Tag Archives: Skills

Guest Post by Artur Meyster

Women continue to be painfully underrepresented in many economic sectors. Unfortunately, tech is no different—women hold only about 20 percent of all jobs in technology worldwide. If we expand our scope to STEM education more in general, the percentage is still low: worldwide only 32% graduates are women (WEF, 2016). 

Striving to improve the woman-to-man ratio, companies around the world are looking to hire female talent. However, with women so vastly underrepresented in the sector, this is no easy task. Executives are scratching their heads, wondering what they can do to increase the number of female workers and attract the best female talent. 

The answer is multilayered, with changes needed across the entire educational and professional apparatus—from early education to the workplace. Here we explore a few ways to boost female representation in the tech sector.

Promote STEM Education 

It all begins with early education. Science, Technology, Engineer and Math (STEM) is still widely perceived as a male-dominated field, which explains the low number of girls who choose this educational path. Even today, only 18 percent of computer science bachelor’s degrees in the US are earned by women, according to the Computer Sciences Organisation.

Studies point out that girls tend to lose interest in STEM and related fields at around 15, which suggests that tech companies need to reach out to young teenagers before this age. For many teens and pre-teens, hearing about the job prospects in tech directly from a local leader or executive could mean the difference between choosing a technical or non-technical career.

Companies should consider partnering with schools and organizations in their area to speak to girls about the opportunities that the tech sector has to offer. But why stop there? To really pique their curiosity, firms can organize workshops where the students get hands-on experience in coding, web development, user experience design, and other skills. These events could be pivotal in helping young girls develop the analytical mindset the industry requires.

Increase Exposure to Role Models

The scarcity of female workers in the tech sector contributes to the low number of girls choosing a technical career, statistics from the World Economic Forum (2016) suggest. Exposure to more female leaders in the industry is therefore essential to encourage more young girls to opt for this career path. 

Schools and universities must prioritize the creation of spaces and opportunities for female students to meet successful women in tech. Bringing female tech leaders to discuss their experiences in the sector would allow girls to hear first-hand accounts of what it is like to work in the field, the problems they are likely to encounter, and the many opportunities available.

During these events, attendees can explore the main questions and concerns that women face, such as social expectations, family and work balance, and thriving in a male-dominated industry. These young women will benefit from the advice of professionals that have already dealt with these issues.

Access to Mentorship

Mentorship is key to support young women navigating important life decisions, as a study of young women that chose to join a tech initiative in Cambodia shows. During secondary and tertiary education, institutions must consider offering mentorship opportunities for young women who are interested in tech. 

This mentorship can take various forms. For example, the students can be paired with a dedicated mentor throughout their studies. Schools can also organize visits to tech companies in the area where students can join group mentoring sessions led by female executives.

Education institutions can get creative and consider events such as speed mentoring, where a group of female leaders is invited to talk. Each is given a certain amount of time, say 20 minutes, to introduce themselves and their work, tackle a specific topic relevant to the sector and answer questions from the audience. When their time runs out, another speaker takes the stage.

Talent Mobility

Many believe that you need to have impressive coding skills or be a math whiz to start a career in tech, but that’s nothing more than a myth. The truth is that companies in the tech sector require the services of many professionals with non-technical skills. These professionals can have very satisfying and lucrative careers in a tech company.

Compensation monitoring site Comparably recently compiled results from more than 14,500 users to determine the most popular jobs for people without a technical background, and how much they pay.

The employees surveyed came from companies of all sizes, including Apple, Uber and Facebook. The study found plenty of roles that require little to no tech experience—some of them complete with handsome salaries and bonuses. 

These are a few of the non-technical roles in high demand in the tech sector: accountants (base salary $60,249), copywriters ($65,976), customer service managers ($65,400), business analysts ($78,393), and marketing managers ($81,095).

The thing is that these positions can also serve as a springboard to a career as a tech professional. It is not unheard of to start working for a tech startup as a copywriter and then progressively transition into a more technical role. Some non-techies hired by tech companies are eventually bitten by the bug of coding, and start to learn programming languages and other tech tools on their own. Eventually, they may move on to an entirely technical role, such as a web developer, database administrator or SEO expert.

Get the skills you need

Whether you are a high school student deciding what to study in university or a professional working in a non-technical role, if you are considering starting a career in tech, you first need to acquire certain skills and knowledge. You have several options at your disposal.

The traditional route is to study Computer Science at a university or college to earn an academic degree. Many tech employers indeed favor university graduates, but earning a college degree entails a four-year commitment and a substantial financial investment.

