This fall BC Tech is delivering #WhatWorks Series on Women in Tech.

British Columbia’s technology industry is a national leader in many ways that matter — as a startup hub, “unicorn” breeding ground and sub-sector hotspot — it falls short in one key area: the participation of women.

Recent data released by CBRE reveals that women make up only 18 percent of Vancouver’s tech workforce. We can and will do much better. Through collaboration, sharing proven strategies, and harnessing BC’s pioneering spirit, we aim to boost the participation of women in tech by driving industry-wide change through our #WhatWorks series.

Coming up on my two year anniversary as the CEO of BC Tech and the recent research on female representation in the sector, it felt like the right time to galvanize our industry around this cause.

The first workshop in the series, Negotiation 101, flipped the script on negotiations as a winner-take-all, zero-sum game. Instead, we look at the cognitive science behind negotiation to understand some of the challenges that arise, the common pitfalls many of us succumb to, and how to get a good deal, not just any deal.

The five takeaways we want to offer to the community help ensure that women in tech (and anyone for that matter) are set up for success for their next negotiation, to be the CEO of you.

1. Have high expectations: You get the deal you think you deserve, so enter negotiations confident and secure in your abilities.

2. Ignore sunk costs: Focusing on sunk costs will get you nowhere. Instead, focus on the opportunity costs that you may be able to leverage in your negotiations.

3. Framing: Use framing in negotiations and be aware of how it impacts you.

When preparing, give attention to the interests of the other party too.

4. Watch for overconfidence: Be aware of how ego may complicate your own performance.

5. Cultivate your options: Thinking through your alternatives to this deal provides you with negotiating power by helping you determine whether it is truly a ‘good deal’..

The feedback we received from the participants was clear: negotiating is often an area where we feel insecurity or stress. By following these five considerations you’re not only setting yourself up for success, but you’re creating a win-win setting for you and the other negotiating parties.

By hosting events like these, we aim to empower women in the tech sector with the skills and confidence they need to not just survive but thrive in the tech economy. We’re stronger together, and together we can make BC not just a national leader in tech, but a global one. A huge debt of gratitude to our incredible sponsors, Safe Software, Innovate BC, Switchboard, and Western Economic Diversification Canada.

Join us at our next events, the BC Tech Women Leaders Panel featuring Laurie Schultz (CEO of Galvanize), Kristine Steuart (CEO of Allocadia), and Janet Wood (interim CEO of Science World) as we discuss skills, experiences, and techniques for success that will boost the number of women in the tech sector.

Don’t forget that our next workshop on November 6, Speaking Up, provides tools for effective communication and public speaking to equip you to be heard and influential.