Former Google and LinkedIn exec urges women in tech to ‘stand their ground’

Women in tech are few and far between. That is the unfortunate reality. And those that are in the industry often find that they have to work twice as hard as their male counterparts just to be noticed. With the top positions at most tech companies filled by middle-aged white men, not a week goes by without a new report highlighting the gender pay gap within the industry. But, we are at least starting to talk about it.

G2 Crowd CMO Andrienne Weissman has been shedding light on her time as an executive at the Google and LinkedIn. And it (surprisingly) is encouraging for career-focussed women who also want to raise a family at the same time.

“I had fantastic experiences being at those really amazing companies, especially being an expectant mother and a working mother,” she said. “The maternity leave that I got, it was wonderful, I’ve benefited in ways that probably aren’t representative of most women in tech. It’s so important to have support and it’s important for women to be able to take the time off for family, but also that they be able to return to work as well. That’s what was so exciting about the opportunity I had here at G2 Crowd, I got to be a part of this very early on. It was very important for me to take our existing policies, and to share my story — to help this company become a leader in areas like family leave and supporting women. We started our own women’s group, sort of a board for women so that we’re being heard.”

She added: “There are basic expectations now that women are going to have work even harder to get just as far. How can I help women who may not have had the same benefit as me, how can I help women fight for their right just to be there?”

While Weissman accepts that her experience in the industry has been far better than a lot of women, she believes that women need to ‘lean-in’ and make sure they are treated with the respect they deserve. She accepts that women sometimes have to work ‘twice as hard just to feel like they exist’ but urges them not to give up. She adds: “It’s about standing your ground and being firm in your convictions. Taking on more, always raising your hand can distract from the big picture. Women should have goals and realise it’s not always about being reactive. Stand firm, or be like concrete. Lean-in, it is amazing when you have the opportunity, but not everyone is going to get those chances all the time.”

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