No Place for Women in IT? My Experienceby@alinahand
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No Place for Women in IT? My Experience

by AlinaMarch 27th, 2023
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Women in IT are underrepresented in the IT industry, according to a survey by Stackoverflow. The survey found that diversity in the team helps make the product more successful. The more diverse the team, the more effective the interaction, the survey found. Women in IT can be more attentive to detail, better at dealing with complex algorithms, and even better at working with men.
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I want to talk about some stereotypes related to women in IT. I would very much like to hear everyone's opinion, and see what your attitude to girls in IT is, whether you agree with me, or whether you are categorical and do not perceive women in IT.

I would very much like to share my experience and tell you how I have encountered discrimination.

How I Got Into IT and What Attracted Me to It

I have been designing and "designing" interfaces for 7 years. It may seem that interface design has something to do with drawing pretty pictures. Though this is far from it. Your arsenal of tools should not only be the knowledge of graphics programs, but also the ability to read metrics, understand the limitations of different frameworks, and understand the basics of frontend.

Designing interfaces – a multi-step process where you not only help the user to easily achieve their goal but also build communication with developers and the business, and in the end, bring it all together in a stunning product.

I started my way by designing small and simple websites and working as a web designer, and now, I design complex products, like analytics services, where I use not only graphical but also analytical skills.

I gradually became fascinated by the world of the Web because I have always loved studying websites, games, or applications, as there was a kind of magic behind it for me. I realized that my creative skills and love for handy things could be combined by designing web interfaces.

How Do Interviews Proceed? It Is Believed That Girls Do Not Want to Be Hired in IT

I often go to interviews to pump up my skills, learn something new, and see what the market expects from candidates; it helps with my personal growth. Interviews always follow the same scenario. First is the meeting with HR.

This is the usual introduction to the candidate and some kind of check to see if the candidate is suitable for the position and if he or she is okay; if he or she is adequate.

Then there can be a number of meetings, which include getting to know the team and sorting out your cases (technical interview).

As a knowledge test, employers give you a test assignment during the call or may ask you to send a ready-made one. After all this, there is a meeting with the CEO or CIO.

Do employers want to hire girls less than guys? - I don't think they do. I want to definitely say that in my experience of all the interviews, the hiring party doesn't look at whether you're male or female.

The employer always looks at how interested you are in working on a team, how active you are, what your background is, as well as your "soft" and "hard" skills.

If you look at the research, on the contrary, they found that diversity in the team helps make the product more successful. And the more diverse the team, the more effective the interaction.

There are almost no women in IT/You need a male mind/Women have problems with logic

I completely disagree with most of the stereotypes.

It seems that back in the year 2000, probably only men could choose this profession, and indeed, there was an opinion that a certain mindset was needed, that women had problems with logic and women were not capable of such difficult work.

As society has evolved, views on everything have changed. On professions, on other global things in such a way that stereotypes have blurred. So many women have made great achievements in science, physics, and mathematics and received Nobel prizes.

I recently entered the Women in IT Awards, and I encountered a really impressive number of female candidates who have achieved great things by working in that field. Not only were they able to make money, but they also made useful contributions to society.

And speaking of women in IT, this is also a broad concept.

Hr manager - who helps to search for candidates, she also applies to IT, because sometimes she can do live coding and must understand and understand frameworks.

UI/UX designers, testers, product managers, scrum masters, analysts, and other professionals - they all work in IT and have either a basic understanding of how the system is built or can understand the code themselves.

In my work, I interact not only with men who write complex algorithms, but also with girls, who can cope with tasks just as well, and maybe even better.

Girls can be more attentive to detail, which prevents errors in the work; in addition, they are more prone to communication and can perform different types of tasks at the same time.

But I don't mean to say that it is the gender that determines the ability to do different types of work.

Women are most likely to buy a diploma

It's true! It’s everyone, not just women or men, who buy a diploma. Because it just helps us save time. But that does not mean that with a bought diploma you will get a job. I'll tell you about myself; getting a degree just helped me to line up my knowledge nicely.

Most skills are acquired with real practice. And a diploma doesn't tell you anything when you get a job. All your skills and abilities can be easily identified by the employer at the interview.

Going to IT to find a husband

You don't have to go to IT, and it's even easier to start dating a Junior and marry a Senior. But that's a joke. No profession is chosen only by personal desire, and the desire to get married cannot motivate you to learn that profession.

Learning any new profession requires tremendous desire and diligence. Yes, IT is for love, but for the love of knowledge and skill; otherwise, it will be impossible to start and develop in that direction.

It is extremely difficult for women to get into IT

The same can be said about men. Now, to get an offer, you really need to know quite a lot about technology, because it's rapidly evolving! And, you need to study for a year to become a Junior in 2023, when in 2018 it could take up to 6 months.

It does not depend on a man or a woman; employers look at your skills, your activity, and how your interests match with the interests of the company. And now on the opposite, IT companies are becoming more progressive and tolerant.

I.T. girls in appearance "not very"/Beautiful equals stupid

A terrible stereotype that, unfortunately, still exists. Aptitude for science or complex knowledge, in no way, determines a person's looks! This opinion can make girls who have just started their careers reluctant or discouraged from developing a career in information technology.

