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Supporting Women in Tech: Wisdom from Career Coach Jennifer Paine!



Meet Jennifer Paine, a seasoned career coach dedicated to empowering women in the tech industry. With her wealth of experience and insights, Jennifer provides invaluable guidance to navigate the complex landscape of tech careers. In this blog, we delve into Jennifer’s wisdom, gleaned from years of supporting and championing women in tech, as she shares her invaluable advice and strategies for success.



1. What motivated you to pursue a career as a technology career coach?


When I was younger, I realised how much I liked ‘helping people’, later on in life I realised that one of

my personal values is making a positive impact on people. During the first 6 years of my career, I was

a recruiter, and loved helping people land new jobs, negotiating a better salary, and presenting

themselves in a way that highlighted their skills, experience, and achievements. However, I felt like I

wasn’t working in an environment that truly made me flourish. I then moved to Dublin in 2018 to work for LinkedIn. Working in Tech opened my eyes to what was possible in my career, as long as I set goals, took the right steps, and worked with the right people - I learned that through getting coached. LinkedIn offered their employees a course to become a peer coach, as I had felt the power of coaching myself, I started coaching and mentoring people to be successful in their jobs, and helping them land new jobs too, which really energised me. I made a couple of job changes myself and moved into a management role, where I also experienced hiring people from the other side of the table. Finally, after working in Tech for 5 years, I realised I was a really good coach, and coaching aligned directly to my personal value. This made me decide to start my own career coaching business. Having been a woman in Tech myself, I experienced challenges that many women face in Tech today: being underpaid versus my male colleagues, a lack of female role models in higher

management positions, being a ‘diversity’ hire, and so on. I overcame those challenges, but I saw

that many women don’t have the support and/or resources to overcome their own challenges

working in Tech, especially career related. So I decided to combine my passion for coaching, by

supporting women in Tech, to accelerate their careers.


2. Could you elaborate on some prevalent challenges encountered by women within the

tech sector, and how do you assist them in surmounting these hurdles?


Having been a woman in Tech myself, I experienced challenges that many women face in Tech

today: being underpaid versus my male colleagues, a lack of female role models in higher

management positions, being a ‘diversity’ hire, imposter syndrome, lack of confidence, not wanting

to ‘brag’ when speaking about their achievements, etc.

Currently I offer a 1:1 coaching program, where I help women land their next jobs in Tech. During our

session together, I help them speak confidently about their achievements, build their confidence for

job interviews, and help them negotiate their dream salaries and benefits.

I mainly focus on helping women land their next job in Tech. The main hurdles women face are:

lack of confidence, not wanting to ‘brag’, imposter syndrome.


3. As an expert in career advancement, what guidance would you offer to women seeking

entry into or progression within tech?


Getting an entry into Tech starts with understanding what your values, career priorities,

strengths and accomplishments are. From there on, it’s important to do research to figure out

what role(s) might be the best fit for you. These steps are crucial, because you’re making a big

change, and you want to try to the best of your abilities to find the best role and company for

you. It’s important to highlight transferable skills, so the skills you have that might be of value in

your new role, and you want to base that on job description(s) that you will be applying to. The

language used in Tech is usually different to other industries, and you want ensure you seem

like a good match, although you have a different background. Last but not least, build and use

your network! Reach out to people already working in the role you want to land at your dream

company, to ask for advice. If you’ve established a good connection, you might get a referral,

which is an easier and warmer way to land interviews and jobs!


4. How do you customise your coaching methodology to cater to the distinct

requirements and objectives of women in technology?


This really depends on the client; I will tailor my coaching and mentoring approach based on the

client’s goals, desires, and personality. I have various assignments and tools I can use

depending on the need.


5. From your perspective, what are the critical competencies or attributes necessary for

achieving success in a tech-oriented profession, particularly for women?


This really depends on the job. But general attributes:


Curiosity - if you want to grow your career, staying curious is a great way to learn about

opportunities for growth, understanding what stretch projects you can work on, how to

work toward your next promotion etc.

Networking - the faster you want to make moves, the more important your (internal and

external) network is. Good performance brings you a long way, but if you have a great

relationship with your senior managers, director and other stakeholders (departments),

you will be noticed a lot quicker.

Advocating for yourself - this is a tough one for many women: speaking about your own

accomplishments. I used to think, and many women still do, that working hard alone is

enough to get promoted. But if nobody notices your hard work and results, you won’t

stand out. It’s crucial to know how to highlight your successes and results with the right

people and in the right way. Getting a mentor, ally or sponsor can really help you achieve

this!

Adaptability - the Tech industry is ever changing. Today we might go in 1 direction, and

tomorrow it might be another. Restructures happen all the time, new departments are

created, processes change, and so on. The more flexible and adaptable you are, the

better you’ll thrive in Tech.


6. Would you be willing to share any notable success stories or impactful moments from your

interactions with women in the technology field?


That’s definitely the happiness that my clients feel when they land their new jobs. One of my

clients wanted to leave her toxic workplace. We worked on what her ideal job would look like,

what her career priorities were (salary, hybrid working, preferred industry), and revamped her

CV and LinkedIn profile accordingly. She was reached out to by a Big Tech company for an

interview right away! I coached her through the various interview rounds and she landed the

offer within 2 months of us working together.

This is a great example, but definitely not the only success! Clients landing their first interviews,

building the courage to negotiate their salary, overcoming their fear of ‘bragging’, or getting

multiple offers! I am proud of all my clients.


7. How do you remain abreast of the latest trends and advancements within the

technology industry to better support your clientele?


It’s important for me to set up my business in a way that I can help my clients in the best way

possible. At the moment, all my coaching conversations happen online, which means I can help

clients practically all over the world! Besides that, I want to keep innovating to make things

easier for my clients, that’s a continuous work in progress.


8. What is life like as a female founder? What challenges have you faced and how did you

overcome them?


It’s been such a great experience so far! The main challenges are in the business side of things

- posting consistently on LinkedIn was a big change for me, and also the most challenging part!

On the days where I lacked inspiration or just wanted to skip a day, I realised I wasn’t posting for

myself, but to inspire and educate women - that helped me to get over myself and keep going!

Besides that, I didn’t realise how many decisions I would have to make every single day: from

picking software, to deciding on the content of my program, etc.

But at the end of the day, I am working with amazing, talented and ambitious women who want

to get the best out of themselves and their careers - that makes this whole journey so enjoyable


9. Lastly, Where do you see the best places in the world for a career in tech as a female?


There is no 1 best place in my opinion! With the remote and hybrid opportunities out there,

women can focus on employers aligning with their preferences and either work from home, or

travel the world while working - which is amazing!


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