It’s a man’s world they say. This sentiment is growing more and more obsolete as women are beginning to crack that coding ceiling. In the male dominated technology industry, the presence of women is growing more apparent, and rightfully so. Can you imagine the stagnation of innovation if women did not step into the tech scene? We wouldn’t see the likes of Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook COO) and Susan Wojcicki (Youtube CEO), our intellectual resources would be halved and we wouldn’t see such tech superstars!
The promotion of female presence in technology is formidable, with massive events dedicated to it such as the up and coming annual Houston Grace Hopper conference, hosted by Anita Borg Institute, and Vancouver’s very own Women in Tech Week that just passed, hosted by the Women in leadership foundation. Gravit-e will also been tapping into this invaluable female movement to volunteer as mentors and instructors with Ladies Learning Code, a volunteer-ran initiative that holds well rounded workshops teaching aspiring women and youth coding and digital development.
The tech barriers that women face go far beyond the career gender roles of science for boys, arts for girls. There is a darker underbelly that often remains unexposed unless viral hashtags such as #deleteuber circulate. Susan Fowler, former Uber employee, in her well publicised blog Reflecting on one very, very strange year at Uber, relays her experiences about abhorrent sexism and harassment in her male dominated work place. Her blog illustrates well the perils of women in the tech industry, namely the gender disparity, sexism, discrimination, and feelings of isolation in “macho” environments. Sexist underbelly aside, females are making headway in gaining acceptance in tech; cultural paradigms are being shifted due in part to the initiatives mentioned above. The growing presence of women in technology is here, and it is here to stay.
Gravit-e’s Very Own Jessica Bailey
One of our Senior Programmer Analysts, Jessica Bailey, herself took the plunge from pursuing a predominantly female degree, sociology, to pursuing the predominantly male degree, computer science, after switching her major for the second time in her first year of University. It was very much happenchance, as she pursued it as an elective midst her second major transition. She was fortunate not to have many barriers against her but more than anything was not self conscious about pursuing a pre-conceived “masculine” endeavour. Jessica found her calling in Tech, and boy are we glad she did! It only took one snap decision to take it for fun. Can you imagine if coding was made more accessible to confident girls to take for fun? How many more tech rock stars like our very own Jessica Bailey would that movement breed?
I myself am a young woman who has experienced her fair share of discrimination in and beyond the work place. As Gravit-e’s new resident marketing assistant and blogger (hi!), I can genuinely say that I found a comfortable and safe home here. As I reflected, I realized that females comprise half our company!
If you are a young woman (or man), and have stumbled upon this blog (presumably because you like technology), please do not hesitate to get your toes wet in tech. Go to next year’s week long Women in Tech events, go to inclusive coding workshops, participate in a Hack-a-thon promoting social change. Be the “rock” star that will further crack that glass ceiling.