Last week I wrote a blog post about a conversation I had with a young girl about women who work in technology. I did not anticipate such a massive response! #1 on Hacker News and almost 40,000 page visits in 24 hours. I’m encouraged to know that so many people are thinking about this topic.
In case a few people are still listening, I have one suggestion to make. Now, I know that this is a complex issue and there isn’t an easy solution. So instead of offering a solution, I would like to offer a small, positive step.
So here it is.
If you are a person – of any gender! – who works closely with technology, make friends with a woman who does not know much about technology.
If you are a woman who does not know much about technology, make friends with a person who works closely with technology.
My hope is that this will encourage more women to talk about technology. Then perhaps their daughters and your daughters will see this interaction and it will become ordinary for them. Then maybe one day it will become ordinary for women to talk about technology. And one day maybe it will become ordinary for women to work in technology too.
And hey, even if it doesn’t end up solving the big issue, at least you’ve made a new friend! I’m sure many of you will say that you already have friends like these, which is wonderful. I do too. I could use a few more.
Or in a nutshell – diversify your networks, you may end up being a role model, and you may even learn something.
We live in almost Frankenstein times, where we have a real hunger for technology and the opportunities it offers, but at the same time, a bit of a phobia about it.
It was interesting to be in IT in the 90s. Almost every pub conversation you had where you said “I work in IT” would eventually involved “will my fridge still work in the year 2000?”. It did … ;-)
And then there’s @railsgirls of course. Wonder how that initiative will pan out.