UN Women announced the theme for International Women’s Day on March 8th is “Women in Leadership: Achieving an Equal Future in a COVID-19 World.”
If women make up nearly half (46.9%) of the total workforce, why are only 25% of technical positions held by women? Studies show this gender disparity starts when girls in school shy away from studying STEM subjects (cite). This disparity is a loss for industries and businesses, who ultimately benefit from the innovative viewpoints a diverse team can bring to a company.
Here at Lumen, we work together to help everyone have a seat at the table and feel heard. Throughout Women’s History Month this March, women in our technical positions are sharing insights on how they help make this company who we are.
Brighter horizons, bigger opportunities
Lumen tech leaders like LeeAnn K. McPolin, Georgia N. Hale and Angela Cody are part of the momentum pushing women in STEM fields forward. They lend their voices to sharing how these broadened skills open up career horizons and create a shared excitement about the future.
“Working in tech is very exciting primarily because technology is always advancing. It is incredible to see our company’s growth, even from a decade ago, compared to what we are today,” said LeeAnn K. McPolin, senior manager for technician support at Lumen Technologies. “The constant change leads to continued growth and the opportunity to push through comfort levels. It is exciting to be part of a team in the ever-evolving tech industry.”
“Being the only woman in the room and in a field environment, my zeal and excitement was heightened and drove me to be the very best I could be in every environment I had an opportunity to be a part of” said Angela Cody, lead technical project manager at Lumen Technologies. “I initially started off wanting to be a nurse, but I quickly found out that I was nauseated by the smell of cadavers and although I loved the idea of helping people, this career path may not be right for me,” “This prompted my decision to join the U.S. Army and select a career path that would expose me to the future of IT communications. As a Wire Systems Installer, I learned color coding, copper cabling, fiber optics and telephone pole climbing and telephone system installation.”
In the workplace today
The Lumen Women Empowered (WE) employee resource group (ERG) is hosting several events throughout March to honor Women’s History Month, including mentoring sessions, fireside chats, panels, yoga classes, and even a viewing of the documentary Notorious RBG about the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
So what should women in tech do as they push this career frontier, and learn to be heard as well as bring valued talents and insights to the field? Lumen leaders believe knowledge is the ultimate megaphone.
“When you look at how people do their work today, you may not understand how your gifts and talents can be used. As a female your voice isn’t always heard, just keep at it, keep learning be persistent,” said Georgia N. Hale, senior lead process analyst at Lumen Technologies. “In the end you will win them over with your knowledge. Don’t be afraid to speak up and try and find a mentor who listens well.”
For further resources about International Women’s Day on March 8th, please visit https://www.internationalwomensday.com/about
For further resources on Women’s History Month throughout March, please visit https://womenshistorymonth.gov/