On International Women's Day, ladies everywhere celebrate breaking the glass ceiling in industries of all kinds. And while the global tech industry has copped its fair share of criticism as being male-dominated, in the heart of Berlin's booming start-up scene things are starting to change.
When I first joined the tech start-up world at Lamudi, I remember having the stereotypical view that I would be sitting in a dark cellar somewhere surrounded by men playing Dungeons & Dragons (yes, I had to google it!) and talking about coding (I'm still not 100% sure what it is!). But instead I get to work in a company which has a female dominated HQ, and in my opinion that's why we're the best.
Women in tech are now starting to lead the way. I look around the office to a sea of females working away, and it makes me realise how much this industry has changed. Globally we have strong women at the top of the biggest tech companies from Facebook, Yahoo! and the Huffington Post. These are the role models of the 21st century, these are the women who motivate females everywhere to forget their sex and realise their potential.
The issue with the tech industry is that it can have negative connotations surrounding it. You think tech, you think geek. You think tech, you think just IT. Actually that's not what the tech world is like anymore, the creativity in this industry is so vast that there are opportunities for people from every background. Women need to throw the stereotypes in the bin, and realise that the tech world is one where we excel in.
The other day at Lamudi we got all our female colleagues up on our balcony for a team photograph. Every time I look at it I feel overwhelmed with excitement that over 50% of our staff are women, that we are part of the reason why our company is so successful in the emerging countries, and that we all working in an industry none of us ever thought we would be in 10 years ago, let alone dominating.
What's the best thing about being a woman at the top in tech? For me it's being surround by women in my office that inspire me to be better, and deliver the best results. To me being an inspirational woman doesn't mean being at the top, it means being happy, being you, being great at what you do. Inspiring change for women in this industry isn't a call just to ensure a change in the sex of leaders at the top, it's to ensure that women realise how much they can offer the tech world.
To slightly ad lib a Beyonce lyric... 'Who runs tech world? Girls!'