I was just speaking to a friend of mine and she asked me what I was doing, I said I was writing something for International Women’s Day, she said “Women’s Day is like any other day, because we are all equal”. It’s a great sentiment and with the #metoo and #timesup campaigns, the light being shed on BBC’s gender pay gap we are at least moving towards a day where Women’s Day won’t need to be here, but there is still a long way to go.
I have written several pieces on Women in Tech now and it was always from the angle of trying to shed some more light on the reality of the situation having worked in the hiring of Tech Talent for 10 years, and also having a few lofty ideas of how we can think of solutions and not just stating the problem. The feedback has been interesting, you get some great responses from tech companies sending a pic of their offices and there being an even split of girls and guys or others saying they’ve just hired two female engineers and they have hit the ground running and leaving the guys in their wake! You do also get other responses which are little more hostile, which I do understand as it is a very sensitive subject. Some didn’t like my use of the wording “Light hearted…” when describing modern Tech environments as being more appealing to work in than yesteryear. Again I understand that, but we have to be careful that when discussing how we can tackle a fair spread of male and female talent in Tech that we don’t put too many egg shells down.
I was listening to a podcast interview with Richard Branson the other day and when asked how Virgin were doing with women in senior positions throughout the company and he proudly said there was great diversity, that many of his CEO’s were women and they thoroughly deserved their positions. When asked why, he mentioned that its good to get a mix and that sometimes women can deal with the emotional side of the business better and the guys can be more emotionless, he then started back tracking and saying that he better not say something that would get him in trouble! “I’m in hot water here”. We have to let people speak the truths of their experiences and findings without crushing them.
Then there was one client who read what I had sent them, and felt I needed to know more about it, the subject, its roots, its history and got me to watch Debugging the Gender Gap, a Documentary Film from the Tribeca Film Festival. And that was the most helpful thing they could have done! To that client I thank you, and I encourage all who have any connection to the Tech World to watch this, it is International Women’s Day after all!!
Here is the trailer and you can also watch on Amazon Prime: