It's a sad reality that women are underrepresented in technology, including software development. But it's not a permanent situation. With more and more companies needing software engineers in recent years, it's not surprising to see many women entering the field. There are many great reasons to pursue a career in this industry, even though women are in the minority. If you want a career in software engineering, here are some tips to help you navigate the challenges.

  1. Don't be Afraid to ask Questions 

If you want to succeed in a male-dominated industry, do not be afraid to ask questions. Studies show that only a small number of women would be bold enough to ask for what they want, especially in a workplace surrounded by men. While standing out in a male-dominated industry can be intimidating, females must speak up often. Speaking out is critical to helping female engineers develop a style and tone to ensure they are heard in a male-dominated field. 

Being direct and open about what you want is the key to success for female software engineers. It could open you up to more opportunities, such as establishing a new team and working on a new project. Asking for promotions and raises does not come easy for women, unlike men. Women should be very open and direct when asking for something they want. 

When asking questions, clearly articulate an idea for others to understand who you are and get what you want. Ask for what you believe is something you deserve. No one will give you something just because you are thinking about it. You must open your mouth and voice out what you want.

  1. Make Sure you're Always Learning 

Women must continue to hone their craft and improve their skills to be successful software engineers. You will not only end up mastering your craft but continued learning can help boost your confidence and open you up to more opportunities in the industry.  

Companies like Jelvix that provide software development services support women in tech and create a culture of equality in a workplace. Jelvix's purpose is to deliver on the promise of technology and human ingenuity and their commitment to people, clients and communities is to accelerate equality for all. In 2023 Jelvix employed 150+ people, with 25% of women.

As a software engineer, you can expect to encounter new challenges from time to time. You could easily fall behind if you're not open to learning new things and adapting to changes. Adapting to changes is not only essential for your career but also for your personal life. As you know, the world is constantly changing, and you could be left behind if you fail to keep up.

  1. Find the Right the Company 

In most cases, finding the right company is the key to success in a career in engineering, especially for women. However, finding the right engineering firm that values gender equality can be challenging. Whether you're looking for your very first job or a shift to your current employer, using specialist electronic engineer recruitment companies may help you find the right company to jumpstart your career in software engineering. 

It helps to work for a company whose values align with yours. Therefore, get to know the organisation's values before you send in your resume. Make sure their vision and values align with yours, whether it means looking for a company with a business model you appreciate or an organisation that takes environmental action seriously. Also, find out if these values are communicated and emphasised in the organisation.

In addition, workplace culture is another aspect to consider. Since you will work with other people as a software engineer, choose a company with a positive and supportive workplace culture. Culture refers to the environment that an organisation fosters for its people. Research the company and ask questions before you commit. Specialist recruitment companies can help you find a company with the right workplace culture and matches you with a company whose values align with yours.  

  1. Use your Strengths 

We all have strengths that drive and motivate us. These strengths leave us craving more and form an integral part of how we work and give our best. Unfortunately, some software engineers don't put much consideration into shaping their work around their strengths. It should not be the case for female engineers who want to excel in their careers.

Software engineers have to solve different issues at work daily. Unfortunately, some women tend to doubt their skills and abilities when it comes to this. Learning to identify problems and improve your problem-solving skills may help combat this. Female software engineers must constantly remind themselves of solutions and ideas when trying to resolve issues at work. 

You must first figure out what your actual strengths are. Most people will talk about their hobbies if you ask them about their strengths, but these are not your strengths. Instead, they refer to those activities you are naturally proficient in and align the most with you.

  1. Find a Mentor to Help you Grow 

Women who want to climb the career ladder in a male-dominated industry like software engineering should look for a mentor to help their careers grow. It should be anyone they can emulate and lean on and someone who can serve as their champion. 

Having a mentor early on while continuously seeking them out throughout their careers can help empower women engineers. The mentor has been in that position for a long time and can help guide them to where they want to be. 

In addition, your mentor understands the challenges to face in your profession and can offer advice on how to approach these obstacles. More importantly, your mentor is in the best position to help you figure out the essential skills that can take you where you want to go in your career and how you can best develop these skills.