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March 7, 2022 By Melissa Beck

Five women leaders share advice to empower the next generation of women in STEM

In honor of International Women’s Day, we are revisiting our Women of Sumo panel discussion from our Illuminate user conference back in October. The topic? Practical advice for how women can advance their careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The panel? An extremely talented and seasoned group of women who shared their career journeys (the good, the bad, and the ugly) and why mentoring and encouraging women from a young age through their careers is critical.

A 2020 study by the Institute found that women make up 28.8% of the tech workforce, a steady increase from the past few years—25.9% in 2018 and 26.2% in 2019. The latest study analyzed data on more than half a million U.S. technologists at 51 participating companies. However, at this pace, it could take more than 10 years for women to gain equal representation in tech. While gender diversity and encouraging the professional growth of women in the tech sector have seen much progress over the last decade, women remain under-represented not only in tech but across all industries in the workforce. More needs to be done to encourage, support, and retain women in technology, especially in leadership roles.

Women make up 28.8% of the tech workforce. At this pace, it could take more than 10 years for women to gain equal representation in tech.

Check out the video below to hear from panelists Beth Weeks, SVP of Product Development for Planview; Margaret Francis, Chief Product Officer for dbt Labs; Kristan Keane, Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for Informatica; Lisa Hammit, Strategic Advisor, and Dione Hedgpeth, Chief Customer Officer at Sumo Logic.

Notable quotables from the session:

“We’re at the threshold of the next wave of technology. We need very creative thinkers in order to move technology forward…what women bring to the field, in particular, is that they help make thinking far more spatial, which accelerates the ability to solve non-linear problems. So we have to bring women into this discipline with excitement to get to this next phase of technology.” – Lisa Hammit

"As females, we have a fear of failure and we want to be perfect. You are going to be tested and face fear and failure along the way. It’s important to continue to mentor and encourage each other throughout every step from a young age through the career." -- Beth Weeks

“Being a leader who pushes them to do things out of their comfort zone is important. It’s good for them professionally and good for the broader team.” – Kristan Keane

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Melissa Beck

Melissa Beck is the senior director of global communications at Sumo Logic where she drives communications and engagement across employees, customers, and the social media sphere.

More posts by Melissa Beck.

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