7 Combined Decades in Tech: Perseverance and Reinvention

Betsy Veneziano, as an application support specialist at Tyler Technology, leads a worldwide marketing team that aims to help businesses discover the hidden value in their most valuable asset – their people. Betsy Veneziano is a product support expert at Tyler Technologies. She has worked for NASA and other organizations in IT programming and senior product management. Women in the workplace have long been underpaid and neglected.

That was to be expected, but it’s especially true in computer science. Only 25% of professional computing occupations are held by women in the United States, compared to 45% globally. Furthermore, a new research indicated that 45 percent of female IT employees had witnessed themselves outnumbered at work by four to one or more males.

We have over 70 years of technical expertise between the two of us, and if you ask us to share our experiences, we’ll most likely think about both good and not-so-good ones. One of us recalls being dismissed by an eighth grade math teacher who claimed she wasn’t qualified to take algebra. However, in a momentous act of youthful rebellion, she decided to pursue mathematics before getting her first post-graduate job as a software developer for a NASA contractor. This would eventually lead to a successful career in technology that lasted more than 50 years.

The previous experiences some of you have had growing up in the era of feminism. Growing up as a woman, I understand firsthand how difficult it is to be heard and recognized in a world that virtually demands we blend into the background — especially if you are uniquely gifted or have something to offer your company’s success.

However, at an early age, I learned that there was nothing more powerful than seeing someone else succeed against all odds simply because they were born female. Stories like these show – and the two of us agree on this – that while many organizations and supporters are making a greater effort to assist women progress in their professions and flourish in a male-dominated tech industry, much of the burden for pushing change and achieving improvements falls squarely on our shoulders as females. Women are tenacious, resilient, and showing a new attitude, enthusiasm, and dedication in order to bounce back after being disproportionately impacted by the epidemic.

Whether you’re a recent grad or an experienced pro, we all have the same goal in mind and are each working to narrow the gender gap.

Here are a few of our favorite strategies:

Take responsibility for your situation and face it head-on.

We may be fishing in the same hole — or, in the case of the past two years, riding out the same storm — but we’re still in very different boats. “We’re all in the same boat, fishing in the same hole…” That’s what you hear if you enjoy country music. We may be fishing in the same hole — or, in this case, riding out a storm.

Hiring women returning from a career break can bolster existing talent pools, and these “returners” are often highly motivated, educated and more than qualified to take on a variety of roles.

According to the ‘Women in Tech’ study from 2021 provided by ‘Skillsoft,’ women, particularly those working in technical careers, continue to confront many of the challenges they’ve long encountered at work. The most common problem mentioned was a lack of pay equality, followed by issues relating to work-life balance and insufficient opportunities.

In the United States, according to a study by Qualtrics and The Boardlist, 34% of men working remotely with children at home received a promotion when compared to 9% of women in the same situation, and 26% of men obtained a raise versus 13% of women.

Yes, the progress made by women in recent years has been modest, but it serves as a reminder that the path to equality is long and winding. It’s critical to be tenacious and not lose sight of your goals in the face of adversity. Even if you were an average student, you may find yourself in a meeting and discover that you’re one of the brightest individuals there.

Never stop learning and never give up. When things aren’t going your way, find a solution that works. This was true in the 1960s, and it still is today.

Don’t be scared of reinventing yourself.

Life throws curveballs at you. Many women take time off from work to have children (or other people, such as aging parents). Finding a firm that is willing to take a risk on women returning to the labor force might be difficult. That’s why being tenacious and eager to reinvent oneself is so crucial.

Maintain a never-ending curiosity about the world around you. This is critical for you to be adaptable and flexible in any scenario. Your job as a product marketer may have vanished after you left the workforce, or you may have reached a particular point in your career where you don’t enjoy it. Is there anything that can be transferred? Has anything from this experience helped you move forward on another road, such as professional development?

It’s not easy to change careers or restart your career, especially when you’ve been in the same industry for a long time. It can pay off handsomely in the long run, though.

This approach is beneficial for both employers and employees. Hiring women who have taken a break from work may help to develop current talent pools, and these “returners” are frequently highly motivated, well-educated, and more than qualified to assume a variety of responsibilities. They want to put their best foot forward by offering experienced and diverse viewpoints that they may have gained during their time off.

This is an excellent time to engage and empower people, particularly women, who are looking for more educated individuals in the technology sector.

The most crucial skill to learn is flexibility.

While change is never easy, it can be liberating and invigorating. Change may be stressful, but embracing and adapting to it might lead to incredible new horizons. It’s critical not only to survive organizational change, but also to understand and exploit it if you want to succeed.

For example, one of us was in charge of a team that was launching a revolutionary product to the market several years ago. Her firm, on the other hand, decided to take a different approach by acquiring a firm that had previously succeeded in this area. She might have been concerned about her job (and did temporarily), but she understood that the organization needed help moving consumers from one product to another, so she offered her assistance and was subsequently assigned to the new group. So they picked me!

She’s been with the firm for almost 20 years. On the other hand, if an organization wants to make a significant shift in an employee, it must provide them with the resources and tools they’ll need to succeed in their new position. When it comes into play is when you have a learning culture where everyone has access to all of the necessary instruments and resources to cultivate fresh talents and abilities.

We all want something more for ourselves, to finding our place in the world and contributing to it. Women’s careers are experiences that provide leadership, power, influence, perseverance, and resilience skills. During our combined 70-plus years in the IT sector, we’ve made some excellent decisions and faced some significant hurdles.

What have we learned? What you do with your acquired information and how you tell your story of resilience, perseverance, and success as a woman in technology is what counts.