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As mentioned in my previous blog post, the mindset of society and certain industries (unfortunately, this also includes a few women in tech) can be fairly narrow. Many women still believe we should be focused on either raising our kids properly, or building a successful (albeit busy) career path.

I myself believe these boundaries are imposed by our own mental limitations; that you can make both happen, and that it all depends on your determination and willingness to power forward through stigma, scrutiny, and societal norms – a crossroads that all women will face one time or another in their careers.

So how do we work to change such a scrutinous mindset?

As a woman in tech, take the time to understand that you can and will raise your children and have a successful, thriving career. When things appear difficult, or they’re uncomfortable, it’s usually the best time to say yes, to push into the unknown, and to grow.

It’s about thinking outside the box! Communicating, listening, and ignoring self-appointed limitations. You can work a good job and have money. And you can build a business without sacrificing the things that make you happy. We need to open our minds as a whole, and these are the steps we can all take to get there.

If we all learned to follow this model, I know our day-to-day lives would vastly improve for the better. There would be less stigma and less judgment.

Choice: Actively choose to listen and hear, rather than listen to respond. It’s something to live by, treat others the way you yourself would want to be treated.
Watch as the people around you become more receptive, and stigma and scrutiny become a thing of the past.

Communicate: You’re able to truly communicate when you shift your mindset to one of openness and acceptance. Everyone has pre-conceived notions. However, to communicate effectively, we must open our minds to a blank slate and not let these factors control how we connect with one another.

Cooperation: Listen, be open. A lot of us are in the same situation! Let’s listen to one another and provide support rather than demeaning and chastising. There’s no need to prolong the stigma, or criticize one’s personal life. If I choose to work and support my kids that’s my prerogative and I’m supporting them the best way I know how. So give me support! And I’ll do the same.

Collaboration: Let’s come together and shape a more collaborative society. This is a combination of choice, communication, and cooperation. There is merit in each individually, but they are exponentially more successful when combined!

So, here are three things to remember when facing the judgment of close-minded individuals...

  1. First and foremost, you CAN have both! Don’t let the opinions of others with an ageing mindset rule your path to success. Don’t let preconceived notions stop you from doing what you think is best for you; opinions are just that… opinions! Your only limitations are ones you set yourself, so don’t ever let others dictate your beliefs and capabilities. Keep repeating this… And, NOT or.  
  2. Follow the 4 C’s model! Listen to hear, don’t listen to respond. Communicate effectively and open your mind. Don’t let judgment get you down. Be cooperative,
  3. Put yourself in uncomfortable situations… on purpose! Face the music. Let others drill you with their opinions. Like water off a duck’s back, just roll on – because when you’re faced with two options, you can either push on or give up. Put yourself in a position where you’re expected to fail, and forge into the unknown! More often than not, you’ll find a footing to silence the naysayers.

There are so many women in tech! Especially here in Alberta. But the fact is, there could be so many more! Women are realizing their dreams and potential in this far more accepting, young, and up-and-coming industry. Myself included.

So, what’s stopping you?!