The Challenge of Moving into Management and Away from Technical Skills

Beyond the Boys Club Cover Many women who enter male-dominated fields initially pride themselves on their technical skills. As they progress, they may worry about losing these as they move into management. This is understandable: it was the technical know-how that drew them to the field in the first place. However, most people recognise that managers naturally lose some of this technical knowledge in such fast-paced industries, as they spend more of their time developing strategic skills and have to delegate much of the hands-on work they are used to doing themselves. The most successful women realise this is not a

net loss but a demonstration that they are focusing on and growing other skills — namely leadership, management and communication. In fact, as I recommend to many of my clients, if you have a choice between technical development or people management training, you should choose the people management. These skills will prepare you well for future roles in a variety of industries. In today’s fastmoving global economy, they are skills that are less likely to be off-shored and are sure to remain in demand over the long term.

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