Tips For Women In Tech: Juggling Family, Career, and Self-Care

Tips For Women In Tech: Juggling Family, Career, and Self-Care

COVID-19 has radically changed the working landscape in America. While working from home offers benefits such as protection from potentially contracting COVID-19 in the office and reduced transportation costs, it also brings about unprecedented challenges — specifically for working women. 

According to TrustRadius’ annual report that surveyed the impact of COVID-19 on professional women in tech, “women in tech are 1.6x as likely to be laid-off or furloughed than men.” In addition, women are still expected to assume a large part of the child care responsibility, and thus are “nearly 1.5 times as likely as men to report feeling a greater childcare burden due to COVID-19.” 

To avoid the effects of COVID-19 burnout, continue reading for helpful tips you can begin implementing in your professional and personal life to feel less stressed. 

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Tip #1: Manage Expectations 

Routines are superb for accomplishing goals and sticking to habits. However, when you are juggling your career, your children, and personal care, strict deadlines and routines may go out the door faster than you think. Carve in an extra 10-15 minutes in between your important tasks of the day and allow yourself the space to be flexible. 

Tip #2: Set Clear Boundaries at Work

Now more than ever, checking Slack notifications during lunch time and answering late-night client emails in bed has become the norm. However, these habits can leave you feeling depleted and burned out.

If you find yourself working outside of normal office hours on a consistent basis, make it clear to your employer that unless it’s an emergency, you will be logging off at a certain time. Your employer does not need to know the specifics and if he/she objects, consider having a conversation about ways to streamline the work during the day or shuffling some tasks to other members of the team. 

Tip #3: Get Your Endorphins Pumping

Move your body throughout the day! Just 30 minutes of daily exercise can have a significant impact on reducing stress levels and raising your endorphins (the “feel good” hormones). If you can’t block out a chunk of time to workout, consider investing in a standing desk or a seated bicycle to keep you active during extra-long Zoom calls. 

Tip #4: Ask for Help

According to CNBC.com, symptoms of burnout can often manifest themselves in wanting to be alone. While quiet time for introspection is a great way of reducing stress levels, consider tapping into your support system and reaching out to friends, family, or neighbors to help alleviate feelings of stress or loneliness. 

Download and save on your desktop or phone for a reminder:).

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A final note on being a woman who works from home…

You’re doing amazing things with your career and the fact that you’re able to work from home, take care of the family, and have other obligations is astounding. If you haven’t heard it before, you are great, validated, and we love to see you thrive!

If you are a technology professional looking to connect to organizations that value your diverse background and the unique experiences you bring, click HERE to apply to work with a MinTech Agency recruiter and land your dream job!  

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in March 2021 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Navigating Discussions about Race in the Tech Workplace

Navigating Discussions about Race in the Tech Workplace

As discussions about diversity, equity, and inclusion continue to be at the forefront of science and tech workplaces, Black and non-White professionals carry the heavy burden of educating others about race—with or without being asked.

Now more than ever, workplaces are taking significant steps to diversify their teams and alleviate the systematic barriers to entry that Black and Latino professionals face in the job market.

Despite the educational strides that are being taken, Black and non-White Latino professionals are still tasked with the heavy burden of having to educate others about race or ethnicity—especially during fraught times of racial tension such as those that arose in the wake of the George Floyd killing. 

 

If you are a minority working as a professional in the tech space, you may feel a range of unpleasant or uncomfortable emotions in these situations. However, there are ways that you can engage in fruitful dialogue about race with your co-workers without it being at the expense of your mental, physical, and professional health.

Here are a few ways that you can approach this as a minority in the workplace:

1. Set Boundaries

If you find that the discussions being held around you are harmful to your mental or professional well-being, do not be afraid to set clear boundaries in the workplace. As allies, non-Black co-workers or team members must be prepared to do their own work first, which includes being mindful of the language and actions they display that can be harmful or offensive to oppressed groups.

2. Engage Leadership

It is critical that workplaces have the resources to host diversity and inclusion training workshops, onboard employee assistance groups, and hire workplace therapists so that no one individual or group in the company feels responsible for leading these difficult conversations.

As a valued member of your organization, you have the right to engage your leadership or senior members about the need for the aforementioned resources. In doing so, you are creating opportunities for yourself and other minority professionals in your workplace to have access to a support network.

3. Acknowledge the Gaps

Understand that one conversation will not solve all the challenges you will likely face as a minority in the workplace. However, the most difficult conversations in the workplace can often lead to greater understanding and empathy for one another, as both team members and human beings. Be patient with yourself and your co-workers and continue to stay alert for areas of growth or discussion that you can bring up with leadership or human resources (HR). 

For more tips about navigating the STEM workplace, professional development, and networking, follow the MinTech Agency blog HERE.

 

 

Working From Home With Your Kids

Working From Home With Your Kids

Yes, it is possible to thrive while working from home with your kids. It can be challenging but very attainable. With schools and childcare facilities closing for weeks in order to prevent the highly contagious disease from spreading, your household has become both work,home and play. Although it might take some time, it is possible to be productive while your children are a few feet away. Here’s a few tips we compiled from our team and employees to you.

Establish a routine 

Both you and your children thrive on routines, right. So it is important to set out some kind of structure for the day. It doesn’t have to be super rigid just attainable. By Make sure to incorporate things like reading, play and outdoor activity whenever possible. By setting specific goals you are giving your children things to work towards which is always positive.

Have a designated workspace 

This is a productivity booster and can also help set boundaries for you along with your family. It’s also great if your work area has a door. Some parents may not have the option of a separate space with a door, but you can make any area your go-to for work. This can help in transitioning from work to school to home/family time. Trust us.

 

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Set expectations with the people in your life

Communicating clearly about what you have on your plate to the people in your life will help everyone understand. This includes your manager,colleagues, family and children. It is always better to be honest and up front about your capacity in the midst of transition. For children, also make sure to give them an idea of when you will be available, so they can begin understanding when you cannot available. Also, make sure during this honest moment you are being upfront and extending the appropriate amount of grace to yourself.

Resources are your friend

Do not feel you have to tackle this new work from home season on your own. If you find yourself struggling, remember there are resources you can utilize that are normally closer than you think. From your Employee Assistance Program(EAP), family and friends who wouldn’t mind connecting with your kids during the day for a reading sesh or game to the various apps out there that provide education and learning right at your fingertips. Technology can still bode well for both you and your kids during this time, from a virtual play date for them to a happy for you.

Self Care is still important

Taking time to invest in your own mental and physical health is imperative. This is doing what is required to prepare yourself to be the person your family and workplace need you to be. It’s not always easy, especially if you don’t have a lot of space, so you might need to be creative.

Examples:

  • Add in physical activity like a walk, bike or run
  • Participate with your kids in one of their physical/outdoor activities
  • Take those moments to make your coffee or tea and set on the porch
  • Do a puzzle 
  • Read a few pages from that latest book
  • Meditate