Like A Girl

Pushing the conversation on gender equality.

Code Like A Girl

The Dawn of a Revolution: The 3 Ways We Can Create Change For Females in Tech

I can feel a storm brewing in the digital landscape. Fake news, click bait (I may be a tad guilty of this, but let me explain) and fear based media rule the headlines and females continue to battle for respect and equality in the industry. Before we let the system break down into anarchy, are we ready to take a stance. To stare fear in the face and push back with positivity. If we’re going to create change, we better get moving because the time is now!

New articles role across my news feed almost everyday spotlighting the tale of doom and gloom for females in the tech sector. Every new feature follows a similar formula; share the personal story of a female in the industry, reference stats from a new (or old) study, and finally, document the outcry that’s taking place in the industry because of said issue.

We’re crafting articles in the hopes they’ll manifest a feeling of anger within the reader and those in power, forcing them to create change. In the end, it’s hate and suffering that prevails, which causes people (the readers) to become uncomfortable and remove themselves from the conversation and the industry. This isn’t a solution for creating mass change.

This is an issue that’s been building since the early 1990’s. Rather than continue to beat the drum in an effort to force change tomorrow, we need to positively empower the next generation of leaders. The ones who have the ability to create real change in an organic way.

If our goal is to motivate this younger generation to create change, negativity and a focus on fear-based material might not be the best way to accomplish this. Numbers, charts and in-depth articles (most likely) mean absolutely nothing to an 8-year-old child, the very girl or boy who has the ability to create real change.

3 Easy Ways We Can All Create Positive Change:

#1 — Remove Negativity from the Conversation

I recently came across these two articles: I work in PR — and we’re all terrible or The “the dark side” isn’t so dark: one journalist enters the world of PR. As a PR professional I would much rather read the second article because it offers the promise of positivity. Why would I want to read an article that causes me to question my entire career?

This is the same for people looking towards tech as a career. If someone reads story after story spotlighting how people like them are treated terribly in a career, why would they even consider it a possibility? If we focus on the negatives and the problems in the system, it will drive people away, not drive them to change the system.

If we focus on the positives and the success stories of females in tech it will be the opposite, young girls will see that a career in the tech sector is not only possible, it’s rewarding!

#2 — Remove Gender Role Stereotypes in Families

From a young age we’re taught gender division is normal, boys don’t play with dolls and girls don’t play with action figures. In the digital age that stereotype has evolved to become boys code and girls…well….don’t.

The next time you’re at the toy store, ask your daughter if she wants an action figure or if your son wants a doll. When you’re looking at summer camps don’t go straight to dance and skip over the computer and coding programs for your daughter.

Don’t force the conversation on them, but allow them to explore ideas that you may consider to be for the opposite sex. In the end it’s important to support and nurture ideas that remove the stereotypes of gender roles from all areas of your children’s life.

#3 — Support Equal Opportunities in Schools

When I was in school digital animation was the only computer course available. In the digital age, the entire school curriculum is based around technology. There’s more opportunities than ever for students to develop coding skills and other relevant technology skills.

It’s important to offer girls spots in these programs and ensure they feel supported and are able to build a sense of pride in their work. This will also support learning opportunities for boys, as they develop positive views towards the removal of gender role stereotypes.

The Time to Create Change is Now:

To create a landscape of gender equality we must all be the change we want to see in the world. For us at Mazu, it means focusing on the positive stories, the successful women and those who are disrupting the industry in a positive way.