Jobs in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) fields have grown faster than the overall growth of employment in the U.S. Since 1990, overall employment has grown 34 percent while STEM jobs have grown 79 percent, according to data from Pew Research Center.
Research by The National Center for Women & Information Technology shows that, as of 2018, 57 percent of professional occupations are held by women, but only 26 percent of the 17.3 million people working in these fields are women. Needless to say, women in tech are the minority. I had the opportunity to chat with April Wolfe, a member of our Install team at Teslar to talk a little bit about what it’s like to be a woman working in the technology field.
Can you share a little bit about what you do and what a typical workday is like for you?
I work on our Client Success team in the Install group. My job is primarily to install Teslar at the client site, integrate Teslar with the bank’s core, and to provide support and assistance to the customer to ensure a successful launch of Teslar at their bank.
Women in technology fields are definitely in the minority, so what influenced you to pursue a career in tech?
I always enjoyed math and science classes in school and excelled in those areas, but I also had a creative side. I graduated right as the tech boom of the 90’s was taking off. It was a very natural step for me to take that love of math and science into a career field that was booming. It was a bonus that I got to use my creative side to help create and develop everything from accounting software to fantasy sports software.
What is it like to be a woman working in technology for you?
I am a big believer that the best teams are made of people that have different experiences, backgrounds, and skillsets. In the early years, as a woman in tech, I was frequently the only woman assigned to a project. This was not due to discrimination, but because other women simply weren’t pursuing careers in tech. I really wanted that to change and I’m thankful today that the number of women in this industry has grown. I feel like the more perspectives and experiences we can bring to a project, the better it will ultimately be for a customer. Having women be part of that is critical.
What is it that you enjoy most about your current job at Teslar?
The best thing about Teslar, for me, is the people. I genuinely look forward to coming to work every day because we have such a great environment and comradery among our staff. Everyone is focused on the same goal and we all do whatever necessary to help our teammates and customers succeed.
What is the greatest transformation in technology you've witnessed in your career?
Hands down the biggest change across my career is simply the access people have to technology and how big a part of our everyday lives it has become. When I first graduated from high school, if your family had a computer in their home it was a huge deal. MS DOS was the main operating system and the internet was still not part of everyday life. Flash forward to today and nearly every home has at least one computer. The internet is everywhere and would be considered by many people a necessity of life. Simple things like coffee pots and even light bulbs are now programmable and we all walk around with tiny devices in our hands that are more powerful than some of the first computers. This instant access to technology and information completely transformed how people work and interact with each other in and out of the workplace.
What advice would you give to a woman considering technology as her career?
Just do it! Tech provides so many opportunities and is constantly evolving and changing so there will always be room to grow and learn.
Finally, where do you see yourself in five years? Still in tech?
Five years from now I feel certain I will still be in tech. Tech is such a fun field to be part of because things change rapidly and there is plenty of room to grow and adapt.
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