3 – Emma Frost – IT Project Manager at Phil Walton & Co  

I am fairly new to Salesforce, but have been working in the Internet industry for over 15 years and am very familiar with working in a male dominated environment. I believe it is important to find role models that are high in the hierarchy (representation matters!), as well as support groups where you can experience a female majority – rejuvenates the soul 🙂

So I am really looking forward to finding out more about Salesforce WIT and groups like Women Code Heroes.

Tip 4 – Carolina Ruiz – The first female Force.com MVP  

I did a degree in Computer Engineering, a field where few women were seen at that time. However, that was not a reason for me to desist. From when I was little, I always loved computers and, ok I can´t hide it, I also liked video games. Therefore I thought that this degree could be the one for me. After completing my degree, I started to work as a developer. I can not say that I saw or see now lots of women developers, but what I can say is that this is not a reason to stop doing what you love. We are all the same, not for being women are we better or worse developers.

It might not be easy to be WIT, as we are less in numbers, but everything is changing.

Working in technology could be a challenge… but I love challenges and I love what I do!

Tip 5 – Radhika Bansal – Pune India Salesforce WIT Group  

In previous times women were considered appropriate only for household work, but today they have shown their worth in technology too. Still somewhere the notion of “women should not work” exists and because of this we see issues such as pay inequality and fewer women at higher levels. In my personal life I daily face such challenges and rise above them. With the help of Salesforce WIT I would like to remove such notions and create gender equality in real terms.

You can read more about Radhika’s story here.

Tip 6 – Vero Laville – Runs CoderDojo in Paris  

Since I started supporting children learning to code in France, one of my best experiences occurred when meeting Émilie, 12 years old, at a Coderdojo session. Sitting in front of her computer, she was not inspired to code with the rest of the group. I arrived and started coding with her and since that moment she hasn’t stopped!

What happened to Émilie? Let’s be clear. She has not been impressed by my coding skills! I am not a tech woman, even though I enjoy science and technologies. Émilie simply needed a woman’s support – a role model.

Emilie made me realize how crucial it could be, in one little girl’s mind, to follow a woman to open the doors to coding.