Maria Moraes Robinson on the challenges of women in Deep Tech

When developing deep tech systems, always consider those people with whom you are talking by thinking about the best form of language to use. Understand their worldview, mental models and check they understand what you are explaining, and vice versa. I do this to improve decision-making at every stage of the design process.

Always look to find that sweet spot in a project between freedom and structure. While creativity is important, never forget the importance of checking in at regular intervals with team members, giving everyone space for dialogue and valuing diversity and different points of view, especially when these are different to your own.

When projects are not quite progressing as expected, one of the greatest leadership qualities is detachment, allowing you to pivot and change direction when necessary. I have found that this is especially important in contexts which are volatile and changing rapidly.

One of the most important things a female leader can do is to develop self-confidence, in order to be able to give other people space to express themselves and their ideas, especially in those situations where they may not have all the answers. So, as a leader, this helps me to facilitate conversations and dialogue, enabling the best solutions to emerge naturally.

For women in senior leadership positions in tech, it is important to create spaces for other women to share their challenges. For example I have facilitated female-led technology communities of practice that support women and allow them to develop both their technology and leadership skills.

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