Aside

Life + Code

Take a look at Bekah Hawrot Weigal’s blog Life + Code… or follow her on Twitter @BekahHW

Learn about her personal reason of why she codes: https://bekahhw.github.io/blog/2018/04/23/How-coding-has-been-therapeutic-for-my-PTSD

And see here for a beginner explanation of html, CSS and JavaScript: https://bekahhw.github.io/blog/2018/04/13/The-House-that-Code-Built

I’ve found Bekah’s blog and articles included in this post, to be both inspiring and empowering!

Keep doing what you’re doing Bekah 💪🏻👩‍💻

Ways To Find Talented Female Coders

Ways To Find Talented Female Coders

Take a look at this article written by Beata Green, on ways of finding talented female coders even with a shortage of women coming out of computer science degrees.

https://scrappywomen.biz/tag/beata-green/

There is a marked gap between the number of male and female students enrolled in computer science in schools. That means very few women are entering into a computing career. Moreover, this is a concern, because the lack of women in information systems careers can actually slow down the economy. Not only that, but the risk trickles down to companies who are missing out on the more diverse teams that studies say will make their businesses more successful.

Aside

Imposter Syndrome

by Sarah Lewis

I was at a couple of tradeshows earlier this week and attended Women in Technology events and almost all the conversations I had were around imposter syndrome.  It really does affect more people than we realise, me included.

The term was coined in 1978 by clinical psychologist Pauline R Clance and Suzanne A Imes and is a concept which describes people who have an persistent fear of being exposed as a fraud.  People who exhibit the syndrome dismiss proof of success by claiming it was luck, timing or even making people think they are more intelligent or competent than they are.

I was introduced to this concept of the syndrome was about 7 years ago while having a session with a career coach.  I was trying to explain my lack of desire to progress my career further.  After chatting, we realised that this apparent lack of ambition was due to my fear of being discovered as a fraud.  The career coach promptly told me that almost every executive he had worked with felt like that from time to time, especially very successful women.

Just that one explanation had a massive effect on me, I wasn’t alone! So I started to look at myself, my career and my personal life and decided to make a change starting with “It’s time to fake it til I make it”.

I still class myself as being on the road to recovery but I wanted to share some of the tips that I wish someone had shared with me way back when.

1. Take time to learn and grow

It is not easy to take time out when we have such busy work and home lives but I found that taking the time to learn something new, work on a skill, understand the business better gave me more confidence and helped me to accept some of my weaker areas.  Strengths Finder is a great book to help this process.

2. Do not compare yourself to others.

I am fortunate to work with some amazingly strong, confident women and would always compare myself to those ladies.  I wasn’t as eloquent, I wasn’t as technical, I wasn’t as good at presenting etc etc.  So, instead of comparing yourself to others, look at your own strengths and focus on those.  You are good at what you do because you are you, and you don’t have to be anyone else.

3. Find a mentor

If you are lucky enough to find a mentor who you respect and admire and who believes in you, you are on to a winner.  You just have to remember, not to try and “be” them and to accept those compliments you are bound to receive.  Please don’t fall into the trap of excusing successes as “lucky breaks” or “team work” – another classic Imposter Syndrome symptom.

4. Learn as you go

There is nothing wrong with taking on a project and feeling out of your depth.  You are smart, you are talented – there is no reason why you cannot research, learn and practice as you go. You’d be amazed how many women just “fell into” tech roles and do not have a tech based education – please don’t let the lack of a technical degree damage your confidence.

5. Speak Out

It’s ok to talk to people about how you are feeling.  Try talking about your imposter feelings, it can help.  I discovered so many women in my circle feel the same way as I do and it really helped me feel less alone.  Try it out!

I’m not psychologist nor an expert on this subject but I hope that some of my tried and tested techniques give you some food for thought.

You can find more of my ramblings as well as curated news from around the web and details on our events at https://twitter.com/TheTechieGirls

Sarah Lewis is Director Field Marketing at Ivanti and the spearhead for Ivanti’s Women in Technology movement.  Sarah started off her tech career in an internal IT support role, moving on into IT Asset Management and was finally lured away into a marketing role where she happily combines technical knowledge with a sprinkle of creativity and indulges in her passion for supporting the women in technology community.

Status

Ignorance On Twitter

Social media is a double edged sword and I don’t often partake in “Twitter Wars”… simply because I don’t have the time nor desire to. But, I was on the train back from Nottingham on Saturday when I came across a tweet from @WomeninTechChat regarding blocking a person for whining about the use of the hashtag #womenintech. Out of curiosity I found the tweets involved and found that there were more conversations around the subject that this person was trying to stir and it was upsetting a lot of people, simply because what he was replying was kind of contradicting what he said he believed, and he was calling women who use the hashtag attention seekers.

So I felt compelled to say my piece because this person (who has this separate Twitter account to his personal one, specifically to “troll”) was saying that women only use the #womenintech because they are attention seeking and want extra privileges… I felt I had to reply because I wanted to point out that him saying that is part of the problem, we as women (not only in tech) do want equality, not to be seen as better than men or to have unfair advantages. Personally I describe myself as an equalist, not feminist, yet there are people like himself who think that I cannot express my thoughts as he feels confident enough to do… against a use of a hashtag.

After many replies going back and forth I suggested to him that when he went to work (he works in tech) on Monday morning that he should speak personally to each woman in the office and ask them to speak truthfully about their experiences in tech to #geteducated. The best reply ever came when he said that “sadly” he works with no women, it is an all male team. Which is exactly the point that started this whole discussion on Twitter off, that there should be equality, diversity and inclusion, and how could he say that women were just using the hashtag for attention seeking when his work doesn’t even have any women, it baffles me. He then went on to tell me that diversity isn’t a good thing and sent me this article.

Everybody is entitled to their own opinion, and although I personally view his opinions as ignorant there are many who share those views or think stronger and that is what many women have to deal with on a day to day basis, whilst trying to smash the glass ceiling and just doing their job.

As I pointed out to this person, for me the use of the #womenintech is because I am proud that I was encouraged and choose to go into this industry and that I have completed a degree and work placement in IT. I use the hashtag in pride and as a way to network and reach other women in tech. And I will keep on using that hashtag, not because I am attention seeking, but because it is a fact that I am a women in tech.

You can see the Twitter conversation here and make your own judgements 🙂

Status

Marie Claire: June 2018

Really appreciating Marie Claire UK for incorporating “power play” and how to be paid what you’re worth into a hit magazine that many women read. These are the kind of articles that do need to become a resident feature in mainstream magazines, to help build up strong women who know when (and how) to stand up to the gender pay gap and earn the money they deserve 💪

Aside

Bridging The Confidence Gap

The Enterprise Director at Vodafone UK, feels passionate that it is not only about the need to encourage more girls into IT/STEM, but to help boost their confidence that their skill sets do match the skills needed for STEM. I think this is very important.

It is as much about smashing the STEM stereotype, as it is the glass ceiling.

There are many organisations like CodeFirst: Girls and Stemettes aiming to do this, but what can you?

Take a look 🙂

https://www.computing.co.uk/ctg/opinion/3031171/to-see-more-girls-in-stem-we-must-boost-their-confidence-not-interest

Aside

An Opinion On Why There Still Isn’t Equality In STEM

It is hard to feel optimistic that equality in STEM is going to improve when reading this ladies’ thoughts on how she has seen the industry not develop in this way over the past 25 years, but did develop in becoming a “24/7 work culture” which she surmises is linked.

There is hope that with each women who does become a part of STEM, that they take the time and resources they have to inspire at least one other, in the hope it will cascade to others.

Take a look 🙂

https://www.timeshighereducation.com/opinion/progress-women-stem-starting-unravel

Link

STEM becoming STEAM

A growing debate is regarding the placing of ‘A’ into STEM, standing for Art.

Many people are asking whether Art belongs…

As I have said in other posts, there is a definite need for aligning job roles and careers to creative interests. The example I often use is how Art skills is desired for UX Designers, and likewise for many other subjects that can feed into STEM subjects.

All industries are crying out for more STEM trained professionals, and the primary route for this is to be a STEM graduate. But it is just as important to have soft skills, the way to learn those are through creative and practical ways.

Whatever letters do or do not get added, the bottom line is that there are careers in all sectors that need both STEM training and creative skills. So don’t ever feel that you aren’t “clever” enough etc to be in an IT or engineering job, because there is a place for all skills.

Take a look at a few articles on the debate:

https://www.edweek.org/tm/articles/2014/11/18/ctq-jolly-stem-vs-steam.html

http://www.statepress.com/article/2018/03/spartcult-the-team-for-steam

https://www.computerweekly.com/news/252439491/Oracle-MBX-Oracle-uses-interns-and-grads-to-encourage-others-into-Stem