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Representativeness matters: for more women in technology

Alejandra Garcia

Líder da SAP Mexico Business Women’s Network

On the first day of class at the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education, Mexico, Alejandra García noticed that something was wrong. In a classroom shared between several engineering classes, she looked around and observed that, out of the almost 100 people who were there, only 10 were women. Then, when the class dispersed and only the students of Business Engineering were left, the class she had chosen, the numbers became even more disappointing: among 40 people, only 2 were women.

But she was not discouraged. If that was the actual reality, she would devote herself to transforming it. She ran for class president and won —it was the first time a woman had held that position in that career. She seized the opportunity to organize events on gender equity in the technology market —something similar to what she currently does as the leader of SAP Mexico Business Women’s Network, the company's network of female employees.

Alejandra joined the company in 2017 through SAP Presales Academy, a training program designed to develop a career in pre-sales, an area she continued to specialize in within the company. During her training, she spent months in offices within the United States. As soon as she returned to Mexico, she learned that the network was looking for a new leader.

I never thought they
would choose me, I had just returned to the country and I was very young

She says, given that she was only 24 years old at the time.

At the head of the network, she held events inside and outside SAP to discuss this issue and encourage younger women to enter the Information Technology field.

The gender discussion
is paramount in the industry. We need to have room to show our skills and
understand that we need diversity in order to get good results

She claims. In the future, she plans to further deepen her knowledge in diversity, gender and inclusion in order to continue developing strongly in the area.

Besides gender prejudice, Alejandra also recalls facing another type of discrimination that can be common in the business world: age discrimination.

Many people thought
that I was less capable than others because I was young. But where does
innovation come from? It comes from diversity. That is why it is important to
represent several generations, because we have different perspectives

For that reason, she advices women who want to work in the technology field not to be afraid, to remember that they are capable and to be authentic. She claims:

We are often afraid
of being perceived as fragile or vulnerable. We don't need to pretend to be
someone else. Women will be successful precisely for being who they really are