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F5s Lori MacVittie shares how to promote women in tech

F5's Lori MacVittie shares how to promote women in tech

 July 09, 2019

In order for more women to choose the world of technology for their careers, more companies need to show that they are encouraging and supportive of the idea. F5 Networks' Principal Technical Evangelist Lori MacVittie offers her thoughts on how employers can promote women in technology.

Creating and promoting a welcoming working environment

Lori explains: "Most of us have likely run into one or two people who don’t take well to women in tech. It’s a sad scenario, but one that is slowly improving as more females take on STEM roles. But change isn’t going to happen overnight, and I think it’s the responsibility of businesses today to create and promote a working environment that is not only welcoming to both men and women, but also encouraging."

For example, Lori says that if an employee experiences discrimination from a colleague – such as condescending management because of someone’s gender – there should be processes in place to help them deal with it, and employees should feel that they can make reports to HR where necessary.

Taking inspiration from career mentors

F5 has a mentoring scheme in place that is open to everyone and Lori has seen this acting in a great way to support women in the workplace. "Being mentored by another person who has had similar experiences can be extremely useful professionally," she adds. "We’ve seen effective examples of this with females returning to the workplace after motherhood, and junior staff being mentored by senior women. The programme not only matches employees with like-minded people, but also provides a comfortable way to discuss sensitive matters in confidence."

The most important thing for Lori, is to remember that data and computers "don’t care about gender", so women shouldn’t let their gender hold them back. Lori's advice is, if you’re interested in a STEM career, just do it!

"Wherever you go, it’s likely that you’ll end up in a male dominated environment and if that makes you uncomfortable then that’s ok," Lori comments. "Make sure you find a mentor or friend who you can vent to, and a business or educational body that will provide the right support to help you be successful in your career."

Lori concludes: "STEM industries have a brand problem, but don’t be put off – if we want change, we need to be the forerunners."

Join ambitious women like Lori at F5

F5 is always looking for talented women with a passion for the wonderful and challenging world of technology. 

Find out about more career opportunities with F5.


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Disclosure: Where Women Work researches and publishes insightful evidence about how its paid member organizations support women's equality.

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