Over my career, there has always been a lack of representation in tech, when different voices are present it has always led to better work environments and better end products. I recently taught at my local university for a semester, teaching a Mobile Applications module after a lecturer left, it was a nice surprise to see so many female students, back during my university times it wasn’t as mixed a cohort so seeing this was a nice surprise, what isn’t a nice thing is the fact women in our industry are still marginalised and sexually harassed.
I’m definitely quite tired of walking into an office and seeing no women at all, imagine interviewing for a position at a place where nobody is like yourself, how intimidating that is, we need to be proactively welcoming to those who don’t fit into the cisgendered white male demographic.
What can you do to help?
Any derogatory or sexual statements heard towards a female colleague, get across to that person that comments like that are not okay, no-one goes to work to be made to feel uncomfortable, it’s not just banter, words have an impact.
When hiring for roles, normalising more variety of voices in tech will greatly shift this imbalance. I've seen junior roles prioritised to male candidates, when in reality they have the same experience. Prioritising a female candidate, giving that break to get started in the industry and getting that perspective, adds so much more value to a team. The more variance of backgrounds, all contribute, and when reviewing profiles, think how their differences can benefit the team, not just for the role.
A good friend of mine, Chris Smith, mentioned when hiring "Diversity often balances concerns in teams like a focus on testing and quality over common preoccupations like using new technologies" and that is always been a common issue within teams, hyper focused, lacking insight, where having a more mixed chorus on the team can be enhanced by varied perspectives.
Wage inequality (while slightly better in tech) still is nowhere near equal, one way of improving this is sharing your salary amount if requested, there is no reason a woman should be paid less than a male counterpart for the same role, empower them with knowledge to tip the scales to be fairer.
We're all the same, we should be treated with respect and dignity at work
Confront "just banter", it's 2021.
More Varied Voices, Better things are made
Once more for those in the back...
Stand up for your fellow tech nerd, you’re not being a white knight, you’re being a decent human being!