The adtech industry has been a very unique space for women from various backgrounds. Women in tech have been driving companies forward with new and innovative mindsets, supercharging their careers, and taking on executive-level and leaderships positions at tech and Fortune 500 companies.
When I began my career in the adtech industry fifteen years ago, women had already started positioning themselves into manager and executive-level positions. However, there was a visible gap. The “employment gap.” A 2020 report from McKinsey found that of the 25% women in the tech industry, Asian women make up just 5%, while Black and Hispanic women accounted for 3% and 1%. Diversity and inclusion should be part of a company’s DNA if we want to see performance increase, better talent, employee engagement, and retention.
I am part of that statistic. When I landed my first tech job in San Francisco, I was hired as the second and only female in the company. When she left the company shortly after I joined, I was the only female in all male company. I learned the meaning of “locker-room environment” hands on. Speaking only on behalf of myself as an Indian-Asian woman, the challenges working in a tech industry didn’t end there. You had to prove yourself to your family as well. Taking on the stereotypes of being an Indian, and a woman, you have to jump over a lot of hurdles. My parents didn’t know anything about the tech world. They didn’t know how to explain my job to their circle. It was always washed down and simplified so by the time it was explained, it made my job seem under appreciated.
We were still a minority in the heavily male-dominated industry, but we were part of the female tech pioneers driving ourselves forward. You had to stay relevant and educate yourself to keep up with the industry. We faced many challenges in an already difficult space to own. You had to be far smarter, far faster, and bring far more quality to your work than the expectations going in.
There’s always an opportunity to do more than what you are tasked to do. It’s up to you how far you want to take it. My experience has taught me that if you go above and beyond, you will find areas of improvement. You’ll think of how to work smarter and faster without changing the quality of your work. You’ll learn to prioritize your tasks to be more efficient, delegate, and take care of your physical and mental health.
My team has been working on how we can be smarter and more efficient through AI, specifically through RPA (robotic process automation), a software technology that makes it easy to build, deploy, and manage software robots (bots) that emulate human actions interacting with digital systems and software. To take this forward, we’ve tasked ourselves with documenting the entire journey. We’ve also deployed a dashboard so we can capture data for efficiency and time saved. Automation is paving the way in the adtech industry and we’re just scratching the surface with AI.
I’m extremely excited to continue my passion in adtech as a leader within my organization. I hope this inspires all women and young women that they don’t have to settle for what’s given to them. Kick the closed doors, pave your paths, drive your own ideas forward. The opportunities are there.