3 Things I Learned (So Far) as a Woman in Tech

I’ve been working in the tech industry since 2012. I know, I know, not a lot of time, but across 4 companies, 2 roles, 2 major cities and an engineering degree, here are three things that have stood out to me being a female in tech.

The right mentor changes everything.

The thing I remember most was that out of 20+ students, I was the only girl. And according to the National Girls Collaborative Project that’s fairly normal:

In 2016 male students were more likely than female students to take engineering (3% versus 1%) and computer science courses (7% versus 4%) and enrolled in AP computer science A at a much higher rate (81% males; 19% females).

I was also really short (still am), and the boys in the class used to mess with me by putting my projects on the top shelf so I couldn’t reach them, or groaning when they were paired with me on a project. But I also remember Mr. Herman coming to my defense every time, and using his humor to keep the class fun and to keep my confidence up. I aced that class, and went on to attend one of the top 10 engineering colleges in the U.S.

Education and empathy can be powerful tools.

Diversity leads to better tech.

And why is it important to have a workplace male-to-female ratio that reflects the world’s population? Because research shows that more diverse teams produce more successful products in tech. There are many examples of tech not recognizing darker skin tones potentially due to the homogeneity of the developing team’s skin tones. And decades of research have shown that socially diverse groups are more innovative than homogeneous groups.

Summary

Interaction designer @Google | Previously @Priceline.com and @UnitedAirlines

Interaction designer @Google | Previously @Priceline.com and @UnitedAirlines