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The Role of Leadership and Mentorship in Empowering Women in Tech

25th Apr 2024

International Girls in ICT Day is an opportunity for us to talk about both the achievements and the ongoing challenges faced by women in technology. Jade Davis, a network engineer at Beeks, talks about the essential role of leadership and visible role models in creating a more inclusive tech industry. Her journey reflects her technical skills and her influence as a mentor to women aiming to enter the tech field.

The Beginnings of a Tech Passion

Jade Davis’s path into the tech world began with an early curiosity about how computers communicate, a topic that caught her attention in high school computing classes. It was here, among the basics of programming and networking, that Jade found her calling—not just in the coding itself, which she enjoyed, but in the broader potential of technology to transform workplaces and educational settings.

Despite being one of the few girls in her computing classes, Jade was undeterred, often staying late to perfect her projects. The gender disparity was clear, but it drove her resolve rather than deterring her. She didn’t have many female role models in tech during those early years, but the supportive environment created by her teachers and peers helped her thrive. Her male computer teacher was young and enthusiastic, bringing a fresh perspective that made technology relatable and exciting. He was supportive, which made a significant difference.

From Classroom to Corporate: Jade’s Tech Transition

As she progressed to college, the encouragement of her classmates proved crucial. A standout moment came when a friend vocally supported Jade’s choice to pursue a tech degree, proudly sharing her ambitions with others. This small act of advocacy from a peer was a profound affirmation for Jade, showcasing the power of community support.

In university, female lecturers in technical subjects became new role models. Their presence and assertiveness in a male-dominated field offered a clear message: tech wasn’t just for men. One particular challenge from a lecturer, Rosemary, during a resit exam became a defining moment for Jade. It was tough love that taught her the importance of resilience—a lesson that carried her into her professional life.

Transitioning into the tech industry, Jade sought a company where she could be more than a number, where she could approach anyone, including the CEO, and where her team would feel like family. Beeks was that place. She landed her job by proactively reaching out through LinkedIn, demonstrating the initiative and drive that have marked her career.

Leading the Way: Empowering Women in Tech

At Beeks, Jade has worked on projects that stretch her capabilities and allow her to mentor others. Whether it’s onboarding new systems or leading her team temporarily, each role has honed her skills and reinforced her belief in the importance of visibility and support for women in tech.

Jade’s advice to young women interested in technology is straightforward and empowering: “Always remember, your voice in technology matters. Ask questions, be curious, and boldly claim your space. Building a support network and sharing what you learn not only strengthens your own knowledge but empowers others along the way.” She encourages them to create support networks, both in person and online, and to share their knowledge and experiences openly.

Through speaking engagements and mentoring, Jade is determined to be the role model she once needed, showing young women that they, too, can make their mark in technology. Her journey is a testament to the power of resilience and the importance of supportive communities in breaking down barriers and paving the way for future generations of women in tech.

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