An emerging trend among startups suggests that a tech background isn’t a prerequisite for running a highly successful tech firm, with women in particular becoming more prominent in the industry despite a recognized lack of women with a background in STEM fields.
The number of tech CEOs and leaders coming from non-tech related fields is increasing, with the majority having a business background instead.
This presents excellent career opportunities for women wanting to get into this industry.
A recent study found that the majority of female tech startup CEOs did not to have a background in STEM fields, with Business, Commerce or Economics being by far the most common qualifications.
“The ability to code isn’t a prerequisite to starting or managing a successful tech company,” said Ed Hooper from Robert Walters.
“Tech CEOs and leaders without a direct background in the field themselves have options such as outsourcing, hiring technical staff or partnering with someone who has a tech background but may lack the commercial skills to make the business a success on their own.”
While a tech background is not an essential quality for a leadership role in a tech startup, access to the networks which can be used to access funding, large corporate customers and mentoring relationships is vital.
Network to create opportunity
Exceptional networking skills are vital to create a network of contacts who can provide access to funding opportunities and the chance to connect with top STEM talent to fill technical roles within the company.
However, some female tech leaders have encountered challenges to successfully networking in this field. For example, with investing partners at venture capital firms often male, female CEOs sometimes have found that persuading these firms to invest in a project or business that targets a female customer base is challenging.
Exceptional networking skills are vital to create a network of contacts who can provide access to funding opportunities.
“Particularly in the US, women with the expertise and means to provide this investment capital are recognising that there are significant opportunities available to invest in female-led tech startups,” continued Hooper.
“These networks can provide funding and support to startups and serve as a catalyst for traditional networks to invest in similar businesses when they see the strong returns on investment that female-led tech startups can deliver.”
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