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  1. Blog
  2. Partners in Diversity
  3. August 2, 2023

How I Advanced in Tech: Women Say These 4 Things Helped Them Succeed

Women at Veeam share how the company’s culture has uplifted their careers

Landra Pierce, systems engineer at Veeam
Photo courtesy of Veeam

This article is part of InHerSight's Partners in Diversity series. Discover companies partnering with InHerSight to better support women in the workplace.

In the tech world, women have been breaking barriers and making significant strides for decades. However, the road to success has been long—and challenging. Gender imbalance, bias, and a lack of representation have impacted how women are perceived and how they’ve  advanced (or haven’t) in the workplace.

To overcome these obstacles, many women in tech have devised their own set of “must-haves” for seeking out companies and work environments where they’ll be able to succeed. Things like growth opportunities and internal women’s networking groups are positive signals to prospective hires that companies will have inclusive work cultures.

And there’s so much more to say on that front. We asked four women—all employees at modern data management company Veeam—to share which aspects of their company’s environment or culture have bolstered their careers.

Let's delve into the strategies and stories that highlight the importance of four supportive factors in advancing women in tech, and why your next gig in the tech industry should check every single box.

InHerSight partner

One of InHerSight’s 20 Best Information Technology and Services Companies to Work For, Veeam’s top metrics are Ability to Telecommute, Flexible Work Hours, and The People You Work With. Eighty-five percent of respondents also say their growth and success are prioritized here and that they’ve received the necessary feedback at their jobs to achieve their goals! Click below to explore Veeam’s company profile and open positions now!

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4 factors that women say helped them advance in tech 

1. Working for a company with an abundance of growth opportunities 

Want to feel more engaged, motivated, productive, and creative at work? Look for a company with numerous growth opportunities. 

“I joined Veeam after finishing my master's study,” says Maria Zubareva, senior regional director, Veeam customer support. “While here, I have been able to go all the way from junior support engineer to team leader, manager, and then to the director level.” 

Plus, Zubareva says, in her 10 years at the company, she’s been allowed to maintain her autonomy, which is one of her must-haves. She loves to be able to build and create independently for managers and peers who know she’s going to deliver. “Throughout my career here, people have trusted me and, when they’ve seen me doing a good job, they’ve given me more and more responsibilities. I have found so much support and so many growth opportunities here at Veeam.”

Zubareva adds that her skills have grown alongside the growth of the company, her responsibilities increasing with the release of new products, something her peer Asya Asipovich, Quality Assurance (QA) team leader, has also experienced.

Asipovich joined Veeam when she was still a student, then steadily began taking on more responsibilities in order to evolve her career internally. “Veeam offered me a part-time job as a junior QA engineer so I could finish my studies and work at the same time,” she says. “Time passed and I graduated from university and joined Veeam full time. I became a QA engineer, and because of my organizational skills, my team leader sometimes delegated organizational tasks to me. Our small team grew, and finally the moment came—I had my own team! At first there was only one junior QA, but our team continued to grow and now there are five of us.”

Asipovich attributes her success to opportunity and support, just like Zubareva. “At that time, our team was really small and there were not many women, but every day, I felt the support of my colleagues, so I felt comfortable,” Asipovich says. “I would especially like to thank my team leader, who always answered my questions and helped me grow.”

2. Working for a company where they have equal opportunities to advance

Equal opportunities play a pivotal role in empowering women to thrive and advance in tech, and their importance is evident before a candidate is even hired. Landra Pierce, systems engineer at Veeam, says, “I seek employers that offer opportunities for career advancement, promotion, and professional growth. Does the organization have transparent and unbiased promotion processes, provide mentorship opportunities, and offer fair compensation and benefits?” Such programming ensures that women, like their male peers, have the same prospects for career advancement, promotion, and professional growth. Pierce also says as a working mother, Veeam offers flexible working arrangements, which is valuable because it enables her to balance work and family responsibilities more effectively. 

Furthermore, Le Tran, a member of Veeam’s technical staff, says signs of inclusivity during the recruitment process indicate equal opportunities. “One quality that I look into is the presence of female coworkers in the recruitment process,” Tran says. “At Veeam, I was able to have candid conversations about what it would be like being a female engineer in the team, which helped shape my expectations and eventually my decision.”

Then it’s up to the company to create a culture that uplifts everyone, something Zubareva says she’s seen firsthand at Veeam. Veeam helps individuals to grow within the company, preparing them, supporting them, and empowering them to have career progression.” By nurturing and supporting their employees, Veeam empowers individuals to progress in their careers and seize leadership positions. 

Veeam Women in Tech by Beth Castle

3. Working in a company culture where people believe in them and respect them 

Creating a culture that believes in and embraces the contributions of women is paramount to women’s advancement—or to anyone’s advancement, for that matter. People thrive in spaces where they are respected and feel like they belong.

“Culture comes first for me,” Asipovich says. “When you spend a third of your day with people, it is important to feel comfortable and appreciated as a professional.”

Pierce agrees, having had to overcome many stereotypes in technical environments throughout her career as well. She says she looks for organizations where everyone's perspectives and contributions are valued, regardless of gender. “This includes promoting open communication, actively addressing bias and discrimination, and offering training and awareness programs on diversity and inclusion,” she says. “The tech industry has traditionally been male-dominated, with women underrepresented at various levels,” Pierce adds. “The gender imbalance created a sense of isolation and made me doubt myself and my capabilities. However, the one thing that has always kept me motivated was having self-confidence in my abilities. The knowledge you have can’t be taken from you. As you become more knowledgeable, you gain more respect from others.”

And just like Asipovich and Pierce, Tran echoes the importance of culture and people, herself only seeking organizations that value individuals and promote a culture of open communication, meritocracy, and technical excellence. “Of all the must-haves, I would like to emphasize the culture and the people I have met here at Veeam,” Tran says. “Over the past years, this environment and this team has taught me many valuable lessons, while simultaneously allowing me to make my own marks of contributions and my (plentiful) mistakes in a safe environment.”

4. Working for a company where there are opportunities to connect with other women

What else supports women’s feelings of belonging in the workplace, and thus encourages them to stay in tech and advance their careers? Connecting with other women in tech. 

Companies that recognize the importance of supporting and empowering women often have established women's networks or employee resource groups (ERGs). Pierce believes that Women appreciate companies that have established women's networks dedicated to supporting and empowering women. “These networks provide valuable networking opportunities, mentorship, and a sense of community to help navigate our careers.” 

Asipovich says, at Veeam, the Women In Green ERG provides a platform for women to believe in themselves and learn from the experiences of other accomplished women within the organization. “In some cultures, women still feel the pressure to prove themselves because they’re women,” she says. “‘You cannot be an IT specialist,’ ‘Women are soft, they cannot be good team leaders,’ etc. So I think it is quite important to highlight that this is not true. All women should see examples of success—and not one example as an exception, but many of them.” By having access to a supportive community, women can build confidence, break through societal barriers, and realize their full potential.

These connections, however they take shape, help combat the isolation that can arise in male-dominated spaces and provide a platform for women to grow. “In my opinion, the key to success here is not to set limits to yourself,” Zubareva says. “Have the attitude that you can do everything and you can achieve everything. Believe in yourself and in what you’re doing, even if someone tells you that you can’t succeed. If you have an interest in what you’re doing, and you’re sure you can, don’t be afraid of pursuing your dreams.”

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