I could see the gender topic mushrooming on the horizon. I was resigned to it. I have a short paragraph on mental speed dial for when it inevitably comes up so I can jump on the fastest plane to ‘next topic, please’…but this time I surprised myself: “I think I’d like to do a piece on my experience as a woman in the software world.”

What!? My inner dialogue gasped, why!? Bear with me, I promise this won’t be a guilt-tripping man bash.

“I have a unique perspective to offer, so I’d like to do that.”

I’ve been lucky. By and large, I haven’t run into any major disadvantages or advantages to being a woman in the software field. I feel like that’s a story not told enough in the debate, where the experience is just like anything else in life: some good, some bad, overall average.

My parents encouraged and enabled my interest in computers and tech when I was young. What I perceived as playtime was actually building my skill set: Age 12 or so, I was making pixel art modifications (colourful fantasy ponies) and writing scripts for an ancient 2D game called Furcadia; its ‘Dragonspeak’ scripting language let you write simple trigger/response scripts (i.e. play this sound when the player steps on this object, or teleport the player to these coordinates).

Not long after, I was putting together a new computer with my dad; an old, black Compaq the size of a bulky school binder, so I could play this awesome game called Morrowind, in which I dabbled with mods and map building.

So really it was a no-brainer that I ended up in the field. It’s what I did for fun. It’s also why I didn’t realize that there was a gender ratio problem in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) until I finally chose a major and my dad said, “Well, you’ll have an advantage being a girl in computer science.”

That was a mind boggle. Really? Was it true? Did my gender alone give me an advantage? So I started paying attention.

From Freshman To Bachelor, To First Full-time Job

The first year of my degree program touted about 120 students. In that first freshman class of naive hopefuls I remember five women, self included. Starting ratio: One out of 24 students, female, or 4.67 percent. Okay, yeah, so maybe there weren’t a lot of us, but my only real complaint is one you’d hear anywhere with that ratio of hormonal males; I had to tolerate and ignore a lot pick up lines ranging from so smooth I wasn’t sure if it was actually a pick up line to catastrophically bad. (“I know you’ll realize that I’m the superior choice for a boyfriend. My IRC friend agrees.” True story.)

Women are underrepresented in tech: from their freshmen days through to the peaks of their professional careers.

Women are underrepresented in tech: from their freshmen days through to the peaks of their professional careers.

By graduation, there were only eight students to claim their Bachelor of Innovation in Game Design and Development. I was the only female. Not surprisingly, we were a pretty tight knit group; we all had mutual respect for ‘making it’ and my gender wasn’t a big deal.

If anything, the lack of contention let me cultivate an ignorant pride in my birthright singularity. I had excellent teachers that rightly didn’t care about gender, and it certainly helped that one of my teachers, Dana Wortman, was herself a successful comp sci female. There were two female engineering department teaching staff among about ten, which, of course, I took as more proof of my confronting the status quo, which is always a nice ego boost. Vive la femmes-in-tech revolution!

My career future was assured.

That confidence in this gender-driven edge carried me to my first full time job. On a flight back from Washington, D.C., I was telling my seat neighbor that I’d left my last job because I witnessed unethical client interaction practices. As we were taxiing to the runway, the man in front of us turned around with business card extended. “You’re a programmer? Here’s my card. Email me your resumé.”

It was the CEO of BombBomb, Connor McCluskey. Knowing him as I do now, I’m sure he would have done the same thing for any programmer espousing business ethics, regardless of gender, but at the time I felt like my ticket was in being female.

I loved my job at BombBomb. Our game dev team was tiny (five people total!) and we got along great; we were all young, suitably nerdy and all played video games. Any discomfort I felt with them, or the office at large, I dismissed as my being “too sensitive.”

That in and of itself was a clear outward sign to anyone looking in, but at the time, those hangups were just “something I had to get over.” Don’t get me wrong, they were fantastic people. There are only a few times I recall being uncomfortable about something that might not have been office-appropriate. Like the time I was explaining database “sharding” to our giggling customer service team. They thought I had said “sharting.” Gross.

