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  • Writer's pictureMariane Bekker

Are you a software engineer?

“Are you a software engineer?”

I’ve lost count of the times I’ve been asked this question when walking into a work meeting, a networking event, a classroom, or an interview.

Reflecting on my journey as a woman in tech, there’s one bias that follows us everywhere: gender stereotyping.

Despite the progress that has been made, women are often perceived as being less technically capable than our male colleagues. The gender disparity in tech is well-documented, with women making up barely 25% of the workforce in the tech sector. This disparity is even more pronounced at the executive level, where just 11% of leadership roles are held by women.

This bias goes beyond simple curious questions; it actively hinders our progress toward senior technical roles. When we step into an interview, assumptions about our technical skills make it less likely for us to secure the role. This bias also permeates the promotion process, where our technical abilities are rated less favorably, thereby impacting our chances of securing senior roles.

📣 So what can we do about it? We must continue to speak up and amplify the voices of women in tech around us. The more we hear from women like you, the less this bias will persist.


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Mariane Bekker is a passionate advocate for women in tech, an angel investor, and the founder & CEO of Upward, a premier boutique recruitment agency connecting companies with exceptional diverse tech talent. With over a decade of experience building diverse engineering teams at leading startups, she’s navigated the intricacies of the startup landscape and understands the unique needs and aspirations of founders. Follow her LinkedIn and Twitter for insights, industry trends, and valuable resources about Startups, Tech, and Diversity.

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