Diversity talk: Exec reveals her secret to success — Always be curious
Women are underrepresented in the tech sector —myth or reality? In addition to the Women in Tech survey, we also launched a diversity series aimed at bringing the most inspirational and powerful women in the tech scene to your attention. Today, we’d like you to meet Lyn Polglaze, Director at Tranquility Halo.
Is tech a boys-only club? So it seems. But the light of smart and powerful women is finally shining bright. We root for excellence and justice and, above all, we want meritocracy to win. This is our way of giving women in tech a shout-out.
A research study by The National Center for Women & Information Technology showed that “gender diversity has specific benefits in technology settings,” which could explain why tech companies have started to invest in initiatives that aim to boost the number of female applicants, recruit them in a more effective way, retain them for longer, and give them the opportunity to advance. But is it enough?
Women in Tech — The Survey
We would like to get to the bottom of why gender diversity remains a challenge for the tech scene. Therefore, we invite you all to fill out our diversity survey. Share your experiences with us!
Your input will help us identify the diversity-related issues that prevent us from achieving gender equality in technology workplaces.
Without further ado, we would like to introduce Lyn Polglaze, Director at Tranquility Halo.
Lyn Polglaze, Director at Tranquility Halo
Lyn is a Director at Tranquility Halo. She has qualifications in IT and computer science. And formerly worked for Commonwealth Health’s Corporate Services team.
Lyn’s interests include horses and fast cars.
What got you interested in technology?
My earliest experience with tech was a fascination with an old Pacman game I found during a summer holiday visit to a girlfriend’s house. Her parents had it installed on an ancient Apple. Like most kids I loved it! A great problem-solving game – And I’ve been pretty much addicted ever since.
Shortly thereafter I was forced to change schools. This was a difficult time for me, however, the new school provided new opportunities – including an introductory Computer Programming course, where you got to make your own computer game! I loved this course and it helped me cope with the whole ‘new school thing’.
The world was embracing a new technology – and I was studying it at school. People asked me questions… and listened intently to my answers. It was an awesome experience for a teenage girl.
This was an experience that continued throughout my schooling and university days. It was then a male-dominated field – but when I spoke, people listened. It makes you feel quite empowered and valued when people seek your opinion and respect your answers.
My family were great. My mother was a nurse. She showed me how to take responsibility, be proactive and how a woman can lead. She is now in her eighties and can still hush a room with just her gentle presence, beautiful smile, and quite authority. Amazing woman!
After University, I was employed by the Australian Governments Department of Commonwealth Health. Here, I witnessed professional women taking positions of great authority and responsibility. It was, however, a man that was my greatest mentor. A man of few words – only speaking when he needed to. Very honest and sincere. And I guess much like my mother he had that ‘quite authority’ possessed only by the immensely capable.
A day in Lyn’s life
I am now a Director at Tranquility Halo. My responsibilities have expanded. In addition to the odd coding assignment my workday includes:
- Team management
- Meeting with investors
- Strategy formulation
- And keeping up with the latest developments within the profession.
I am intellectually very curious and will seek answers to a wide range of questions. Technology allows me to powerfully express myself and seek powerful answers. There are no limits.
- Problem/puzzle solving (my first love)
I’ve always been curious, and I find this differentiates me from others in my field.
What are you most proud of in your career?
Assistance in the development of exciting new tech like the Blockchain card project at Tranquility Halo. The Blockchain is so exciting. A secure, distributed and smart database – the possible applications are huge. Tranquility has an IoT Blockchain wallet on a card. Obviously, finance and banking are areas of interest, however, there are so many more areas that may be targeted — Insurance, health and medical, supply chain management – even charity!
Why aren’t there more women in tech?
Tech moves so quickly. If you snooze you lose. It is very difficult for a woman balancing many responsibilities – some professional, some relating to family life. These are pressures I have felt during my professional life. Many talented and capable women join the tech fields, work hard gaining further qualifications and valuable experience, only to leave the profession in their early thirties to have children – just when they represent the most value to their employer.
As a Director at Tranquility Halo, I am in a position to ensure these highly qualified employees have all the support they need to keep working in tech. We have several policies in place to help women and young families. They include:
- Increased maternity leave and
- A Mother-Child Privacy room.
In the future, this may be extended to include financial support for the freezing of eggs or sperm, and a professional childcare center based on the premises.
It is a good business move to retain your best and most experienced employees. And we strive for world’s best practice in this regard.
Tips & tricks
- It is important to have confidence in your own ability and confidence that you are an equal. In tech roles, you will be asked important strategic questions by your superiors early in your career. Your boss will expect answers so you need to stay well informed, be up-to-date with the industry a be totally confident in your ability to provide those answers.
- Find a mentor/confidant. If your company does not have a formal mentoring program actively seek out a mentor for yourself. They should be highly skilled and senior in your organization. Preferably with a thorough knowledge of the internal workings of the entire company. Such a person can be of unimaginable value to a woman entering her first job in Tech.
- Be a fan of failure – but only in the most positive sense. Try something new. And if the experiment fails, just move on, knowing you’ve learned something through hard experience.
- Finally, maintain a genuine love, passion and curiosity for your area of interest!
Don’t miss our Women in Tech profiles:
- “Technology reflects the people who make it”
- “In the right company, working in tech is a great career”
- Why women fall out of the tech pipeline
- Breaking the mold: ‘It’s not that you’re good — it’s that you’re female’
- How to avoid the culture of male programmers
- Creating an equal playing field is about more than just teaching someone coding skills
- The more women you see in STEM, the less intimidating it is for others to join
- The tech industry tends to lose women along the way. Change is underway
- How to get (and stay) into the tech industry: Tips & tricks for women
- Transitioning into a tech career? Silicon Valley culture is one of the biggest initial obstacles
- Abby Kearns: “Diversity ensures continuous innovation”
- “In technology, you become a lifelong learner — More women should embrace this career”
- Cultural impact is not driven by gender, but by diversity
- Everyday superheroes: “I don’t have a role model, my career was based on my mistakes”
- Diversity talk: For tech, it’s less about a pipeline problem and more of a marketing problem
- Diversity talk: It’s important to receive support from tech communities
- Everyday superheroes: Women just need to see more of us — techie women
- Anyone who wants to learn and grow won’t continue in an industry that tells them they are stupid
- There is too much allowance for tolerating toxic people in tech
- Coding myths and how finding communities like Hear Me Code helps you learn best
- 3 strategies to try out if you want to support women in tech
- Young women carry less career gender bias and more media influence
- Women are often pigeonholed into “soft skill” roles and pushed away from engineering
- Diversity talk: Many women suffer from the impostor syndrome
- How to succeed in tech: Shutterstock’s Rashi Khurana gives her tips
- Diversity talk: Using lingo is making tech sound harder than it really is
- Diversity talk: “We can’t expect men to hand us equality on a silver platter”
- How to succeed in tech: Agnès Crepet gives her tips
- “Many people still need to be taught that diversity is more than just a trend”
- “Many companies lack the infrastructure & career growth opportunities to support female employees”
- “Diverse teams can help prevent unhealthy competition that occurs sometimes in male-dominated teams”
- How to succeed in tech: Testlio’s Kristel Kruustük shares her tips
- “As the tech field becomes cloud-based, the flexibility and remote work culture will grow”
- How to win the diversity battle: Tips from Atlassian’s Molly Hellerman
- Diversity talk: “Women should not be herded into a career to meet quotas”
- “The tech industry can move even faster by increasing the diversity of talent”
- Diversity talk: Even if your team is not very diverse, what matters is that they value you