Impostor Syndrome: Little Sister Or Nagger?

When the new-job euphoria wore off, my thinly grasped gender pride took a paranoid turn. I wasn’t surrounded by awesome teachers and peers who didn’t make any deal of my gender, but instead by people surprised and curious to see me on the development side of the building, and this nagged at me. Made me self-conscious. When my comments or criticisms were dismissed, I started wondering if it was because I was a junior programmer, or because I was female. I had sort of taken on the little sister vibe. Maybe they’d settled for a sub-par hire just because I was a girl?

Women on all-male teams may be less eager to speak out or take initiative, even when they have a lot to offer.

Women on all-male teams may be less eager to speak out or take initiative, even when they have a lot to offer.

I was experiencing a mild case of “impostor syndrome,” though I didn’t know it until I watched footage of Sabrina Farmer’s presentation at the 2012 USENIX WiAC summit. Irresponsibly, I can’t remember who linked me the video. I was skeptical and hesitant going in; the presentation is cringingly labeled ‘Overcoming My Biggest Roadblock, Myself’, and historically I’m not big on embracing and exposing one’s emotions.

I’m still not sure how I feel about her presentation. Her vulnerability makes my teeth ache and I really can’t relate to the mommy-hood spiel, but I can’t deny the impact of seeing someone so undeniably successful talk about her struggles like it was okay to have them.

As a result of her presentation, I took an interest in the subject of women in a male-dominated industry. I started reading about why people thought women weren’t going into STEM careers. Claims that we’re more susceptible to feelings of guilt. That we’re less likely to interrupt, or doggedly defend a stance. That this adherence to social etiquette/pressures make us easy targets for being talked-over or ignored. That we’re more likely to show embarrassment in the face of crude humor. That we’re more sensitive to our work environment surroundings, so, “yes, please” to the pretty coloured tissue box and a potted plant – but wait, never-mind, we don’t want the attention and judgments it might bring. (I had a plant and an owl mug. Don’t sacrifice the small joys in fear of possibility. A lot of my coworkers liked my owl mug.)

Most of these claims rang fairly true, though fortunately for me, to a much milder extent than some of the horror stories.

I feel guilt, for sure. Anything remotely my business (even something brought up casually) was now my problem and I had to fix it or oh-my-goodness-I-would-disappoint-the-world-and/or-my-coworker.

Both options were equally bad. While this attitude made me the preferred go-to for anyone outside the department (and who doesn’t love popularity), I had to get over it pretty quick to avoid burning out. I had to learn to say ‘I can’t help you right now’ and not feel like I’d personally let this person down. Apparently, that’s one of the things women are less prone than men to do: Say “No” when they really should.

Being able to say “No” became part of speaking up and taking a stand.

Questioning Decisions And Speaking Out

With speaking up, my actual challenge was to start asking why instead of just demurely accepting a code decision. I’ve always been vocal about what I believe is right, I just had to figure out how to follow through when it wasn’t clear to me. Sometimes, the ensuing discussion revealed a solution that was better. Even if I was wrong, learning why made me better prepared to be right next time; nobody can begrudge me that, right?

As for taking a stand, I doggedly continued to champion automated testing despite disinterested management because my opinion is valid and I would not have Impostor Syndrome. Yet, despite my efforts, I still shied away from standing my ground socially (rather than professionally).

One day a coworker patted me on the back. I was horrified (oh-my-goodness-why-would-you-do-that). I’m hugely averse to being touched. I knew he didn’t mean anything untoward (we’re friends to this day), but it still led to a flurry of discomfort. Instead of saying anything, I avoided him for a week. I didn’t want to rock the boat. It felt hugely offensive to say, “’I don’t feel comfortable around you,” even if it’s a conditional “…when you do X,” and I didn’t want to offend or insult.

