There are so many blog posts and articles that I see daily on how to get more women working in tech. They are all over. Every major publication, news site, or tech blog now has a section about women. That is great. I think we should keep doing that. But, if we want to expose more women to what it is like to work in many different roles in tech then we need to expose women of all ages and all expertise to real jobs that women have in tech at all levels. A lot of these articles talk about the lack of women in tech and give advice on how to get more women there. But, the only articles I read about women working in tech are with C level or VP level people being featured on those posts.
- How do we get more women leaving college to work in the tech space? I see this one everyday. There are lots of articles about the data on why we need more women graduating college and entering the STEM fields but we are not covering stories of real women in those kinds of roles at the entry level roles. If we want to expose college women to these roles then we need to feature real stories on for example, an entry level engineer at a small startup vs. a big tech company. Talk about what that is like and find real women out there in these kinds of roles so we can expose more young women to what it would be like to work at different kinds of tech companies.
- How do we get women to not leave tech for other industries and other jobs? Maybe I think in simple terms but sometimes that is a good thing. Sometimes overanalyzing data can lead to just talking about data and not actually looking around you to answer questions like this. I work in tech and I have women who sit next to me everyday. I also know lots of women who had babies and children while working in tech and then they come back after having their kids. We need to respect women and respect what they want out of a job at different times in their lives. Maybe if we write more articles about the things that certain companies offer women that is different than saying working in corporate america then they might want to join tech companies over those standard paths in life.
These examples go on and on and on and on. That is not what I want to focus on. I Want to focus on asking journalists out there who care about women working in tech to really think about why they care. Are you just writing these articles because you know that "women in tech" is a hot topic. Or do you actually want to make a difference in exposing more women to tech and startups? I feel like some journalists and media/news sites are just taking advantage of this topic because it is a HOT one. I wonder if any of these news or tech sites have actually asked their readers what they want to read about around this topic. I would think that women in tech and not in tech want the same thing. They want to read about REAL women. When I say REAL women I mean women not at the C level and VP level. Those articles are everywhere and they are useful. But, to get more women into the tech space you need to write stories and real articles about the everyday woman working in tech. Write about her story and what she does. Create a real experience for that young woman looking at career sites and get her thinking about how she should look into tech jobs instead of other roles. Write articles about women moving from Corporate America to a small tech startup and how her perspective helped that company grow.
There are contradicting statements out there about what it is really like to work in tech. There are people who say you feel isolated as a woman and then there are people who say they don't feel isolated and love it. Both of those are real. I want to read more stories like that. Regardless, we need to spread more REAL stories of what it is really like to work in tech. From real women, everyday women like me, like my colleagues, like people I walk past on the street in kendall square and when I go out to visit my territory in Silicon Valley and San Francisco. We idealize the C level and VP level stories and we need to start focusing on the entry and middle levels to share stories that the everyday woman can relate to. We can all aspire to be a CEO one day but what about the in between?
There are stories that have a lot of data in them (thank you) but I want to read about real stories about real women who have real things to say. We read the same reasons everyday on why there are not enough women in tech and how to fix it. Just writing about the problems is not going to help the issue.
If we focus on real stories of the women working in tech at all levels and all parts of the org we will start to expose more women to what it is like to work and tech. Hopefully that can start to get more women thinking that tech is for them!