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Thanks to Other Women, Vicki Coded

vickilanger profile image Vicki (she/her) ・2 min read

What I thought was equal

I have yet to work a job in tech. So far, the majority of my tech experience is Twitter-based. My twitter feed is full of amazingly supportive, helpful, and positive people of all genders. I was overjoyed to see my first conference, All Things Open 2019, looked a lot like my diverse Twitter experience.

May not be as equal as I thought

I have since been to a few meetups. That's when I realized that my tech Twitter experience may not exactly be the most accurate view of tech. The meetups I've been to were at least 90% masculine. This was part of the reason I didn't want to go to meetups. Who wants to be the only woman walking into a room full of men?

But there's a chance

The one meetup was organized by @ladyleet , so I knew I wouldn't be alone. But what a crazy concept that I should be thinking about anything other than whether or not the content of the meetup might be useful!

There is room to improve

I'm not super sure what would be a surefire way to have more equality in tech. I do have some ideas:

  • invite womxn friends to attend/speak at meetups/conferences
  • introduce tech to children in fun ways, but don't force it
  • don't let womxn skip events due to childcare
  • make sure womxn see other womxn doing technical things
  • flexible work schedules (thank my spouse for this one) text message that reads: "Probably a flex schedule like we have here is a start. You know, since moms raise children and dads don’t have to"

Maybe don't ask my spouse, this was their 1st suggestion. 😫😬
text from me that reads: "If you worked in an industry with, not enough women, how would you make the industry more inviting/welcoming/attractive for women?" and a response from my spouse that says: "Fire all the men"


Thanks to @pachicodes for the title that I blatantly stole and made my own.

Thanks to @thecodepixi for creating the Women in Tech list that made my Twitter so awesomely diverse.
(Here's the list!)

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vickilanger profile

Vicki (she/her)

@vickilanger

Vicki was once a manager of aircraft maintenance and is now charming Python. She coded Vets Who Code bot & Code Questions bot. When Vicki isn't petting her cat, she’s throwing a ball for her dogs.

Discussion

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I have had a similar experience. I went to college for mechanical engineering. During that time it was very clear that it was 90+% men. I diverged into data science and web over the past few years. My Twitterand conferences on YouTube are fairly diverse, at least it doesn't feel like the 90+% from college. Many of the people that inspire me with amazing skills of all spectrum on a daily basis are women. I recently read the state of js survey and was a bit shocked to see the 90% male dominated metric. I knew it was heavily male dominated, but not that bad.

This just means for women must have a higher rate of inspirational content in tech.

 

Interesting to hear you also see the same. I’m really happy to know it’s not just me seeing all of these amazing women doing these things.

As for the state of JavaScript, I think there is a good chance the number is wrong. I didn’t see the survey until the results were out. That would lead me to believe it wasn’t disseminated very well. I could be wrong, but I would be it’s not actually 90%. 🤷🏼‍♀️

It may be true that women produce more inspirational content, but I’m sure there are just as many men with awesome stuff to say and share.

 

I don't know that it makes you feel better, but many of the men at the meetups or conferences also feel intimidated due to imposter syndrome.

It even happens to me when I'm speaking at a meetup. Do I belong on stage, teaching people about things? Even with decades of experience, the intimidation doesn't go away.

It's easy to feel like we're the only person in the room with these feelings but the likely truth is that most of us are sharing the same intimidated feeling in one way or another.

 

It's always good to hear about the experience of others. I would hope the imposter thing goes away eventually, but probably not. I think that stems from people expect you to know all sorts of obscure facts. I think it's best to just know that you know your shit.

I understand the stage thing. I think that happens to most people. I have a talk in a couple months, and I'm already freaking out about it. Though, I know what I'm talking about, very well.

I try to talk to the people who look like they're lost. I know that's always helpful.