This situation is one I don’t think men often find themselves in, but it’s not uncommon for women in every day life, tech industry not withstanding. Why, just the other day a waiter took my hands and told me to promise to come back. I was extremely uncomfortable and had no clue about his intentions but I didn’t want to cause a fuss so I just smiled and said something non-committal and was extremely glad that it wasn’t my credit card information he was getting with the bill. I wish I’d said something, but I still don’t know how to phrase it politely enough to avoid something unpleasant in my food. I’m probably never going back to that restaurant, an unfair result for the owners.

So yeah, I’m still not very good at taking a stand, and sometimes the little things pile up until I blur the line between taking a stand and being just plain pushy. I struggled with that a lot at the beginning of my job at BombBomb, but my coworkers put up pretty well with my revelation-induced adjustment period. My boss mentioned in casual review that I should “maybe be a little less adamant, sometimes,” paraphrased. My mentor, Charles, joked that he’d make bird noises in scrum meets if I was arguing something too hard. (He did so once; it was hilarious.)

Overall, I was super lucky to have my Woman-In-The-Workplace growing pains among decent human beings, and so, over time, I settled on a happy medium, professionally: Somewhere between paranoid and letting things go, feeling under-qualified and knowing I knew what I was being paid to know. Yet, some months after I parted ways with BombBomb in favor of freelance contract work, my mild case of Impostor Syndrome turned darkly acute.

Back In The Job Market

Was I being interviewed just because I was female? Was I being hired because of it? Why did the gender ratio always come up when talking to potential clients or companies? Was I a diversity check-box, screaming to be ticked regardless of my actual skill set?

I was suddenly doubting my credentials, my work, even my degree! Did I get a free pass just for being a woman? I mean, it must have looked great for the BI’s first graduating class to include one of those precious few STEM women.

Ah, impostor syndrome. That special brand of disillusionment that make you feel worthless despite plenty of evidence to the contrary. Other symptoms include:

  • A sensation that you don’t belong. (Why am I the only woman? Did I miss a memo?)
  • The feeling that you haven’t earned your successes. (How much of my being here is because I’m a woman?)
  • A nagging worry, fed by previous symptoms, that your skill set is fraudulent. (I have no idea what I’m doing and I really hope no one finds out.)

Most people who’ve heard of impostor syndrome know of it as a phenomenon affecting women in the tech industry, but it’s not limited to women. At the very least, two of my male classmates experienced it when the three of us were asked to panel at the 50th celebration of the Engineering Department at our Alma mater. We were prepped to answer questions about our experiences and reflect on how our degree had helped or hindered us.

Going in as a contractor without having any contracts, I felt pretty embarrassed. One panelist was happily working on high-speed access storage, and the other was moving to San Francisco to work for a game studio.

My embarrassment worsened when a professor asked me how they might encourage women to stay in STEM careers. I fuddled my way through an explanation of how I thought something makes us typically more averse to failure or criticism and less likely to speak up, be it our biological differences or cultural expectations of social behavior per gender, or both. I felt keenly under-qualified when I mentioned impostor syndrome and how I thought “awareness” was the key to helping women stick around. I felt like there was vibe of “this is mumbo-jumbo voodoo nonsense,” emanating from the crowd, and at that moment, I agreed. What the heck was I on about? Fortunately, no one aired that contention while the panel was on, otherwise I might have just died.

Imagine how startled I was when after the panel, the future San Fran guy mentioned feeling impostor syndrome and the “storage” guy agreed. Both these individuals were aware of impostor syndrome from other sources, so the concept wasn’t new to them, or at least, my rendition wasn’t the only one they’d heard. Our consensus was that none of us felt qualified to have been on that panel; that we didn’t really know anything but we were really good at faking it.