A second—and increasingly more popular—path is to attend a coding bootcamp. Bootcamps allow you to acquire the skills you need to have your foot in the door quickly. In less than 15 weeks of intense, practical training, you will learn the basics of your chosen profession and be ready to apply for jobs. 

More and more people are choosing coding bootcamps as opposed to studying full-time at a university. This is because bootcamps represent a much smaller time and money investment and are, therefore, considered the smarter alternative. Compare the average cost of a bootcamp—$13,500—to what a university degree could potentially cost. Earning a degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), for example, costs between $60,000 and $70,000 per year, making the cost of a single semester exceed that of an entire coding bootcamp.

Finally, many tech sector hopefuls choose to teach themselves. Depending on how disciplined and able to motivate yourself you are, this may be the right option for you, but keep in mind that the accreditations you’d earn by completing a university degree or bootcamp can be very helpful during the job application process.

Seek Support

The journey is always easier with other like-minded people by your side. Fortunately, there are multiple organizations and regular events to inspire young women to enter a tech career and support those already walking down this path. 

Women in Technology (WIT) is an organization with one aim—advancing women in technology, from students to seasoned professionals. To achieve its goal, WIT engages in leadership development, technology education, networking and mentoring opportunities for women at all levels of their careers. The organization has over 1,000 members in the Washington, D.C./Maryland/Virginia metro region.

Similarly named, Women in Tech, is an international organization that aims to close the gender gap and help women embrace technology. The organization focuses on four primary areas: education, entrepreneurialism, social inclusion, science and innovation. The aim is to educate, equip and empower women and girls with the necessary skills and confidence to succeed in STEM careers.

The Women Tech Global Conference​​​​​​ is a virtual conference connecting thousands of women and minorities in tech through an interactive platform featuring keynotes, engaging panels, technical workshops, and a tech job fair with face-to-face networking sessions.​​​​​​​

Taking place in Amsterdam, the European Women in Technology is mainland Europe’s biggest celebration of the successes and innovations engineered by women from across the tech industry. European Women in Technology seeks to give women the educational tools, inspiration, knowledge and connections they need to thrive as individuals and become active participants in driving progressive change and equality in the sector.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Artur Meyster Headshot

Artur Meyster is the CTO of Career Karma (YC W19), an online marketplace that matches career switchers with coding bootcamps. He is also the host of the Breaking Into Startups podcast, which features people with non-traditional backgrounds who broke into tech.

https://twitter.com/arturmeyster

https://www.linkedin.com/in/meyster

Resources

Read the insights of the 4th edition of the Advance and HSG Gender Intelligence Report.

https://www.weduglobal.org/advancing-women-in-tech-in-cambodia/

https://www.comparably.com/blog/study-10-popular-jobs-in-tech-for-non-techies/

https://careerkarma.com/careers/web-development/

https://careerkarma.com/rankings/best-coding-bootcamps/

References 

Microsoft. (2016). “Why Europe Girls aren’t studying STEM.” Microsoft. https://news.microsoft.com/europe/features/dont-european-girls-like-science-technology/#sm.0000a046evm91crtzzd15dbmak88g%23O0g4dh2732ZlhJdB.97

World Economic Forum. (2016, Jan). “The Industry Gender Gap. Women and Work in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.” Executive Summary. WEF. http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_FOJ_Executive_Summary_GenderGap.pdf

TheGlobalMobilityWorkbook

I feel that the era of treating people as numbers on a spreadsheet needs to change, don’t you?

Steps in the right direction are already being taken and I believe that Global Mobility professionals and their increasing value in businesses is the example to rally behind. For the uninitiated, let’s talk today about how you as Human Resources or Global Mobility Professionals can demonstrate and amplify the value they bring to organizations. We had our guest blogger Kevin Castro tackle this very topic last year and it remains highly relevant today, so we are re-sharing the main ideas.

Agile is Fragile

First and foremost, Global Mobility professionals need to be agile. The goal posts are shifting all the time – organizations are reevaluating what is critical to business needs rapidly and adjusting the focus of their teams accordingly. Not only do you need to be aware of these changes as they happen, but you also need to be ready to adapt at a moment’s notice. Agility is the name of the game the most successful professionals in the industry right now are those on top of these trends.

That said, we have yet to test the boundaries of agility and how quickly we can adapt in the face of great change, for instance, how we can use integrated vendor platforms such as TOPIA with all the data protection regulations within Europe. There’s also the issue of adoption of agile technologies. For instance, I find that sometimes, even using a shared document on Google Drive or OneDrive already seems to be considered innovative for many companies I work with. (Some often still have paper files!)

