30 years ago today I was a young developer on an engineering team. Though in no way close to the trauma experienced by those involved in the massacre of 14 women and injury of 14 more people at École Polytechnique in Montreal…. I do remember the disbelief and horror at the thought that someone would purposely target women just because they were engineering students. It was a shock at the time to everyone. A loss of innocence.
There is more work to be done to channel girls into non traditional roles in STEM. At the same time traditionally masculine roles can benefit from an injection of characteristics that are considered feminine. A great side effect of diverse teams.
All women working in the tech industry make a contribution to the industry, not just those in developer roles. Working in it, even on the “business-side”, they know a lot about tech. If you work in Tech, and you self-identify as a women, you are a Women in Tech. Regardless of your role, level or experience. I want to celebrate them all.
There are a number of things that have come together recently to inspire me to write this personal leadership post. I think that it is important for strong woman in leadership roles to act as mentor to boys as well as girls. This is an AND statement, not a BUT statement. I really do believe in the work that women these days are doing to encourage girls to enter into the technology field and for woman to embrace technology leadership roles. I believe in ADDITION to that it’s important for us to do things to change the mindset of young men so that they accept us in these positions in order to prepare them for the future date when they are business owners, hiring managers, customers and staff.