About a week later I was further surprised when I chanced on Dana Wortman and she nonchalantly commented that everything I’d mentioned was covered in her women’s’ studies class. So even if I’m babbling mumbo-jumbo about women’s emotions in the workplace, it’s mumbo-jumbo that multiple sources, accredited sources, agree with to varying degrees.

Impostor Syndrome is not just a gender issue: it can affect any and every member of a minority.

Impostor Syndrome is not just a gender issue: it can affect any and every member of a minority.

But you know, ‘Impostor Syndrome’ could strike anyone who’s ever been looked at sidelong for being an outlier, like San Fran and Storage guy: “fresh” college kids among seasoned Linux-beard pros. A black man in a team of white coworkers. A gay man surrounded by men with pictures of their wives and kids on their desks. We’re all susceptible because we’re all human, and humans have a habit of singling out the differences, any differences, regardless of their applicability.

So Impostor Syndrome is real. It’s real and it can only be defeated with the blade of confidence and an army of peer support, because all this – impostor syndrome, social behavior expectations, etc. – is real enough to enough people to need addressing.

Real enough that it’s keeping us from evening out the gender ratio in tech and science.

It Wasn’t Always Like This…

I don’t know how we got to this state. The ratio used to be far more even at the infancy of these fields.

I mean, it was a woman who, as Storage guy put it, ‘basically invented everything’. No, seriously. US Navy Rear Admiral Grace Hopper (nicknamed ‘Amazing Grace’ for being an all around kick-ass individual) invented the first compiler for a computer programming language with the Harvard Mark I in 1944. Think about that for a second. A woman invented the first compiler. You can’t get any more fundamental than that. Oh, she was also called “Grandma COBOL”. Does that ring any bells?

Margaret Hamilton is the poster child for women in early tech, she programmed at NASA and her work on the Apollo Guidance Computer Software saved the Apollo 11 mission in 1969 (that’s the one where we put people on the moon). Margaret also coined the term software engineer, so next time you hear someone complaining about “developers calling themselves engineers,” just tell them to look up Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.

The ratio of women to men in tech and science used to be much greater just a few decades ago.

The ratio of women to men in tech and science used to be much greater just a few decades ago.

And what about the handful of women that took part in breaking high-grade ciphers at Benchley Park during World War II? They aren’t famous enough to get cute nicknames or high profile magazine articles, but these women had a hand in winning the Second World War!

So how did we get here, so desperate to figure out how we recruit and maintain women in tech? How do we address it? I’d like to think that the answer lies in awareness, on everybody’s part.

Communication, awareness, and acknowledgment of intent is key to presenting reality.

I posit that my little quote applies to everything everywhere, but I feel it’s especially pertinent in this industry. The culture of many countries encourages hyper-vigilant behavior in women and girls. We’re constantly being told to be careful, to stick to public places, to travel with someone, even to carry around pepper spray or panic buttons. The message is that “Men are dangerous. Sketchy until proven solid. Treat them with a safe amount of suspicion and caution.”

Being in a male dominated industry underlines this vulnerability and makes us even more self conscious, self critical, and guarded. If we women are aware of this, we can check that instinct. If our male coworkers are aware of it, they can choose their words and actions more carefully.

This is, of course, a naive, hopeful solution. There will always be outliers, naysayers, anecdotes and unaddressable variables such as women who decide to raise a family rather than pursue their careers, but awareness is something in the scope of every single person reading this article. You, yourself, can change the environment of the tech and science industries for the better, just by being aware.

Hiring? Meet the Top 10 Freelance Developers for Hire in December 2016
Don't miss out.
Get the latest updates first.
No spam. Just great engineering and design posts.
Don't miss out.
Get the latest updates first.
Thank you for subscribing!
You can edit your subscription preferences here.

