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Women in Computer Science: How bad can it be?

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As a girl whose in the middle of getting her degree in Computer Science, it seems to me that there's a common topic that's always discussed in talks about empowering women in tech: The struggles of women in tech.

What should I expect when I eventually start on the professional world?

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I never felt any stigma, pressure or other bad things people are talking about. But I have a "male brain" and am a nerd, so maybe it's that. Or I just don't notice anything, can't tell. Also, it's Finland, there isn't even "he/she" distinction in the language :D.

 

I'm pretty similar, very "male brained" and into similar topics as my male peers. I've also had a good experience over here in America and never had any stigma against me for being a woman.

 

Developer Patricas Aas has written some wonderful survival tips for women in tech that I wish I had read before I started my career.

I studied computer science and am currently in my second job as a software engineer for a great company. I love my role, am treated well, and feel safe. There are no other women in the company which is a shame but it's a small startup and I hope this changes as we expand.

My first job was not so good. On my first day my (lady!) manager told me not to be nervous because I can flick my hair and ask a boy to help me. This was especially cruel because as an ugly girl this has never been the case 😅
I was constantly being pressured to change to a management role because 'women are good with people' (but I'm not!) and it took me a looong time to get over my impostor syndrome because some of the people I worked with truly did believe I couldn't or shouldn't be there.

I stayed in my first job for 6 years because I thought everywhere would be the same and I would just have to put up with it if I wanted to work in this field that I enjoy so much. I don't know how you'll be treated when you start your career but if it isn't well then I hope you look for a new role and try again because you can and deserve to be treated with respect.

 

I've been thinking more and more lately that a lot of these talks are driving women away from tech instead of empowering them. If all we talk about is the bad, how can anyone see the good?

Things are better now than say, 10 years ago, for sure. Are they perfect? No. But no industry is.

If you're passionate about computer science, you'll have a rewarding career. Occasionally you might run across someone ignorant, but again, those people are everywhere. Most people are awesome and want to see you succeed.

So what should you expect? An awesome and rewarding career and don't take anything less. If you end up in a bad environment, you can always always leave. Better options are always available to you.

 

It can be good, bad, everywhere in between. About the only thing I can say you should expect is that it's very common for women to be taken less seriously than men. Sometimes putting extra effort in can ameliorate this effect, sometimes it doesn't, but it's useful to be able to recognize when it's happening so you can act accordingly.

 

This is a great topic. I read "The Complete Software Delevoper's Career Guide" by John Sonmez. It has a chapter about women in tech and it is awesome. I'd recommend you to read it if you can. Here is a post about it
simpleprogrammer.com/women-technol...

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Esther Claudino profile image
Student trying to make her way through the coding world.
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