AWS Training and Certification Blog

Addressing the diversity gap in engineering leadership

There is an ongoing representation gap in tech leadership. This gap has been associated with built-in biases in promotion policies leading to female engineers being promoted at a slower rate than men, spending more time in entry- and mid-level roles, creating a bottleneck for women’s career advancement. A study by HackerRank found that women developers, regardless of age, are more likely to have longer dwell time in entry-level positions —20.4% of women over the age of 35 are in entry-level roles compared to only 5.9% in men. Additionally, there has been a lack of upskilling opportunities and mentorship to help female engineers ascend to leadership roles.

Advancing Women in Tech (AWIT) is a non-profit organization that aims at addressing this gap by providing upskilling avenues and increasing the availability of women tech leaders as mentors. AWIT recently launched a collection of courses on Real-World Engineering Management, sponsored by AWS and available exclusively on Coursera.

This specialization is designed for any engineer who is looking to grow from individual contributors into leadership roles. The courses in this specialization help learners develop the real world skills and mindset needed for the transition from doing to leading, for hiring, retaining, and growing high performance teams and for managing complex projects. Nancy Wang, founder of AWIT, and General Manager of Data Protection products at AWS, will continue as lead instructor of this specialization. Gordon Yu, Senior Technical Program Manager at AWS, also serves as an instructor and as the general counsel of AWIT.

Real world guidance from engineering leaders

Alongside the video lectures and reading material, learners will hear from trailblazing women in engineering, discussing their leadership experiences including important technical, design, business and leadership skills. These leaders featured include:

  • Neha Rungta, Applied Science Director, AWS Identity
  • Joy Idahosa, Software Engineering Manager of AWS Backup Audit Manager
  • Caitlyn Shim, General Manager and Director of AWS Accounts, AWS Organizations, and AWS Service Quotas
  • Cherie Wong, Vice President of Payments Engineering at Paypal
  • Ann Funai, Founding Limited Partner at Operator Collective, former SVP of Under Armour and CTO of MyFitnessPal

Additional learning for product managers

AWIT also offers customized training for product managers who are interested in taking their product management career to the next level. AWIT’s Real-World Cloud Product Management specialization equips product managers and other tech professionals with the skills needed to succeed in a technical, cloud-related career. The specialization teaches foundational knowledge of AWS, including its core services, benefits, pricing, and security mechanisms. Learners can take advantage of multiple-choice practice exams that can help assess their readiness for the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner exam. This foundational-level exam allows professionals of all backgrounds to validate their knowledge of the AWS Cloud and its core principles. In addition, this specialization is ACE® approved—upon completion, learners can earn up to six college credits.

Learn more about Real-World Engineering Management and enroll on Coursera.

Written by Natalie Wells, AWIT