Women in technology

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November 25, 2015 by Kenneth Fisher

Earlier this week a friend of mine (Lynn Swayze (Hall) (b/t)) posted this great article on women in technology. It’s a great read and I highly recommend it. In fact, go read it right now. I’ll wait.

You’re back? Good. So, her article got me thinking. This is a subject near and dear to my heart.

I have two children, a boy and a girl. Both are amazingly intelligent and both very very different. We frequently call my son the data child and my daughter the creative one. This is for very specific reasons. My son has a hard time thinking outside of the box. Give him straight up logic and he is a genus. Ask him to be creative and he struggles. My daughter is the opposite. Given a Lego set she will put it together given the instructions and take it apart over and over again. Then she branches out on her own and make the most amazing things. This is a child that rarely plays games by the rules, she takes the pieces and re-purposes them for new and exciting things.

So given all of that what do we think they will do in the future? No clue to be honest. My son at the moment is interested in teaching theater and my daughter has a strong interest in geology and chemistry. Neither one has much interest, at the moment, in computers (outside of playing video games). But that may change. If it does, great, if not so what?

The upshot of all of this is that I want my children to get to make their own choices in life. I don’t want either one of them to feel there are any restrictions in what they choose to do with their life. How do we make that happen? I’m honestly not sure. I think realizing that there is a problem, that we have stereotypes, and make snap (and often incorrect) judgments is probably a good start. It saddens me to realize that in the 21st century we think that gender has anything to do with intelligence or career aptitude.

If you are a woman: The sky’s the limit. If you have an interest in IT pursue it. If you have an interest in Chemistry, English, Math, anything really, then go for it. If on the other hand you want to be a home maker, go for that. Lord knows it’s a harder job than anything I do.

If you are a man (particularly those in IT) working with a women: Congrats! She probably had to work harder and be better in order to get half the recognition you did. Show respect and be happy that you are working with someone who can and will pull their own weight. Oh, and if you want to be a home maker, go for it. I know several men who are and are very happy.

P.S. Don’t get me started on bias against religion, color, gender choices etc. All of these things are pretty superficial don’t you think? We are all people. Don’t we deserve to be treated as such?

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