Surviving versus thriving as a woman working in tech

“I work in tech because I love thinking outside of the box and working with innovative, like-minded people,” says Lizzie Quarman, Client Excellence Coordinator, Digital Team. “But at the same time, there are challenges that, as a woman working in tech, I have had to overcome.”

In this update, Lizzie explores some of the challenges she has experienced as a woman working in tech and shares her advice for girls and women looking for a career in the sector.

“Women are still in the minority when it comes to working in tech. Data from Tech Nation1 shows that only 19% of the UK’s tech workforce are women, while in the US, 72% of women working in tech report being outnumbered by men in business meetings by a ratio of at least 2:1.2

During my career in tech, I have worked in different roles and in different environments, most of them with a higher proportion of male workers. In some of those roles, I have been outnumbered, found I was not always asked for my input, and I had to work harder to prove myself.”

The challenges of working in tech have helped me thrive

“Over the course of my career in tech, I have learnt to confidently tackle people who form the wrong opinion of my work because I am a woman. I seize the opportunity to help those people question, and improve, their preconceptions about me and other women who work in tech.

My ability to question assumptions can surprise my colleagues and I feel it gives me an immediate edge and credibility. By challenging the status quo, we find new solutions; innovation is something I am passionate about.

Another strength I have developed is the ability to take feedback constructively. Sometimes, we can hear feedback very negatively – it can sit in our minds, we might dwell on it for some time, and it may even derail us temporarily. I have learnt to view feedback as a valuable opportunity to learn, grow, and help me achieve my personal objectives.”

Working in tech, and remotely, can be daunting but having the confidence to speak up strengthens my personal esteem and drives better business outcomes

“I joined PRMA Consulting during the Covid-19 pandemic, so my induction and introduction to new colleagues was all managed virtually. The organization did this brilliantly and I felt welcomed, valued, and part of the digital team from the outset.

Building connections and establishing a presence in a virtual environment has helped me appreciate the importance of speaking up and communicating clearly.

I feel that, as a woman working in tech, and remotely, it can be daunting to share your own thoughts and ideas, but having the confidence to share these in meetings strengthens your personal esteem and ultimately drives better business outcomes.

If you don’t agree with something, speak up. You’ve earnt your place in the meeting just as much as the other participants.”

My main advice to girls or women who want a career in tech is to believe in your abilities

“I believe the most important advice for girls or women who want a career in tech is something I have been told throughout my professional career: to believe in yourself and your own abilities.

Don’t feel scared to work in tech; recognize that there may be times that you will be the only woman in the room or on a project, don’t question if you belong there, it’s important you are – both for yourself and the girls and women who need to see positive role models working in the sector.

There are many successful female role models working with me at PRMA Consulting, these articles showcase them and their achievements:

It is also important to join an organization that recognizes success and encourages every team member to be themselves. My colleagues reinforce my self-belief, and I am able to challenge myself by taking on new projects. I feel privileged to work in a company that not only encourages my personal development, but proactively supports diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) initiatives and values our differences as part of its core values.” 

Our ongoing commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion  

PRMA Consulting is a member of Fishawack Healthand together we maintain an inclusive workplace that is supportive, welcoming, and fair. We pledge to:   

UNDERSTAND the meaning, value, and impact of DE&I and its component parts across the business   

ENABLE colleagues to succeed and drive more impactful client work by equipping them with knowledge and tools   

ATTRACTa diverse network of partners and teams across Fishawack Health.   

Our commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is supported by six pillars, led by members of our senior team: Gender, Family, LGBTQ+, Race/Ethnicity, Enablement, and Mental Health. 

We are always looking for people who will deliver first-class work  

Recruiting, developing, and retaining engaged and motivated colleagues is essential for the success of our business. That is why PRMA Consulting is committed to a strong and successful learning and development strategy with clear progression paths. Read more about our development and growth initiativesand career opportunities.  

Further reading 

  1. 8 facts about women in the tech industry. To demonstrate what the current picture of gender balance in tech looks like, Women in Tech has compiled this report: 
  2. Women in tech statistics: The hard truths of an uphill battle. In spite of ongoing work to address gender diversity in tech, women are still underrepresented, reports 

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