Yota Trom is a software engineer turned career and leadership coach and founder of Together in Tech, a tech community with over 6000 members. She has worked in tech for over 15 years, leading teams at Amazon and Yahoo before getting her MSc in Applied Positive Psychology & Coaching and becoming an ICF-accredited coach. She is also a UN Women UK Delegate to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.
Yota is a coach on a mission to help people in tech tune into their inner confidence and become inspiring leaders and has worked with leaders and teams across some of Europe’s biggest tech companies, including Sky, Booking.com, Delivery Hero, Amazon, and Google. She is also a guest lecturer at UCL and speaks widely about leadership, confidence, imposter syndrome, and women in tech. In 2022 she was awarded the Leading with Purpose Award from the Reframe Women in Tech Awards.
Yota, why have you joined the Women in IT Summit UK 2023 on 18 May?
Our organisation sponsors the Summit, and I was shortlisted for a Women in IT Award last year. As a woman in tech, I understand what it’s like to struggle to find my voice in a meeting where I feel I don’t belong. I’ve also had to overcome my impostor syndrome, which kept me from asking for what I deserved.
After transitioning from a corporate job to building my own business, I became a coach and focused on empowering women through my work. I noticed that the same patterns I observed in myself were present in my clients, who struggled to find their voices and doubted themselves, leading them to be underpaid and reluctant to pursue their dream roles.
The Women in IT Summit UK 2023 aligns with my passion for helping women find their strengths, build their confidence, and go after what they deserve. Celebrating the success of women who become role models for other women is essential for empowering women, and that’s why I’m supporting the event.
What will you be talking about in the Solutions Room?
I’ll discuss personal branding, a topic I’m passionate about because it’s the one thing I wish I had known ten years ago. Personal branding is an opportunity to positively impact other people’s lives. Many people fear self-promotion and worry that they’ll come across as arrogant, but personal branding is about acknowledging your successes, recognising your strengths, and reflecting on your journey.
Women often forget to acknowledge their success and reward themselves. Personal branding lets you think about the message you want to share with the world and recognise your accomplishments.
Sharing your story can empower or inspire others to follow their dreams, learn from their mistakes, and develop a growth mindset. The moment you realise that each of us has a unique story to tell, you’ll want to start sharing it.
Why should someone attend the Summit this year?
Whether you’re leading others or forging your own path, I believe in doing so with vision, empowerment, wellbeing, and growth. Attending the Summit will give you the opportunity to connect with like-minded peers and mentors who can help you navigate your unique leadership journey. Through interactive workshops, networking sessions, and talks, you will get all the inspiration you need to boost your personal and professional development.
What inspired you to start Together in Tech and focus on empowering women in tech?
What really sparked my idea for Together in Tech was my personal journey and the stories I’ve heard from countless women in tech over the years. Working in the industry for almost 20 years, I’ve had my fair share of challenges and setbacks. What struck me was how many women I encountered who struggled to speak up about their successes or ask for the recognition they deserved.
I realised there was a need for a space where women and other underrepresented groups could come together, share experiences, and support each other. I wanted to create a community where we could learn from one another, grow together, and feel empowered personally and professionally. That’s when the idea for Together in Tech was born.
As a woman in tech, I know first-hand how important it is to have a strong support network. I’m passionate about creating a space where everyone feels welcomed and can find that support and thrive in their careers.
Can you tell us about a particularly impactful coaching experience you’ve had?
One of my most rewarding experiences as a coach was working with a woman who had just returned to work after taking three years off for maternity leave and struggling with confidence. She felt like she didn’t have the skills necessary to advance in her career. Seeing her peers get promoted while she was away only increased her self-doubt.
Together, we focused on building her confidence, identifying her strengths, and creating a career growth plan tailored to her needs. Over a few months, I watched her transform right before my eyes. And I couldn’t have been prouder when she came back to me to share the incredible news of her promotion, new job title, and significant pay rise.
Seeing her belief in herself and her newfound confidence was truly amazing. It reminded me of the power of coaching and how it can help people unlock their potential and achieve their goals.
What are some of the biggest challenges facing women in tech today, and how can we overcome them?
Women in tech face significant challenges, and it’s not always easy to talk about them. One of the biggest issues is the need for more women in leadership positions. When you don’t see other women in executive roles, it can feel like there’s no clear path for your career growth. It’s hard to feel like you belong when no one looks like you in the room.
Another challenge is the unconscious bias that can affect everything from hiring to performance reviews. It’s frustrating when your hard work isn’t recognised because of someone else’s biases. And, of course, balancing work and family responsibilities is a struggle for many women in tech.
To make progress, we need companies to actively work towards creating more inclusive cultures. This means training on unconscious bias, offering flexible work arrangements, and mentorship opportunities. And as women, we can advocate for ourselves, share our accomplishments, and connect with other women in tech through groups like Women in IT and Together in Tech. We can make a real difference by supporting each other and pushing for change.
Hear more from Yota at the Women in IT Summit UK on 18 May. To find out more and register for a free place, please click here