Comments

Jason Rogers
"Women on all-male teams may be less eager to speak out or take initiative, even when they have a lot to offer." If you're a woman on an "all-male team", how can it be an "all-male team"? The sad fact is that the ratio of women to men in STEM-related careers (not just those with STEM education degrees) is pretty skewed. If you have a team of developers where you're fortunate enough to have a woman present, count yourself (as a male or female) blessed and drop the all-male/bro-grammar/any-other-male-oriented derogations. Diversity is a wonderful goal in and of itself, because our backgrounds, likes and dislikes, approaches to problem-solving are all unique; informed by many things, not just our gender. You've got a lot of valid points in this post, which I very much appreciate. So keep plugging it. But, I don't appreciate the implication that it's still an "all-male" environment when you're part of the mix. Some of the "all-male" sensation may still exist, even when you're present, because it can be such a strong cultural bias. The burden is on you to break that bias, as much as it's on those that perpetuate the bias. I entered the software world without a STEM degree. I was a Music major; I was very much in the minority. I had a lot of hurdles to overcome in proving my worth, especially to those that were "on my level." I even cried "foul" a few times (in hindsight it was inappropriate in all cases). What I quickly found was that "professionalism" and common courtesy were the weapons of choice to slay my dragons. I wonder if that's where we should be directing these kinds of conversations too.
Bryce Ott
Great read Kate! I very much appreciate your clarity and vulnerability in sharing your experiences and insights; something which I believe would benefit EVERY individual who operates within a team regardless of industry or gender. As you probably guessed from my profile, I am in fact male, but can definitely relate to many of the experiences and concerns that you share, albeit I'm sure at a much less intense level. I have worked with some amazing female technologists in my career, and personally feel very strongly that there is NO place in our industry for gender discrimination, or any other discrimination for that matter. I have 3 daughters myself, and as a father, I want nothing more than for them to feel like they can follow their dreams, regardless of what they may be. Thank you for adding your very insightful, candid, and non-defensive comments to the bigger dialog. Best of luck to you in everything!
skyeye2
Believe me: for a software engineer to cite psychology theory, it tells a lot about the "engineer"..
Kate Scheer
Thank you very much for your kind words, Bryce. I have no doubts that your daughters are going to be fantastically productive with your support, no matter what field they go into.
Kate Scheer
Yes, psychology is a soft science. It is also, however, an imperative one. The very website we're using was designed with psychology in mind. :) Any field that dismisses the human psyche is one that will be sorely lacking.
kennymac
? Imposter syndrom has nothing to do with minorities or gender... it affects everyone! Suggest you look to work in a more balanced environment, look for flat structure, equality award employers. I should say that at least 80% of the people I've worked with have been poor programmers. Only 0.1% of them are sexist / discriminatory, but at least 5% are controlling / psychopaths / middle managers. Choose your workplace carefully.
micharch54
My wife was a software engineer. Her biggest challenge was that men in the office had a habit of going 1 on 1 to lunch with each other but never felt comfortable with doing that with her. This led to a quiet separation in the office where everyone was buddy buddy but her. we worked at the same company at the time in different departments and I even mentioned to a couple of the guys that it was alright to go to lunch with her. Unfortunately that's a social stigma that I don't think is going away anytime soon. She eventually decided to become a stay at home mom. Besides a brief stint as a developer again which ended the same way, she's been very happy at home. The biggest problem with the mostly male situation is that socially it can mean there's a barrier to entry. This isn't a fault of anyone, it's just a fact about how people treat people outside of a group.
Alice W
God forbid a developer be self-aware. The imposter syndrome described is something my male coworkers relate to as well. It's the nature of introspective, analytical individuals to analyze their own skillset as skeptically as they do others. This is not a weakness, knowing yourself, being aware of your thought processes & where they come from/how & why you're reacting, are important to improving all of the work that you do. It's not that different from the development of visual tools within Agile, being aware of how people work & why is how we improve the field. I'm sorry for you that you see this as a weakness. Unless what it "feels you about the engineer" is the above, in which case, props to you. But I'm going to assume with the "quotes" that's not what you meant.
