March 8, 2018
Caroline Chapin has been in the tech industry for nearly 20 years and with Autotask (now Datto) for 2 years. She's a relationship building superhero and serves as director of partner marketing for Datto's 8,400 global partners partners. She's learned how to successfully navigate her way through a lot of change and is proud of the work she's done to further the role women play in the channel. In this Q&A, Caroline shares her top tips and advice for getting ahead in tech.
Q: Why do you think now is such a great time to be a woman in tech?
A: It all starts with more awareness and better educational programs to help prepare women for roles in technology. With so many programs being offered these days, the door has slowly opened for women to seize the opportunity and break into what historically has been (and still is) a male-dominated industry.
In addition, technology companies are known for their flexible work hours or remote job opportunities to help give employees more work/life balance options. I think this tends to impact women more, as many have the need and desire to spend time more time with their children or have the flexibility to tend to them when needed. Offering this flexibility is helping women to increase their influence and presence in the industry and this is good news for all of us.
Q: What more do you think needs to be done to get women’s voices heard? Create more equality?
A: The earlier children learn about technology, the more likely they are to have the confidence to seek opportunities in the tech industry and speak up about relevant topics.
It’s also crucial for women who are already in tech to be more supportive of other women in the industry. This will pave the way for women's’ voices to be heard and increase equality.
Q: How do you keep your seat at the table?
A: It’s important to be visible and heard. The best way to do this is to take advantage of opportunities to present in front of an audience, speak up on conference calls, share innovative ideas, attend an event. Doing so helps you take your role and, ultimately, the business you’re working at to the next level. The more visible you are, the more likely you are to be recognized for your efforts and will often pave the way for advancement opportunities.
Q: What advice would you offer to a woman just starting out in tech?
A: I’d suggest aligning with a mentor. It's not enough to tell young women they will benefit from studying computer science or technology. We need to show them women can and do excel at roles in the world of technology and we need to show them how to do it. Having a mentor early on can help women learn the ins and outs of the corporate world and the tech industry. I would also suggest that women volunteer to take on new projects, attend classes or seminars, anything they can do to continuously sharpen their skills and get certifications will validate their role and their skills in the tech industry.