At the beginning of July, Business Insider posted their “22 Of the Most Powerful Women Engineers in The World.” These women include 1 President, 1 CEO, 1 CTO, 4 VPs from companies like LinkedIn, Facebook, Oracle, Yahoo, Google, Intel, and SpaceX.
The article states: “There’s a huge push these days to encourage more girls to learn to code and to hire more women engineers once they graduate. The tech industry knows it can’t fill all the jobs it has while discouraging half the population from joining the industry. It also knows that it can’t do a good job of designing new tech products for women if women aren’t part of the design process.
Because women are vastly outnumbered by men in technical jobs (about 3:1), they are even harder to find in leadership roles.
But they do exist. And once a year, we like to give a shout-out to these women.”
I got my Information Systems degree at 30. Whatever the reasons (and some are internal, some are external), after 14 years as a secretary and now an office manager, tech has become a hobby because I have never been able to get into a tech job.
So here’s pretty much my reaction every time I hear this (and we’ve been hearing this for years, haven’t we?):
“Oh, look, see? We talk about women in tech once a year, and only the token few at the upper levels. The rest of you, the rest of the year can bugger off.”
While women like me – good women, women who are passionate about technology, women who graduate from smaller or regional colleges, women who might get a STEM degree later in life to get into a better career – cannot get a foot into the technology sector, what messages are being sent to younger women? While women like me are applying to YOUR company, and getting passed over for someone with an H1B, what messages are you sending to the high school junior deciding on her future?
14 years later, technology is just a hobby, sharing my spare time with my low-tech hobbies of cross-stitch and knitting. My skills are far behind, and quite frankly the passion is gone. Blogging, adding a female voice to technology news, advocacy, reviews, and opinions is much more interesting to me now.
So, Business Insider, SCREW YOU. Once a year you write about “powerful” women? I say ANY woman in technology – whether they’re slinging code, mining data, massaging UIs, or even writing and blogging about YOUR SHIT – is a powerful woman.
Reference: Business Insider