Business Acumen and Language

Second, and this one is for those who interact with business leaders, start engaging with them on matters that concern the business directly. By conversing with the various team leaders, you will gain a better understanding of business goals and targets – this understanding will help you make the right suggestions that help the business get closer to those goals! In addition, this sort of engagement will put you in a better position to demonstrate your value – more on that in the next section. A great example would be to understand the growth markets of the company you work for and gaining deeper insights into their legislation. For example, if your growth potential is in India, try to at least understand an Indian payroll slip. (I know that this is almost impossible, but hey we love challenges.)

Communication

An important but often ignored part of demonstrating one’s value is the simplest: communication. Communication is key to a successful personal life but it’s equally important to the well-being of your professional one! It’s a well-known secret that many organizations slip up when it keeps to assignment tracking, so why not remind them, regularly? It’s for your good, after all. A presentation, an email, a newsletter, highlighting key successes and listing all that you’ve accomplished will go a long way in ensuring that senior leadership is aware of the value you bring the company. When was the last time you mentioned a successful expatriation of key talent to the C-Suite? When did you create a report that showed the company the cost-saving you achieved by creating a more effective compensation and operating model?

Expertise

Finally, it is critical for any GM professional to know how to flaunt their expertise. This sounds like common sense but in my experience, I’ve found it surprising just how many people express hesitation or reluctance when it comes to the subject of selling one’s skills. It’s important for all professionals, doubly so for GM professionals! You are the expert of your field, that’s why you were hired after all – you should demonstrate this expertise more often.

Our domain is a rapidly evolving playing field of ever-shifting requirements, technologies, and expectations. This is in addition to the language, cultural and geographical integration requirements. You –  are expected to have a multitude of knowledge, attitude, skills and you need to learn to constantly reflect your experiences and integrate body learning into your attributes.

Develop and Grow Global Competency

I tackled this topic in detail on last week’s “Club Sandwich”, you can catch up with the post here.

One way to build your knowledge base is to join the Global Mobility courses at the Expatise Academy in Rotterdam, Holland.  I’m currently teaching several courses, which are all now available to YOU, online. My courses deal with Global Mobility Competencies, while also focusing on intercultural competency, building solid international assignment business cases and most importantly, bringing the human touch back into our processes. There are all sorts of other technical courses available as well, by experts in the fields of immigration, taxation, social security, and employment law.


PRO TIP

Check out the new and shiny “Educate Yourself Platform” by Expatise Academy now.  

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Let’s keep our momentum going and aim to be even better at what we do. I believe in the “Future of Global Mobility” (#FoGM) and that we will grow in scope and influence.

 

 

You could be a #GlobalMobility rockstar with a few tricks of the trade.

I held a talk at the Forum for Expatriate Management event in Rotterdam a few years back. Every word is true today. I am nowadays more involved in operational global mobility topics than I ever was and while the constant filling of payroll instructions, hypo tax calculations, and balance sheet updates reminds me of the Sysiphus tasks I mentioned in the talk, I have learned a great deal over the last few years and I don’t mind the operational work so much anymore as long as I can still coach expats and their families.

I am contemplating that even expatriate payroll is so much more interesting than normal payroll and that we need professionals with intercultural competence to ensure that the expats get paid correctly. You would think this is easy but believe me with all the technology, processes sometimes seem more complicated than in 1999. At that time we used to calculate net payments on paper.

In the last few weeks, I used a calculator every day and excel became my second best friend. On a few occasions, we don’t seem to get it right in the first attempt. The bonus is wrong, the expat unhappy and we get a new calculation. Then we start again. The third time it’s easier.

In a case from the UK, I notice that the pension contribution has changed from the previous year. In one from Madagascar, a figure was not transferred automatically into the next record of the assignee. A lot of checking and cross-checking is needed.

Once you think that you finally have created the right balance sheet you send it to the assignee and they tell you that it is a joke. They challenge your figures and you need to go back to the provider and explain why the tax system in the UK reduces your personal allowance once your salary reaches 100k GBP so that your bonus is taxed at an unimaginable tax rate. Or why the INR has devalued against the EUR and how that is reflected in the Cost of Living Adjustment. Then they ask why the COLA is calculated on spendable income only and how we came up with that figure.

