When many people think of tech companies, they often picture a male-dominated environment filled with developers writing code. But the truth is, the tech industry was originally pioneered by women like Ada Lovelace who helped code the first machines and Hedy Lamarr who invented Wi-Fi. Tech offers a wide range of career paths for women, many of which don’t require coding skills.
According to UNESCO, only 33% of Nigerian women are enrolled in STEM-related fields in higher education, compared to 67% of men. This highlights the need for more initiatives to encourage girls and women to pursue STEM education.
Let’s take a look at some of the cool jobs in tech that don’t involve coding. We’ll talk about the pros and cons of working in these roles and give you the lowdown on what it’s like to be part of the tech industry without being a developer.
Stereotypes and Misconceptions
“As a woman in tech, I’ve faced my fair share of challenges and biases. But I’ve also had the opportunity to work on some really interesting projects and to contribute in meaningful ways to my company’s success.”
– Bisi, Project Manager
Before diving into the specific roles that women can take on in tech, it’s worth addressing some of the stereotypes and misconceptions that still exist in the industry. One of the most pervasive is the idea that tech is a male-dominated field that only values technical skills. This stereotype can be discouraging for women who are interested in tech but don’t see themselves as developers.
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Another misconception is that non-technical roles in tech aren’t as important or rewarding as technical roles. This is simply not true. While developers are certainly critical to building tech products and services, there are many other roles that are equally essential to the success of a tech company. These roles require different skills and strengths, such as communication, leadership, and creativity, and can be just as challenging and fulfilling as technical roles.
I think it’s important to recognize that there are still some stereotypes and biases that exist within the tech industry, and these can make it more challenging for women to advance in their careers. But I’ve found that by building strong relationships with my colleagues and being vocal about my achievements and contributions, I’ve been able to overcome some of these obstacles.”
– Fatima, Business Analyst
Non-Coding Roles for Women in Tech
So what are some of the non-coding roles that women can pursue in tech? Here are a few examples:
Product Management: Product managers are responsible for defining and executing a product vision, working closely with developers, designers, and other stakeholders to ensure that the product meets customer needs and business goals. This role requires a deep understanding of the product and the market, as well as strong communication and project management skills.
UX/UI Design: User experience (UX) and user interface (UI) designers create the look and feel of a product, working closely with product managers and developers to ensure that the product is intuitive and user-friendly. Coding tends to focus on the mechanics of how digital products work, but UX and UI ensure that users have a seamless, enjoyable experience when using these products. This role requires a keen eye for design and a deep understanding of user behavior and psychology.
Marketing: Tech companies need to market their products and services just like any other business, and marketing roles in tech can be particularly interesting and challenging due to the fast-paced nature of the industry. Marketing roles can include everything from content creation and social media management to event planning and PR.
Sales: Sales roles in tech can be lucrative and rewarding, particularly for those who are passionate about the product they are selling. Sales roles can involve everything from cold-calling and lead generation to account management and customer success.
There are tons of other non-coding jobs that women can rock in tech besides these! Each job calls for its own unique set of skills and qualities, but they all have potential for growth and moving up the ranks within a tech company.
Benefits of Non-Coding Roles
So what are some of the benefits of working in a non-coding role in tech? Here are a few:
Increased Visibility: Non-coding roles often require working closely with developers and other technical teams, which can help women gain visibility and respect within the company. This can lead to more opportunities for leadership and career advancement.
Broader Skill Set: Non-coding roles often require a wide range of skills, from project management and communication to design and marketing. This can help women develop a broader skill set that can be applied to many different roles and industries.
Exposure to Technology: Even if a woman isn’t a developer, working in tech can provide exposure to a wide range of technology products and services. This can be a valuable learning experience and can help women stay up-to-date with the latest technology trends.
Challenges of Non-Coding Roles
Of course, non-coding roles in tech also come with their own set of challenges. Here are a few:
- Inadequate Job Descriptions: Some job descriptions for non-coding roles in tech can be vague or incomplete, which can make it difficult for women to know if they are a good fit for a role or for employers to find the right candidates. This can lead to missed opportunities for both employers and job seekers.
- Expectations from Employers: Some employers may have unrealistic expectations for non-coding roles, such as expecting a marketer to have a deep understanding of technical details or expecting a product manager to have coding skills. This can create stress and pressure for women in these roles and may make it more difficult for them to succeed.
- Lack of Recognition and Advancement: Non-coding roles in tech can sometimes be undervalued or overlooked, which can make it difficult for women in these roles to advance their careers or be recognized for their contributions. This can be especially frustrating if women in these roles are working just as hard as their technical counterparts but aren’t getting the same recognition or opportunities.
Empowering More Women in Tech
Despite the challenges of working in non-coding roles in tech, there are many reasons why women should consider pursuing these roles. By doing so, they can gain valuable experience and skills, increase their visibility and leadership opportunities within their companies, and contribute to the success of the tech industry as a whole.
To encourage more women to pursue non-coding roles in tech, there are several steps that can be taken. For example:
Education and Training Opportunities: Providing education and training opportunities for women in non-coding roles can help them develop the skills and knowledge they need to succeed. This can include everything from online courses and workshops to mentorship programs and networking events.
Encouraging Girls to Pursue STEM Education: Encouraging girls to pursue STEM education from an early age can help increase the pool of women who are interested and qualified for non-coding roles in tech. This can involve everything from creating more STEM-focused programs in schools to providing mentorship opportunities for girls who are interested in tech.
Creating Resources Tailored towards Women: Creating resources such as job boards, networking events, and mentorship programs that are tailored towards women in non-coding roles can help connect them with employers and opportunities that are a good fit for their skills and interests.
So what am I saying?
It’s important to recognize the challenges that women face when working in tech without being developers. However, it’s also important to note that Nigeria’s tech industry is booming! Just take a look at the stats – in 2019, Nigerian startups raised $307 million in funding, and that number is only growing. In fact, in 2022, Tech Cabal reported that technology now contributes more to Nigeria’s GDP than oil. This is great news for women who are interested in pursuing careers in tech, as it means there are plenty of opportunities to enter and advance in the industry.
Women are thriving in non-coding roles in tech, and the industry is better for it. By pursuing roles such as product management, UX/UI design, marketing, and sales, women can gain valuable experience and contribute to the success of tech companies. While there are certainly challenges associated with working in non-coding roles, there are also many benefits and opportunities for growth and advancement. By empowering more women through education and training opportunities, encouraging girls to pursue STEM education, and creating resources that provide career guidance tailored towards women, we can continue to increase the number of women who are thriving in tech without coding.