Women, like men, can be beautiful and smart. Someone prefers not to use cosmetics, accepts their natural beauty, and does not use the services of a cosmetologist; and someone, on the contrary, can not live without it.

It is perfectly normal and natural, everyone chooses a different path to self-expression.

All the same, beauty is subjective, and there is no single standard of beauty. Yes, there are people who were just lucky with their genes and were born beautiful and healthy, and someone needs care to be more attractive and healthy; that is perfectly normal.

I know a lot of girls, my colleagues or friends. They all work in IT like me, but they look amazing because beauty is not about how many times you went to the beautician, it's about your mind, your kindness, nutrition, and your love of life! And I appreciate them for their skills, experience, and contributions to our work together. We need to knock down this obscurantist stereotype.

A woman leader – without a personal life

It all depends on the individual. I have many examples of people I know, and I myself am one of those who have managed to build a career and open their own personal business, as well as to be successful and have a loving family.

Relationships are always difficult, even if you're not building a business; marriages fall apart without it.

There are so many things now that make our lives easier: deliveries, babysitters, ordering meals – it all saves us time, and we can spend more time with family (I personally use it all to be closer to family myself).

It is important how well a woman manager organizes her time. She can delegate some responsibilities to her assistants, and determine her priorities rather than "dying" to do everything herself.

The stereotype that female executives have no personal life is unfair to women who have worked hard to succeed, but also want to enjoy their personal lives.

If a girl works in IT it means she's a “tomboy”

For some, this is how they express their individuality. And it's important to define one's personality and individuality. Spheres of any job are various, and the idea that all women in IT are “tomboys” is unhealthy for our society; it causes us to have that type of thinking.

Women can succeed in any field, as well as in IT, and you should not judge based on this stereotype.

I always try to fight this stereotype in my communication with my acquaintances.

By explaining that everyone has the right to express themselves, that we are all completely different, and if I look like a patsanka, it does not mean that I write code; maybe I am a great professional in the beauty industry.

Or vice versa, I really like beauty treatments, and just because I've had a little lip enhancement doesn't change the fact that my code is worse and am just as professional at my job.

As for my current job, we try to create an inclusive welcoming atmosphere for everyone, without discriminating against the gender or age of a team member.

It's harder for women to learn than for men

There is no inherent difference or learning ability between men and women. Each person has a unique learning style and may excel in some areas and struggle in others. This is influenced by motivation and environment and many other factors.

My personal example. When I was studying, my classmate lagged far behind, while I was fast and easy to understand the material. Or, on the opposite, some knowledge is more difficult for me than, let's say, my partner. I can give the same example to my students.

This is a biased attitude to women. Everyone has the same ability to learn, but they have different speeds. Some need to repeat it five times to understand it, and some need only one time.

With a woman, it is difficult to agree/Women live by emotions; their psyche is unstable

And with men, sometimes it is not easy to agree. We live in a time where almost everyone is concerned not only with their physical health but also with their mental health.

Everything depends on one's upbringing, and on one's development as a person. You shouldn't put it down to differences between sexes.

Girls are also physiologically different from men and experience different things during painful menstruation. And the first country that does not live by obscurantist stereotypes has allowed women to take time off during menstruation is Spain.

Women should be given indulgences, then there will be less conflict. To read about this amazing news, click here.

Here’s my example, at work, sometimes it can be difficult, but all this is easily solved by correct communication. I, in turn, regularly have sessions with a psychologist; plus, I do jogging which helps me a lot in solving routine work tasks or some conflict situations with colleagues.

It is necessary to take care of yourself and your health, and then your mental health will be stable and it will be easy to agree with you, no matter whether you are a man or a woman.

Girls in IT can only do indirect tasks like SMM, marketing, working with clients, and not writing code

Girls can do really complicated things just as well as men. In my team, there are girls who are data engineers, they work with big data, and the process of work is much more complicated than writing code for the visualization of the site, and they are great at their job!

Girls can be trusted with complicated and responsible tasks; sometimes their approach to work is more responsible than that of men.

Gender Equality in IT. Is it possible?

I think we are heading towards that, but still, most of the companies that do have equality between the sexes dominate in IT because the companies have a modern approach to work, work with new technology, and develop not only in the area of work more but also with the culture of the employees.

IT companies have always been more friendly than others for me personally. They create a more inclusive and welcoming environment for all people, regardless of gender or identity.

I've never been asked these questions, when am I going to have kids and when am I on maternity leave? But coming to work in a factory or a bookmaker's company, such questions came in...

If you are just on your way to getting a new profession, power, and great inspiration you are the subject of study. During the study, it is difficult to find motivation, and sometimes you think ‘I'm doing unnecessary things, there is no grade.’

It is not so; you are already wonderful in that you have started this way, that you are learning new things; this is the hardest, titanic effort you need to put in to keep learning a new profession!

And when you get your first offer, you will face interesting tasks, work in a great team, and you'll understand that it wasn’t all for nothing!

I think that those girls who have had a lot of experience in IT will agree with me that there is equality in IT, and if you faced any of the stereotypes, run away from this toxic employer!

You will find a better and more wonderful team, and you will be valued for what a cool professional and person you are, not because of your gender.