Alice W
I think it's pretty clear that if you do not see any other females around you, to YOU, your environment is all male, and can be more difficult than if you see yourself reflected in at least one other individual. I think it's a minor point, and don't want to detract from the rest of your positive thoughts.
Alice W
I was similarly not discouraged as a student from pursuing STEM classes/interests, as a very outdoorsy, "playing with bugs" type of kid. e did not have a computer at home (not until I was out of college), and I think that strengthened my interest in them (you always want what you don't have, it builds curiosity!). However unlike the author, I went to a small liberal arts school where the CS department head & other professor were both women. The female/male ratio was more like 30/70%. It took me a lot longer to get out into the field and witness some of the more skewed female/male ratios, and I really do think it helped keep me from internalizing SOME of the biases (or at least basing them on my gender). The CS department head was also the head of the Leadership courses & worked with the surrounding community in that regard. All this to say, having great leadership role models who were similarly undeterred is very important. My hope is that as more women take on leadership positions, women will be more inclined to enter the field. I was originally going into advertising, but (being a small school) the CS department head was also my counselor. She helped me see the benefits of this field & my aptitude for it. She also had me looking at it as certainly not dry/boring (I think that has to do with some of the reason women don't join, they don't think of it as having a lot of social interaction and don't want to be stuck alone in a room with a box). She helped me see it as a lot of puzzle-like problem solving, which a lot of women are great fans of. Even with all of that positive influence though, I still experience the self-doubt "impostor syndrome". I can't blame it on my workplace though, as I don't really feel like it's because of the percentage of women present. A lot of men I work with experience the same thing. If anything, I think it reflects certain personality types. People who can be socially anxious, analytical, and introspective tend to be as critical of their own skills as they are of their peers. Everyone in my family has the "someday they're going to realize I'm just pretending to be an adult" feeling, and it's no different with coding. If anything I'm somewhat baffled when people with less technical knowledge confidently go into leadership or sales/marketing and can make statements without the word "but" and "except". They really to just have a different type of personality. I've read that women are more likely to use that "but" "except" "just" type of language, and I am always wondering if it's because more women have this type of personality, or if it's part of the social expectation among women that we be self-effacing. Men socially don't expect that from each other. Fixing this might be key to making us more confident! I wonder if there's anything we can do in child-rearing or at the elementary school age to keep girls from applying this pressure to each other? Just my thoughts, thank you so much for your article.
Aha
How are you just going to throw out that a majority of Bankers and the 1% also have Imposter Syndrome, but none of its symptoms? Why you gotta trivialize important stuff?
Aha
I am so glad you've made this post, to remind me there are not only people in the world who are unstudied, but also that they reach such levels of esteem in their lives as to cultivate an Attitude of Evil (think Banality of Evil, but it's proactive and quietly menacing), which makes posts such as yours, in this forum, possible.
kennymac
Aha sorry, perhaps you think I'm saying the opposite of what I said? I agree with Kate Scheer! I Imposter syndrome affects *everyone*, regardless of gender, ethnic origin. Check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impostor_syndrome#Prevalence. It's a human trait. You might think your age means you are out of date, etc. Choose your workplace carefully, as an inclusive culture makes a big difference to the people you encounter on a daily basis. Sexist folks don't tend to work for someone, e.g. like ThoughtWorks, because 46% of their developers are women. My advice is that you should find a niche where morons fear to tread (if you can combine with technical excellence, cool). When reviewing workplaces, ask what proportion of the leadership team are women.
Daragh Byrne
Thanks for this article. It certainly can affect anyone. I've found mindfulness techniques incredibly useful for managing my own impostor syndrome over the years. I've documented my experiences at http://www.thehappytechie.com/mindfulness/how-mindfulness-meditation-stopped-me-feeling-like-a-fake - I offer what I hope is some practical advice. Ultimately our emotional and cognitive responses are learned habits, which can change and alter over a lifetime, through experience or effort of will :)
