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Martin Radicke for SinnerSchrader Engineers

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Taking the perspective of a female dev

I believe in diverse teams. I always did. For me diversity has many dimensions, but gender balance and inclusion sticks out to me here. We have too few women in the tech sector. The ratio was bad during my studies 20 years ago (around 5%). And allthough I watched it slightly increasing throughout my professional life it's still far from being balanced.

Since the problem is clear, the solution to attract more women into tech seems a lot harder to find. Honestly when I started to think about it I didn't have a clue where to start. About what I could do to help change the situation. So to get started I sat down with a colleague of our organisation and basically asked her: What can this company do to be more attractive to female devs? And as she seems a little surprised that I wanted to talk to her about this in the first place, some interesting points came to the table:

  • from here experience not everyone understands why diverse teams just do better.

  • more networking and alignment with other female devs within the organisation is desired to learn and to get inspired from each other.

  • she does not want to be treated any special, positively or negatively, even if she is the only female in an otherwise male team, and only be judged by her competence.

  • she would love to have the chance to work side by side with another female dev

We also talked about what could be improved to hire more women devs. Here are some of here ideas:

  • in jobs posts explicitly elaborate about professional development and option to attend conferences

  • also provide a clear profile description

  • specifically utilise female devs and their networks to spread job posts to their (female) buddies

  • sponsor more female bootcamps and show some presence there

So for me that was a very inspiring talk and helped me a lot to get into this topic and to change my perspective. I learned that we should encourage, connect and strengthen our tech women at SinnerSchrader and to clearly articulate to all teams why diversity matters. And we should include the female dev perspective even stronger in our hiring process - not only women will benefit from this.

On a personal note there is another woman that I want to encourage to at least have a deeper look into the tech world, and that is my 7-year old daughter. We started last year with some and allthough she could not read at the time it caught her interest. I will certainly continue to spend time with her on this and similar programs.

Discussion (1)

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Amelia Vieira Rosado 🐣✨ • Edited on

Great post! One thing stood out to me. For instance, how your colleague doesn't want to be treated differently because she is a woman. I hate that special treatment myself. Matter of fact, I don't want it. The reason being that I feel as though it alienates me even more. Another thing that doesn't sit well with me in the tech space, is how sometimes you see conferences jam packed with male speakers only. It gets annoying after a while, for me as a woman at least, because I know there are women in tech, but somehow I never see them. Lastly, I really don't know how to explain that skewed balance in the tech space. However, I am under the impression that perhaps the majority of women don't feel much for tech as a career path. I can't speak for them, but that is how it looks to me. I wonder if more female faces in the tech space will really encourage more women to get into STE(A)M. After all, what people choose to do with their professional lives, is their choice.