Women in Tech is a growing movement that strives to encourage more women to pursue tech-related careers and to promote the values of diversity, inclusion, and equity in the tech industry worldwide. At Kdan Mobile, we wanted to shine a light on the year-round contributions of our very own women in tech.
We sat down with four different tech professionals with different backgrounds to understand different aspects of our industry!
Women in Tech: A One-Sided Workforce
A 2020 statistic shows women make up approximately 47 percent of the American workforce across all sectors. Although this figure seems relatively even, it fails to acknowledge the lack of representation in specific fields such as those in tech. Women in tech-related careers make up roughly 35 percent of the workforce, while women in computing-related jobs make up only 26 percent.
It seems that the percentage of women working in STEM is much higher in Taiwan compared to other countries. This is because, like many of our interviewees, women across Taiwan are gradually taking advantage of digital trends and technological advancements. Between a progressive political culture and more girls deciding to pursue STEM degrees in school, many Taiwanese are finding themselves transcending into the digital world.
Shane Tu, Product Manager
According to Shane Tu, one of our project managers, it’s perhaps certain styles of leadership that contribute to this as well. Shane recalls always being given plenty of freedom to try new things and carry out her ideas. She mentions that when you are in a position of leadership, regardless of your gender, it’s important to listen and generate connections with your colleagues.
A good leader has the ability to empower. This cycle of empowerment is just what women in tech need. Shane believes this empowerment also contributes to setting higher personal expectations, thus yielding a higher work performance.
“Personally, I love to work with people who are creative, curious, and who have good communication skills.”
Building relationships is crucial for any product manager according to Shane. She is impressed by the crossover communication at Kdan and the diversity it presents. Being able to work with different types of people, she notes, makes it easier to talk about things outside of the office. This helps improve trust and collaboration between her and her team members.
Grace Tsai, UI Designer
From a young age, Grace decided that she wanted to be a creative. Taking interest in drawing as a child, Grace learned that she wanted to pursue design, rather than art, due to her ability to use her skills to solve strategic problems. As her career developed over the years, she found herself using these skills more and more.
She plays a huge role in cross-department strategic planning and problem solving. She works with both UI and UX designers, as well as the marketing and engineering teams, Grace delivers her creative input to help the team reach key milestones.
“Each human is an accumulation of their living experiences, that’s why I think there is no single standard to fit in all people.”
As Grace notes, her gender has never stopped her from pursuing what she loves. She recalls always being aware of the stereotypes that women are not as strong or determined as their male counterparts. She kept pushing onward with kindness and confidence.
Grace appreciates the openness of the design community, with no significant gap in opportunities for men and women (other than the majority of major design companies having male CEOs). Grace’s role model, Jessica Walsh, offers a message of hope, as she is trailblazer in female leadership in the graphic design and illustration industry.
Mia Jhong, Windows Engineer
Looking up to Facebook’s COO, Sheryl Sandberg, Mia Jhong crafted a career based on courage and persistence. As a Kdan Mobile engineer, Mia views Sandberg as an inspiration to set clear goals, build effective strategies, and adapt to challenges that come along the way. She admires not only her bravery to lead a male-dominated tech field, but also her cautiousness as she takes nuanced steps into a digital future.
Mia decided to study science and technology at a very young age because she regarded herself as someone who is more rational and who thinks logically . She feels the professional training of engineers requires them to think rationally and focus their efforts on key tasks.
“If the people start to regard females as an important source of family income, perhaps the payment structure will be changed too.”
This also makes most engineers very logical, but sometimes, perhaps, too objective. She doesn’t see herself as following the traditional female stereotype that suggests women are naturally more emotionally intelligent; but rather, emphasizes the importance of socializing with friends and developing empathy.
Mia enjoys defying these stereotypes as a female engineer. She points out that parents tend to raise their children differently depending on their gender. They try to protect girls more, which discourages them from taking risks and challenges as an adult. Society and culture also expect males to be the major income earners, but Mia is confident that as more females enter STEM roles, these preconceived notions will start to disappear.
I-Hsiu Tseng, Data Analyst
Head data analyst, I-Hsiu Tseng, explains that the concept of gender equality is well-known in Taiwan and that many Taiwanese are very fortunate to be born into this generation. However, there are some industry gender stereotypes still prevalent and she deliberately avoids them. She knows many females constantly struggle between work, marriage, and children – especially in a fast-paced environment like the software industry.
I-Hsiu started Kdan Mobile’s data team nearly from scratch and reflects on the flexibility and opportunities she was given by her superiors. She also remarks that it is a nice experience getting to know and work with younger women in data as well. This gives her a chance to talk about a diverse array of experiences with a wide network of girls! I-Hsiu is often characterized as the heart and soul of the data team because she is always kind, compassionate, and takes care of everyone.
“I think the situation for female workers is improving. It’s also very important that as a female, we should not be restrained by gender stereotypes. Gender should not be a variable to define one’s skills, knowledge, and ability.”
This is no surprise considering I-Hsiu shared with us that throughout her life, her mom has been one of her most influential role models. I-Hsiu mentions that not only was she kind and caring, but a tremendously hard worker – something I-Hsiu greatly admires. She tells us that she appreciates being able to work hard and encourage a data-oriented mindset across the company.
Celebrating Workplace Equality at Kdan Mobile
At Kdan Mobile, we could not be more proud of our Women in Tech. The contributions they all make to the overall success and operations of our company are beyond incredible. It’s with pleasure we share that exactly half our workforce in Taiwan is made up of Women, and we look forward to welcoming even more!
We strive for total workplace equality, diversity, and inclusion, and we foster the mindset that everyone has a crucial role to play at Kdan on a daily basis. It is our hope to inspire young women in tech around the world to get out and do what they love and help transform the digital future with a fresh and inclusive perspective.
If you want to keep up more with life at Kdan, and learn more about us as a brand, make sure to follow us on social media! We are always sharing news, events, and the inclusive workplace culture in our office. You can find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram! Feel free to share your Women in Tech stories with us as well!
Interviews were translated by Afra Chen.
Also published on Medium.