skyeye2
there are people unstudied and some ignorant in the sense of not knowing things.. so as the writer is not a software engineer on paper despite the claim, I let you draw your conclusion of having to spend time on a useless post and made me spending time to reply... "I can say I'm King of US and I think someone would still believe me"
skyeye2
I thought quotes around the engineer word were enough but at least it demonstrate that people don't read, they just capture the words they want and make up a reply.. that's real psychology
skyeye2
Exactly! with the quotes that's really what I didn't mean. So why, in doubt, you still wrote a post at all !?!?!
Miroslav Hlad O'Mor Martinovič
Very close to what I was going to write: "Impostor syndrome has nothing to do with being singled out, therefore it has nothing to do with gender, race, being or not being a minority, or whatever of that kind. The core reason behind impostor syndrome in STEM is that intelligent and smart people tend to be more aware of the shortcomings in their intellect and knowledge, which makes them feel like they don't belong and don't deserve, because everyone around is perfect, because that's how they act most of the time (because that's just how people are)". Still nice to read something from a girl who, so far, seems to be largely immune against the feminazi bullshit brainwashing :)
Kyiv
I strongly believe, that's a nonsense (to say the softest). If a person is a good developer (no matter man or women) - s/he will always find a good relations in a team. Bad team may happen, but in this case its just a bad team - it has nothing to do with gender of the developer. If a person is a bad developer-man - then he is either doing something (improving a skill), or not doing anything - simple as that. If a person is a bad developer-women - then she is ether doing something (improving a skill), or posting article like this about discrimination - again, simple as that.
Hunter Stevens
I agree with others in that this article does not model impostor syndrome well. From what I understand, it appears as feelings of inadequacy or over-highlight of even the smallest flaws. Because you feel weak in one aspect of a language, you feel weak in the entire language. I would say that "Am I being hired because I am female?" DOES fall under the syndrome. Instead of being confident in your skills, you think something unrelated is defining you -- rather than a potential employer noticing your OSS contributions, you think that being a woman shadows it all. Similar feelings, I am sure, appear in all minorities, as explained by the author. However, I do not think discomfort based on "social norms" is related to impostor syndrome. Rather, misunderstanding, ignorance, or discrimination about the minority in question. It is still important to speak up about your discomforts. (Easy to say, but trust me -- very hard to follow through on!) Otherwise, coworkers will (a) think nothing of it, (b) assume you are alright with it, or (c) think it's okay because you are not speaking up. Overall, it's great to see more women in STEM highlighting these issues in blogs like this one. As the author said, the scenario of "some good, some bad, overall average" is not showcased enough.
oldboy
I honestly believe that sexism in our industry especially among younger people is insanely over exaggerated. Male techies aren't worried about women undeperforming because they're women. They're worried about women being indoctrinated by this politically correct victimhood narrative and as a result losing confidence and starting to feel alienated. This is what most male developers / techies say after having a few beers and opening up. There are tons of female developers out there who spend their time programming instead of writing articles about sexism. They are satisfied, make great money and have tons of opportunities in front of them. Their voices aren't heard because they're busy living great lives. I'm pretty sure that in our industry being a man born and living in the balkans is a much bigger disadvantage then being a woman born in SF. Isn't it weird how great and passionate techies still find a way to succeed despite being 'underprivileged'? I'm sure there are real bigots out there but they are few and far between. And also remember that there are many forms of discrimination in tech. Being a woman? Not having formal CS degree? Born outside USA? Being socially awkward? Being a designer who doesn't know how to code? I could go on forever. We seriously need to get rid of this PC BS because it's pulling everyone down. Edit: Article author seems like a cool lady and I don't mean to disparage her in any way. I'm talking about this whole PC movement (that's thankfully slowly dieing). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5dNbWGaaxWM http://blog.interviewing.io/we-built-voice-modulation-to-mask-gender-in-technical-interviews-heres-what-happened/
comments powered by Disqus