Today is International Women’s Day. As women in technology, we’re part of a burgeoning community succeeding in a dynamic and challenging industry. We’ve chosen today to kick off Kryon’s global Women in RPA campaign to highlight the many accomplished women in our industry. Women are blazing trails in every part of the tech world, and many are leading digital organizational transformation in banking, telecommunications, manufacturing, travel, and countless other industries.
The equality gap / Closing the gap
Women in RPA mirror women in other sectors of technology – talented, committed and rising in the ranks but too few in number. The simple fact is we’re still underrepresented, especially the higher we climb.
But we can also recognize the progress being made as many companies try to close the gaps and women pursue tech careers. It could be wishful thinking, but it seems RPA may be ahead of the game here. RPA is a relatively new technology. Perhaps there’s slightly less of an “old boys club” mentality. When we were conceiving our Women in RPA campaign it was surprisingly easy to identify a wealth of talented, highly accomplished women.
I fell into RPA by accident. I’ve always worked in high tech, including many years in cybersecurity (a hugely male-dominated space!). But when I heard about RPA, it sounded so exciting and a great way to be a part of forming the workplace of the future – for future generations, including my own kids.
In many ways, being a woman in technology parallels my day-to-day work challenges at Kryon. As a smaller player amongst the ‘big players,” Kryon needs to remain agile, stay innovative and lead the market with thought leadership and vision. It is a necessity to find ways to be noticed in a sea of bigger fish.
It’s the same being a woman in a sea of men in the tech world. It requires me—of all us—to stay focused and maintain professionalism at all times. You can’t just ‘glide along’ and assume you’ll come out on top. You’ve got to be ready to compete, all day and every day! Women, particularly in technology, need to remember that.
An elusive balance
As a woman executive in tech, I’ve juggled raising children, enormous amounts of travel and long hours for years. I’m not sure I will ever forgive myself for the years I tried to spend quality time vs. quantity time with my kids. They’re older now and seem to have forgiven me, and I think that I do serve as a role model for them both – for my daughter as a young woman entering the job force, and for my son as an example of how women can build a successful career, while still being a loving mom and spouse.
I know my story is not unique. It’s the same for many women in technology. Whether part of a Fortune 500 enterprise or a struggling start-up, we make sacrifices. And often we put ourselves last – after work and family. So, supporting one another as women in technology is essential.
Mentoring and modeling
The arrival of International Women’s Day led me to ponder the future. How can I best nurture young tech professionals? I spend a lot of time coaching more junior colleagues and friends as they deliberate on ‘what they should be when they grow up’. Too often, we just stumble through our career paths. We all see the stats about women in technology. It’s still not an easy road. But it’s one that can be tremendously rewarding. And there are lots of women out there like me – eager to help.
A brighter tomorrow
Someone recently asked if I had advice for young women interested in the RPA space. My answer was simple: just do it. If it interests you, you’ll be good at it and you’ll succeed. Automation, RPA, or as we call it, Full-Cycle Automation, will explode over the next few years. Everyone wants in. We can see all the big names, including Microsoft, Amazon, SAP, starting to grab a piece of the market. It will truly be an integral part of how we all work in the next decade, if not sooner. So, it’s enormously relevant and there will be a ton of opportunity in the space. It’s exciting on so many levels. Women have a significant opportunity to lead the way in RPA and shape the future of work.
If you’re a woman in RPA, we want to hear from you. Please share your experience and help us inspire our colleagues and the next generation of women leaders. Watch for our upcoming Women in RPA profiles. It’s time to share our stories.
Happy International Women’s Day! You deserve to be honored.