Claire Miller wrote an excellent article in New York Times yesterday on Gender bias in Technology – Technology’s Man Problem. She talked to me along with many other women in technology careers. I have also previously written – encouraging girls to learn to code – Learn to Program.
There is so many thoughts in my mind today, I don’t know where to start.
First and foremost, I would say, to the women who have experienced disparagement or harassment in technology careers – don’t give up. It wasn’t easy, but, I eventually found what I wanted to do, and am doing it how I want to. It wouldn’t have been possible to build this company if I hadn’t gained some valuable coding experience first. I was always focused on learning. Keep learning. If you are determined to, you can learn the technology and build your own future.
Secondly, not all companies are the same. My biggest mistake with Expedia was not leaving sooner – that echos something Julie said when she left GitHub too. I’ve worked at companies that are better, respectful and supportive. I’ve found support and respect at UW PCE. I have met many respectful and supportive individuals at companies where I consulted too.
Thirdly, reach out. The first year when I started building this company was tough. There was a lot of missteps, soul-searching, isolation and failures. I din’t reach out till very late. When I did, I found supportive men and women – in forums such as , women 2.0 founders, MIT forum. Meeting them, hearing their stories, supporting and being supported by them – all helped me feel like I belong again.
Last, and definitely not the least – ask the decent men in technology that you know to support and encourage women and minorities in technology. Because, it’s not a gender issue, it’s not a female thing, it affects them too. Its technology’s man problem.