What about girls in Tech?
This article was written to drive traffic to a Business Developer's LinkedIn.
She works for a tech startup.
The amount of girls choosing techy careers has increased over the years. Lucky for us! Parents just like me, are teaching their daughters that they don’t need to be perfect or adapt exactly to what the rules say, but instead to take chances, to build things. And now, the new generation of women is ready to make mistakes and to take on the world.
As a mother of two daughters who love technology, and living in Houston so close to NASA, I don’t need to ask why this subject is so important: I see, live and breath it as part of my everyday life.
According to a survey done by Women & Information Technology, from the whole tech workforce in the US, only 26% of them are women. That number is by no means encouraging when talking about gender equality and even less if the conversation goes around a high position in the hierarchy of companies. This issue has been addressed so many times for years now. There are non-profits fighting this dilemma, empowering women to go into the tech world and companies taking this matter into consideration when hiring.
When checking the survey numbers I asked myself: why are 11-year-old girls so into computer science, but then lose that interest when they reach age 15 (there’s a really good article by CNN here)?
Even though I work in a software development company, I’m on the soft side of the tech world (I’m Head of Sales). As I was thinking about this issue and trying to understand why the female workforce is so low, I decided to turn to my colleagues. At Bixlabs we have many dev-girls from different parts of Latin America.
When talking to them, Sofia from Uruguay told me that growing up she always liked to solve math problems in a creative way, and Computer Engineering sounded like the perfect career for her: She loves it because: “it's full of challenges where you have to mix creativity with practice and theories. The fusion of it all to find the best solution is what I’m passionate about”.
Tatiana is from Colombia and likes designing systems. She studied engineering because she wanted a career in math, and wasn’t discouraged about the low percentage of female students. On the other hand, Lucrecia told me: “I got my first personal computer when I was in school and I would spend hours on it. I soon learned that there was a gap between those who could understand it and those who could not. I became more and more interested in how things work and I now know technology really is everywhere. I am glad to be literate in this new language affecting our current world and being able to spread this knowledge to all industries that need someone to light the way as we move through these times of warp speed changes”.
Ingrid was one of the last girls-in-tech to join the company. She is currently studying for her master's degree in Spain. She took a little time out of her busy schedule to tell me what motivated her to deepen into this field: She told me she has always been a bit geeky and felt inspired by how coding works. In her own words: "The first time I could open the CD reader because of code I made, was so exciting. I decided it was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life."
These are the women changing the IT field. Girls who challenged the system, the percentages, and the stereotypes and followed their passion. Coding, math, and solving problems through creativity. It's an honor to work with them.