Breaking The Bias: Women at FX – Maude Boivin – Vice President, Consulting Services
Breaking The Bias: Women at FX – Maude Boivin, Vice President – Consulting Services
When Maude Boivin started her career recruiting for a global tech leader more than 30 year ago, the only departments ran by women were secretarial or accounting. Now as the VP of Consulting Services at FX Innovation, Maude manages and supports a team of recruiters, directors and coordinators responsible for finding and placing specialized consultants in the tech space.
With such a history recruiting in the tech industry, we wanted to get Maude’s take on how far the industry has come in terms of gender inclusion and what more can be done to empower more women to join and thrive within tech.
The evolution of the tech industry
Maude has seen quite a few changes during her time working in tech, not just on the type of candidates she recruited, but also with the technology itself.
“Oh well I’m almost embarrassed to say it but when I started the computer was in its infancy, the fax machine and snail mail were still our only means of communication; and as for cell phones, well they were bigger than a carton of milk,” she laughs.
More seriously, Maude is quick to point out the difference in recruiting in the 90s from today.
“We didn’t really have the option to recruit women in tech because there were very few female candidates. With the talent pool so small, companies wouldn’t even have the chance to interview a woman.”
Maude has seen improvement in the number of female consultants over the years, now making up about 25% of the CVs her team receives.
“There are more and more women enrolling at post-secondary for tech careers which is creating more balance at least for junior technical positions – but there is more work to be done.”
IT is still very much a small world and consultants refer each other and follow each other from project to project. Plus, companies are looking for consultants with a lot of experience, so in the past since there have always been more men, this dynamic tends to build on itself and is difficult to change.
Proving yourself as woman in technology
While Maude believes female recruiters are taken seriously in tech, the pressure to be on the ball when dealing with more technical positions is constant.
“As a woman, you must really demonstrate that you know what you are talking about right away. As a society, we ask men fewer questions, and give them more chances to make mistakes.”
From being the only woman at many points and positions in her career, Maude is used to having her competency questioned.
“It is important not to let yourself be destabilized, you have to create your credibility to establish trust and respect. I had to stand up straight, prove myself, and above all, always be one step ahead of my colleagues to demonstrate that I had what was needed. Now, my experience, maturity and accomplishments help to inspire those same feelings of trust and respect.”
As a female pioneer in tech and a leader in technical professional recruitment, Maude feels that all companies could do a better job in enabling women to join and succeed in the tech sector.
“We need to better prepare women for the challenges that await them and ensure we position more women in major projects and initiatives. We must show our youth that women and men are made to walk side by side equally… not one in front of the other.”
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