We Need More Women in IT Sales – So, Where Are They?
When it comes to the world of sales, ladies are a scarce resource across most industries. We may have growing numbers in the organisations, but on the sales floor, we tend to thin out significantly. This goes for traditionally “female-friendly” sectors, so it’s not surprising to anyone that these numbers drop off even further when we begin to look at technical sales and IT.
A quick reflection of this can be found on LinkedIn. The first few pages on a Sales Manager search on LinkedIn quickly reveals a subtle skew with more men represented than women, add in filters to search only IT services and software, and the number drops straight off.
Why Do Women Stay Away From Tech?
This particular topic has been covered in detail, so we won’t spend too much time going back over the information you probably already know. Instead, let’s just bullet point the obvious issues that have been raised on numerous occasions about women in the tech industry:
- Boys club cultures
- Bias against women and their capabilities
- Inflexible hours for parents
- Lack of exposure from a young age
Bear in mind that the above are just talking about the challenges for women in tech. Now imagine that the sales sector comes with the exact same challenges; underrepresentation, bias toward the capability of men, assumptions about who will take on parenting responsibilities, and these issues are suddenly compounded.
When do we form an interest in the areas we pursue in our career paths? When we are young.
Most of the women seeking jobs today grew up in times when their young male peers would go and play computer and video games, while the girls would be ushered elsewhere to do more “girly” things. Boys were told they could be leaders and girls were asked who they wanted to marry. Is it any wonder that men grew up with the confidence to power ahead in the face of set back, while women felt a hesitation, wondering if it was their right to take what they wanted?
Times Are Changing
While these issues are real and challenging for women, they are (slowly) getting better and more is being learned about just how critical women are to the success of businesses:
Power in Perception
Today businesses are motivated to do good. This includes supporting organisations that care about diversity. From an overall industry standpoint, as well as on a company level, creating a more diverse workforce drives change.
Power in Diversity
As more focus is being put on diversity, more (unsurprising) information is coming out to highlight just how powerful diversity is for a business. Having access to various ways of thinking is proven to strengthen teams and companies – women are needed to break up the same old, same old approach that comes from a team made up of multiple copies of the same backgrounds.
Power in Perspective
Some like to say that we are different; men and women, and we like to agree. Women are in a unique position, offering fresh perspectives to established organisations that male counterparts have not thought of before. Women are free of the programming that can limit perspective and approach.
IT sales is hugely rewarding – rewarding financially and through the satisfaction that comes with reaching targets, and it needs more women. Women in tech, need more women to support them, and men in IT sales need more women to balance them.