Socially relevant days have become part of ventures' schedules. Most likely, you've already seen some brands' logos changed to a purple-ish palette. Perhaps, a simple LinkedIn post "celebrating" women in all fields. Yet, as you may know, we have a different approach.
These dates have a rooted history based on inequality and built on stereotyping. Women grow up with particular social instructions that even enclose what to do for a living. And until today, unfortunately, the IT field can be a gentlemen's club. Days like this are about human beings rather than ventures. Thus, we wanted to do what we always do: give those who experience these inequalities the voice to speak.
Capicua provided a form to all women within the team. It had some Q&A fields with ground questions, and open spaces to express thoughts or feelings in their minds. This process was not mandatory by any means, and it also was completely anonymous. We aimed to respect privacy and treat these stories with the respect they deserve. So, without further ado, here are some colleagues' thoughts on Women's Day and the IT world.
Would you like to share an experience working in the IT Industry?
W1: One time, I had two coworkers (front and backend leads) try to redesign a web app behind the boss's back, i.e., simplify it, as a product of ignorance. I (a woman, senior to both of them and knowing the product but working remotely) knew the product couldn't undergo that kind of radical change, even if they tried). Somehow they were caught. It was unclear if they wanted to steal the idea or aimed to help the company against its antiquated nature. In any case, they were fired.
W2: Being in a non-dev role, I often feel underestimated in development-niche talks. While my work doesn't relate to it, I've actually studied diverse dev fields. Thus, it's sometimes annoying when often men talk to me about development like I was a child. It's like The Office quote: "why don't you explain this like I'm five?" Except that I never asked that question.
Did you ever feel treated differently because of your sex/gender?
W1: Yes, many times. But I guess we've normalized this and feel like it's not a big deal or simply ignore the fact that it might be because of our gender.
W2: Welp, the list here goes beyond the IT field. From what I choose to wear to all my personal choices. Yet, most of my negative experiences are from work experiences. Back when I was younger. I often encountered male bosses who interrupted me or repeated what I said, making it look like their idea. But the most beautiful (/sarcasm) tale comes from a disagreement. I thought A, and my boss thought B. When faced with the client, the boss threw me under the bus, saying that "A" was MY wild idea. The client agreed with me and gave me carte blanche to proceed, and my boss started stating it was OUR idea as a team. Give me a break :eyeroll:
W3: Yes, when I was little, My parents and I used to visit his best friend's home. He had four daughters, 2 of them about my age. From the first time I met them, they would go into their room with their cousins (but me) available, and they would close the door, leaving me outside. I understand if maybe people do this with strangers but repetitively do it to someone they already know... phew, childhood traumas.
What do you think are some challenges for Women in Software & IT Industries?
W1: Sometimes, it's hard to be taken seriously. Sometimes the fear of looking stupid, emotional, or less prepared just because we are women it's the challenge itself.
W2: The main dare isn't to raise your voice but to be able to maintain it. Nonetheless, it only takes one putting-your-foot-down time to be "bossy," "aggressive," or "uncooperative." I don't see that happening with men in charge; isn't that amazing?
W3: "Getting enough women interested in the industry will always be a challenge since it's not their nature to do this kind of thing." (The Gender Equality Paradox).
Is there any advice/thought you'd like to share with fellow women colleagues?
W1: Don't make yourself smaller to not bother others with your ideas or intellect. Don't stay quiet in moments of injustice or sexism. Your thoughts and feelings are important, don't let other people try to make you think that having a mind of your own is just for one side of the gender!
W2: Don't doubt yourself! People don't go through life throwing jobs at people because they feel like it. If you're in a work position, you've earned it! If you're studying, there's no limit to what you can do! Yes, there is still a glass ceiling above us. Yet, every little effort to break at least its surface is a collective success. One small step for (wo)man, one giant leap for (wo)mankind!
W3: Follow your passion, and second the money. If you are analytical, then find something you like. Maybe a new programming language, a new framework, or a new project. If you are not analytical, look into other things that might bring out the best in you!
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