As we approach International Women’s Day on March 8, a day set aside to celebrate the achievements of women and call for greater gender equality, DQE celebrates the diverse nature of its workforce by shining a light on some of the women who continue to shape our business.
The number of women who work has risen steadily over the past few decades, and women now account for nearly half of the labor force at 46.9%, but there’s still room to close the gender gap within the technology field. According to research conducted by Statista, women make up between 27% and 47% of the workforce at major tech companies. When it comes to leadership positions, the technology sector is on pace with the rest of the nation with women accounting for approximately 25% of executive, senior-level and management positions in S&P 500 companies.
Since its inception in 1997, DQE has recognized the importance of a diverse workplace and has looked for opportunities to include women in various areas where they can grow and succeed. Read on to learn more about three of our valued team members who work hard every day to make our company better!
Rachel Cunningham – Manager, Sales Engineering & Support
Day-to-day duties: Resolving on-the-spot customer issues/inquiries along with strategizing for process and design optimization for strategic planning within the organization.
What are some challenges you face as a woman in tech? In my current role, I am often the only woman in the room at meetings. It is often assumed that I am in a support role, therefore a common challenge I have is to position myself as a decision maker and leader.
How has DQE empowered you to succeed? My direct leader has treated me equally and fairly as I take on dynamic projects and tackle challenges. I was also sponsored to participate in the Align Leadership – EDGE program, which was a specific cohort designed for women in technology.
What advice would you give to women considering a job in tech? Show value by being an expert in your arena. Be prepared, knowledgeable and passionate. Finding advocates and sponsors is needed, but in the end, you must be your own advocate. Go from being in the room, to at the table, to running the meeting – no one else will push that for you.
Laura Doebler – Business Support Analyst
Day-to-day duties: I work with customers to ensure their orders and services are delivered where, how and when they want them. I also work with other departments to provide accurate order updates.
What opportunities for growth and advancement have you experienced over the years? I worked for Duquesne Light as an administrator. I eventually moved over to the accounts payable group and I then transitioned to doing accounts payable for DQE. Despite having no experience in telecom, I was encouraged by a manager to apply for my current position in the sales support group when it became available. I’ve been here for five years. During that time, I’ve seen the number of women employed here increase, particularly in the IP group. I’m extremely thankful for the opportunity!
How has DQE empowered you as a woman in tech? DQE hired and trained me and has given me the tools to be successful in this field. Their support has pointed me toward a career I never would have picked for myself.
What advice would you give to women considering a job in tech? Don’t let others intimidate you or make you feel like your opinions aren’t valid. Continue to learn and look for opportunities to improve your knowledge and skills. Learn how to accept criticism without getting defensive.
Amy Lightner – Permits/Engineering Coordinator III
Day-to-day duties: Every day is different and that’s what makes it so exciting!
What are some challenges you face as a woman in tech? The field is still very much male dominated. I overcome these challenges by striving to do the best job I can and not give anyone a chance to doubt my abilities or knowledge.
How has DQE empowered you? DQE has allowed me to come here and do my job. I have never been treated as though I shouldn’t be here.
What advice would you give to women considering a job in tech? Don’t be intimidated just because you see few women in the field. Blaze your own trail and you will be glad you did.
DQE looks forward to seeing how Rachel, Laura and Amy continue to grow and help us provide better service to you – our customers! Interested in learning about what makes DQE a cut above the rest? Explore our career opportunities within a variety of tech and support roles.