Women in IT – Do You Know the Amplification Technique?

For women, there is still a long way to go to carve out a place in certain circles, such as the White House. During Barack Obama’s first mandate, his female advisers noted that they were invited less to important meetings. And when they were invited, it was harder for them to speak or receive credit for their idea.

So they decided to unite using the amplification technique. The concept was that if one of them had an interesting idea, another would repeat it, recalling who had formulated it. Repeated in this way, opinion is difficult to ignore or steal.

According to the initiators, the strategy would make Barack Obama recognize the phenomena. So much so that during his second mandate, half of the ministers were women and his circle of advisers included many more women.

Amplification in 
The technique is similar to the Shine Theory, popularized by Ann Friedman and Aminatou Sow. Women would have more to gain sticking together than competing. Radiance and self-confidence would be “contagious” and helping each other could amplify their individual potential.

This is all the more important in a male-dominated environment such as the White House or in the IT sector, where to be credible, integrating into a team and especially progressing demands more work for women.

Amplification applied in the IT environment could allow them to take ownership of the sector. Indeed, the support of peers strengthens confidence, creates a sense of belonging, encourages self-expression and ambition.

A male environment…
While the problems of speaking out are highlighted less than others, they are a symbol of gender inequalities in the workplace. Men tend to interrupt women three times more than other men, according to a study conducted in the technology industry. The same is true of collecting ideas put forward by women.

The Bonenfant Chair of the Université Laval and TECHNOCompétences conducted action research published in 2017 on the place for women in IT. There are still stereotypes, wage inequalities and devaluation of skills. Positions with the most responsibilities are still mostly held by men. Not to mention that women lack confidence and are less daring to ask for pay raises.

… which is changing
However, the IT environment is young, the work environment is positive and the population is very diverse. All these factors favour innovations and initiatives, as well as place for women, who are increasingly reaching management or executive positions.

Moreover, the fact that the environment is becoming more female would pay off for the sector. According to a Morgan Stanley study published in May 2017, out of the 108 technology companies analyzed, the most inclusive reported on average 5.4% more earnings than the others.

With this in mind, L’effet A Québec offers a program for women to develop their potential and talents. For to take a place in business would be a wealth “for themselves, the companies and the entire community”.

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