For a while I have been struggling with the question of whether the women in technology movement is necessary, helpful or just reinforcing gender bias within the field.
Today I read a blog by Karoliina Kettukari entitled I’m an IT expert, not a gender (it’s here if you want to have a look too https://www.sharepointeurope.com/im-an-it-expert-not-a-gender/). This blog ties so perfectly with my thoughts, I had to share it.
However, as just sharing the post doesn’t allow an explanation of why its important to me, I thought I’d do my own blog on the topic.
In my own journey in the IT profession I have experienced gender bias though thankfully nothing more than what amounts to comments which show that persons own assumptions. As a child at school the gender bias was obvious and still within my peer group there is a surprise that I work in IT at the level I do. But maybe that is more to do with how people see me as a personality type than to do with gender, I’ve never asked.
As the mother of a teenage child, I want them to have the best opportunities to get into the profession they want and as I look at summer camps to help this I find that a lot of the age appropriate technology camps are aimed at girls only.
Surely excluding any gender from these events is detrimental to encouraging our young people to become enthused about technology.
Yes we should encourage those who feel these events may not be for them to give it a go and yes some teenagers feel more comfortable in single gender environments, but the world isn’t single gender, so events themselves shouldn’t be.
I think the women in technology movement has some great goals but positive bias is still bias and exclusion or segregation based on gender doesn’t help promote equality.
I am an expert in my field and does it matter what my gender is, if I know my stuff?