Last year I managed to convince my dream company to hire me. Some days I still can't believe it's real.
After six months, there are many things I could share about why I'm so happy I made this change. One aspect which was important to me even before I started though: my direct manager is a woman.
Now, I haven't been in the tech industry for too long. It will be three years in June since I completed my coding boot camp. In that time I've had four direct managers - all male. Their managers were all male too. Most of the managers I knew of at other companies were also male.
To say I'm excited to experience having a female manager would be an understatement.
Why was this so important to me?
You can't be what you can't see.
I know I'm new to the industry. I'm still learning. Some days I feel utterly useless. One day though (far in the future!), I'd like to manage a development team. I believe I'd be quite good at managing a team.
Unfortunately, when all I saw were male leaders, I doubted that I would ever be able to get there. It wasn't a confidence issue in myself. I couldn't imagine any of my female peers promoted to management either. It didn't seem like a possibility.
My excitement about having a non-male manager is not about different management techniques. It's not about being able to chat more openly about "women's issues" as some men assumed (whatever the heck those are). It's not that I like women better than men.
It's about being able to see what is possible for my future.
I can now start to dream that if I put in the work and gain the knowledge and experience, I could reach that level one day.
Ever wonder why someone from an underrepresented group is reluctant to join your non-diverse team? Consider how important representation is to their career growth.