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7 Tips For Women To Land Their Dream Job in Tech

7 Tips For Women To Land Their Dream Job in Tech

As Women's History Month comes to an end,  we reflect on the impact women have made in shaping our industry. At Contrast, women comprise more than a fourth of our workforce, and they are well represented across sales, customer success, marketing, human resources, finance, and product development. To celebrate Women's History Month, we invited some of our women in tech to give advice to others trying to break into the field.

What advice would you give to a woman who is looking to be hired in tech? Have you had positive experiences with hiring?

“While hiring women in tech have improved in recent years, there still seems to be some bias against women applying for engineering positions. I have found that it especially rings true when applying for a job "cold" - meaning I don't have anyone in my network to champion me or internally refer me to a company. In an effort to remove any bias against me, I’ve used my family nickname "Chris". Using "Chris" helps neutralize any initial gender bias that could occur and allows my credentials to make the first impression instead of my gender.

I have been lucky to secure a job at a higher level and better suited even though I was in the process of interviewing for a lower-level position within the same company. The backstory: I was interviewing for one job and AS I WAS INTERVIEWING the team realized I was actually the perfect fit for a more senior position they had open for a long time and had almost given up on. It was during my interview that they stopped and brought in the hiring manager for the more senior position. I suddenly was interviewing for that role and was fortunate to be offered the job.”

      - Christa Meck, Cloud Engineering Manager


“Go for it. A friend encouraged me to apply to an online listing for an account executive role when I was 25. He had years of tech sales experience and coached me through every step of the process. Not far out of college, I had zero tech experience, BUT I had experience with sales. The hiring manager was looking for someone with a different background to sell differently than most of their sellers. I ended up getting the role and the rest was history. I was the only woman hired on the team but also the only one who applied! Despite that, I knew I’d do everything I could to perform well in the role. Fast forward a few months, I ended the year as the top salesperson in the department.

As I’ve entered the later stages of my career, the hiring process changed. Though it has evolved over time, so has my network. For most of my last few jobs, the hiring manager reached out to me because of my network and expertise in the industry. By default, the hiring process was much different. Much less formal. My background is well known (and clearly on my resume); interviews now are about culture and how I lead a team, rather than being in the weeds about things like “tell me about your job history.” The interview process is also a great indication of the team culture; I’ve had many bad hiring experiences, none of which for companies I was ever a fit for!”

      - Tiffany Morin, Director of Customer Programs


“While hiring trends continue to improve, there is still a long way to go. I research my companies for diversity and inclusion initiatives. I also know there is unconscious bias being a woman, and bring forth ample examples of my work. It is hard to talk about all my strengths, but I have learned when I directly approach them it has made interviewing easier. I got my foot in the door in this industry and then let my work shine. I also made it a goal to forget the gender bias during interviews and focus instead on showing why I am the best fit.

As for positive hiring experiences, it was just with Contrast actually. I was interviewing for a lower-level position, but taking the advice I shared personally ended up being offered this Director position. It was a learning lesson for me to never sell myself short.” 

      - Logan Life, Director of Customer Success


“Statistically, men apply for a position when they feel they are about 60% match for the position where women do at 100%.  We need to take charge of our own careers and be willing to take the risks. We are intelligent, we can learn that missing percentages and excel. Trust in your ability and training and be kind to yourself.

When it comes to positive hiring experiences, I was one of those that must be a 100% match for a position before I apply. I wish I had learned earlier in my career.”

      - Jennifer Brackett, Director of Engineering


“You are worthy! Make the first step and be proud of what you have achieved. Society "teaches" you to not brag about your achievements. Don't listen to them! All your hard work will pay off in the end—you just need to keep track of all brag-worthy accomplishments. Keep a "brag-sheet" - document highlighting your key experiences, leadership skills, SMART statements explicitly describing how you made a difference. Remember, to be a woman in tech you need to be confident, as you are proudly entering a male-dominated industry. Don't Let Self-Doubt Get in the Way. Work hard & know - you are amazing!

I’ve most definitely have had positive hiring experiences. I was interviewing for a position to shift my career path. Even though I didn't have experience with the exact same title on my resume before, I was able to prove that I am the best fit for the job. Don't be stressed during the interviews and keep in mind that you are interviewing the company as well. Ask all the questions that are important to you "Should I check my email during PTOs?", "Is there a limit to bathroom breaks per day?" (yes, I asked it before). If the company sees you as a good fit, they will often "craft" a position to bring you on board. Good luck!"

      - Julia Kolesnyk, Program Manager


"Don't be intimidated. Some women may feel reluctant to enter technology careers because they're afraid they don't have enough technical knowledge.  There has never been a better time to enter the field. Don't get discouraged. Find a mentor. Keep your curiosity. Get involved beyond your job description. It's never too late.

As for positive hiring experiences, the biggest one was when I got back into the job market after a 2-year gap. Even though a gap was not taken positively back then - I was given opportunities and led my way to success.”

      - Saadia Khan, Launch Program Manager


“Your confidence in yourself determines how people treat you. Get into a positive mindset about yourself and trust that you will succeed regardless of who or what is dominating the industry.

When it comes to positive hiring experiences, every company is different. Your first impression of the culture of the company is through the hiring process. If you feel it isn’t a right fit for you, it’s 100% okay to say no. The most valuable tip I can give is to ask the right questions - remember, you are interviewing the company too!”

      - Angel Duan, Public Relations Manager


Laura Asendio, Public Relations Manager, Contrast Security

Laura Asendio, Public Relations Manager, Contrast Security