Like A Girl

Pushing the conversation on gender equality.

Code Like A Girl

1 out of 13

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Have you ever been 1 out of 13 in a room? Well for the last year, I’ve been the only Spanish speaking women in my Technology Department. While there are other women in my department. To be exact, two other women. They don’t speak Spanish. That prompted me to think…do I know any Spanish speaking women in a Technology field? I don’t. I just wondered?

There was a recent position change in my department. As some were promoted, some positions opened. I expressed to my male co-workers that I would love to have another female join our team. My co-worker responded, “Not that many women want to do the physical labor our job requires.” Frankly, I didn’t know what physical labor he was referring to. Another co-worker stated, “We have enough attitude on our team with you and Jane (not her actual name).” I was kind of baffled. Not offended because I wondered if this is what men think of women as.

Women are often referred to as bossy when they’re assertive. Or in this case, have too much attitude. But at the same time, women often excel more than men. In my experience, I’ve seen women take charge, be more organized and have the ability to delegate and make managerial decisions better than men. So why does society downplay women’s success and make it be overbearing?

Back to my initial thought, why aren’t there more Spanish speaking women in Technology in the U.S.? After a long talk with a grandma (not my grandma), she told me that a career in Technology for women isn’t appealing. Society automatically thinks of a Single women with no children or spouse, locked in a basement. Is that being ignorant or an old fashion way of thinking? That’s certainly not what women in Technology do! Grandma also stated that many first generation parents did not teach their children Spanish in fear of bullying in the future. Employers now more than ever are seeking employees who speak several languages.

Let me not discuss how women are paid. And to the person who is going to say “Demand for more!” Well for our low poverty, single and extremely humbled to have any job women — that’s not an option. As the old saying says “Beggars can’t be choosers.” I’m not saying to not demand what you’re worth! It’s just hard for some of us.

Even at church, I’m the only female serving in our technology department. The rest of the females are serving in the children ministry or administration. Again, I’m not knocking anyone. It just seems to be a pattern.

I simply just want to sit across the room with my Latina sisters and speak Spanish. I want to discuss this magnificent field of IT in my dialect. Because Latina’s are worthy. We can do it. So why aren’t we? Why are we allowing society to stomp on us? There’s nothing more fierce than women in charge! And we can do it all. We can have a family and a career. Not a mediocre career, but something we are passionate about and lead in. We can code during the day and make rice and beans for our family for dinner.

We can.

Can anybody relate?

Disclaimer: I’m not saying that you need to know Spanish to thrive in IT.