Women in Tech – Positive Controversy?

Positive controversy

Positive Controversy?  Yes, it’s happening right now for Women in Tech.

There have been many stories in the news over the past few weeks about how women in technology have been treated badly. And almost as many stories about the reaction of people to those facts.

From CEOs who have resigned, to CEOs who have spoken out saying “maybe they didn’t realize what they were doing” (bullshit) to companies working on culture change and women feeling empowered to tell their own stories.  Diversity and inclusion are being talked about, and many companies are working hard to create a culture where diversity and inclusion are not only understood but also practiced.

The stories are varied in frequency, impact, and viciousness.  The one thing they all have in common is that women in technology are often treated as though a) they shouldn’t be there because it makes men uncomfortable, b) they can’t possibly know how to code, c) if they are going to be in this profession, they should accept lewd behaviour and worse, or d) they can be successful but only to a point. (That point being a level in the organization just below the person who is judging them).

But…these stories are all positive for one reason.

Because women are in these jobs, and it’s making people uncomfortable, and that leads to talking about it, and women standing up for themselves, and other men and women standing up for them, …and ultimately change.

When I started in technology, there were no women managers in the technology department of the company I was in.  And now women are not only in manager roles, they are also in executive roles, and CIO roles, and in roles as CEOs leading tech companies.

Imagine the arrogance of women doing that?

Imagine the bravado, the intelligence, the tenacity, the grit!

Go girls go!  Keep showing up.  Keep making people uncomfortable.  Keep proving yourselves.  And while you’re doing all that, make a conscious choice to stand up for other Women in Tech who need your support.

I look forward to the day young women in technology ask us what all the fuss was about because they are treated so normally they don’t know the challenges that existed.

Let’s help make that happen.



2 Comment

  1. Giulia says: Reply

    This is my favourite post to date Kelley!
    It’s so sad that this is still happening. Even from a sales perspective as a woman selling into IT (at IBM), they only had one woman per software pillar, typically a 1 to 6 ratio. I’m sure the 1 woman was to check off an HR box. At Gartner I only have 2 female CIOs out of 20 companies I support 🙁
    With focus on STEM, and people like you and I advocating for women in technology, I have high hopes for the next generation.

  2. Laura Murray says: Reply

    We now have seats at the table, but I like your reference to making a “conscious choice to stand up for other Women in Tech”. There is definitely still work to be done. Have a great week!

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