5 SECRETS ABOUT TECH FOR WOMEN
KIRSTEN E HAWKINS
It is easy to dismiss “tech” as for young men who like to design computer games in their bedrooms, but this is to diminish, not only female talent in this area, but the vast range of opportunities to get involved...
What are the benefits to being tech-savvy in the world of work? It opens doors in a plethora of industries you may never have thought of, and the basic skills can come in handy in every job.
1. It’s easy to get coding
People often believe that IT is for a Steve Jobs-type person or a Sheldon Cooper. Perhaps you think of Moss in the IT Crowd, and certainly not his high-heeled colleague Jen, who believes the internet is a black box, and tries to insert the word “RAM” into a conversation so she feels like she knows about something technical.
The truth is, coding is for anyone. There are many courses online to help you begin with the front-end HTML, CSS and beyond. Companies like Liverpool Girl Geeks provide “Get Your Head Around…” courses you can attend if you don’t feel you have the discipline to study alone. The benefit? You will meet like-minded people and discover new opportunities.
2. You’re never too old to begin
Don’t feel that tech is just for Generation Z. People have been coding for decades; the languages have simply evolved. Coding is very logical, and providing you have the time and the patience to apply yourself to a new skill, you can start any time. Do you love languages? That makes you an ideal coder, as once you have wrapped your head around a “natural” language, computer languages will seem easy (they don’t have lots of exceptions to their grammar rules for a start!).
3. Tech isn’t just about code
Jobs in tech range from web development, to digital marketing, to data science. I work as an account executive in an IT firm. What does that mean? It means I talk to clients about the types of campaigns they want us to build, make suggestions to their marketing team, give presentations about results and even take them out for dinner from time to time. This is an example of where people skills are vital in the world of technology. I never code!
Do you love analysis, working with budgets or tend towards the creative in terms of design or writing? Then there is a wealth of distinctive roles in digital marketing and Ecommerce for roles that don’t require coding.
4. Female coders are as good as men… or often better
A study was undertaken in 2016, which demonstrated that women’s code was more likely to be accepted by their peers than their male counterparts’ when their gender was unknown. Otherwise, the coding community can be biased against them. This unconscious attitude must be challenged, which means more women need to be present in technical industries to erase stereotyping.
5. There are jobs waiting to be filled by women
There are tech companies out there that desperately want to hire women. This is not about promoting “positive discrimination” which I personally am not a fan of. Candidate selection should be based on merit, not gender. Having said that, companies benefit from promoting diversity. If a company already employs women, it is likely to attract more female applicants, as we tend to want to work in places that employ “people like us.” If a business promotes itself as a boys’ club, it will fail to resonate with potential female recruits.
The problem? There are not enough women with the required skillsets in IT, especially in areas such as data science, engineering and backend development.
The above secrets should incentivise you to get flexing your tech muscles if ever you fancied creating your own website, or promoting your business online. Or even being Bill Gates’ future rival.
Former TEFL teacher, Kirsten now works in the technology sector as an account executive. As a writer, she reports on the world of marketing, technology, art and more recently, the issues affecting women in the workplace.