You need to see every step along the way as learning towards what you can contribute to the world. If you don’t enjoy this process, tell yourself that it is only once a year and it pays your rent. I see exciting challenges for the GM Professionals but even if you are in a different field you might relate to these topics too. Here are seven current issues that seem to be examples for GM Professionals around the world

  1. We solve issues with manual workarounds that we cannot seem to handle with technology.

  2. We need good working relationships with our colleagues and the expats around the world to solve those dilemmas.

  3. We need superior technical skills in tax, social security and immigration and other subject matter areas so we don’t lose oversight of the full process.

  4. Without the experience of at least 200 cases, it is really hard to see patterns in your problem-solving approach as every case poses a different country combination and needs to be tackled individually.

  5. We need high levels of focus and productivity to deliver excellent solutions.

  6. We work too many hours and it is hard for us to keep healthy.

  7. Many of us are women and at a career and pay level that is way below our background, competence, and qualification.

One of the reasons why I started my company Global People Transitions was to help Global Mobility Professionals develop further. I would like to encourage you and support you with advice on how to get your develop your global competency further.

You can buy “The Global Mobility Workbook” (2019) for further explanations, apply to become a tester of our RockMeApp and you can book 1:1 coaching sessions with Angie Weinberger.


Guest Post by Uma Campbell


Graduation day has come and gone, and thousands of new grads around the world are now on the job hunt. While the job market is still highly competitive, new grads have the benefit of finding work in an increasingly global market. This means that there job prospects go beyond just the local listings but now graduates can easily access job opportunities from all over the globe. Many top careers are in demand all over the world, so new graduates looking for a chance to progress their career internationally can find job positions in cities and countries wherever they may desire. Here are some top careers that can take you around the globe:

Engineer – Engineering careers are in high demand all over the world and in many different fields of engineering. From petroleum engineers to architectural engineers, the field is growing rapidly with job openings always popping up for entry-level positions. The field is also known for being one of the highest paid positions especially for new graduates. Recent graduates looking to work in the field of engineering in any aspect will likely find positions available all over the world.

Physical Therapist- PTs are needed all over the world in both hospital settings and private practices. PTs help patients to recover from previous injuries to regain movement or manage pain. Many healthcare jobs are in demand globally and PTs are one of the most desired positions.

Registered Nurse- Many countries all over the world are experiencing a shortage in nurses. Thus the position is heavily in demand by many hospitals and many agencies are looking for newly graduated nurses to help supplement their staff. Although the average pay for nurses can vary between countries, positions are hardly scarce and new grads will usually be able to find openings at hospitals. A demand for private nurses also allows new grads opportunities to practice in their field and work internationally.

Statistician- Businesses are constantly in need of various kinds of financial analysts to help make important decisions and strategize. Statisticians help companies see patterns in profits and consumer spending. Their knowledge in reading such data can help executives figure out the best way to progress a company and become more successful. International companies, small startups and large corporations, are always looking for employees that can help foster their growth and statisticians are high in demand to help analyze data that can increase profits.

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Physician- Healthcare is one of the few industries that consistently see growth and demand year after year. Physicians in particular can find career opportunities all over the world. Although the road to becoming a physician can be demanding and involves several years of study, the career rewards in the end are tremendous. Opportunities to practice all over the world are plentiful and the earnings for new grads are typically higher than other healthcare positions.

Computer Analysts- As companies all over the world are reliant on technology and computers in their day-to-day operations, many organizations look to staff computer analysts and IT teams to help ensure that their technology is in top shape. It is no surprise that one of the best jobs for recent grads is working as a computer analyst. Computer analysts not only work to help with daily tech issues but also work with companies to make sure they are using their programs efficiently and effectively. They help organizations make sure they are using the best programs for their tasks. New graduates in this field will find that many companies are looking for freshly graduated students because of their up-to-date knowledge of programs and systems.

Teacher – Along with being considered one of the sexiest careers, teachers are one of the most in demand positions all over the world. From STEM teachers to English teachers, educators are needed in both city and rural settings as education becomes a priority for many countries looking to increase their citizens earning potentials.

Many of these positions are careers in the fields of STEM, but there are many other positions that are available for various other fields. Working internationally can be both a rewarding and challenging experience. New graduates should job at any opportunity they find to go abroad as it is a great way to advance their careers but also travel the world.

 

uma2Uma Campbell is a yoga instructor and freelance writer. She currently lives in Southern California. She enjoys writing about meditation, natural medicine, and home design.  Her interests include: home decor, yoga, and running. She also really loves crafting She has her own line of home-made jewelry. She lives alone with her cat and two turtles.