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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 πŸ’ͺπŸ»πŸ‘©β€πŸ’»

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.

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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.Β 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 πŸ™‚

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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 πŸ™‚

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

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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 πŸ™‚

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

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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

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12%

That is the percentage of female engineering and technology undergraduates in the UK.

This needs to change, and it is good to see it reported that the government is trying to push initiatives alongside industry leaders for a goal of equalism in these sectors. But, I think it would also be good to see the universities’ and colleges taking a more proactive approach to recruit, spark an interest and inspire women to do these degrees. Not just to boast the stats, but because this is what is needed.

I also think it is interesting that the article says “The challenge the modern woman has in the workforce is the expectation to do and be EVERYTHING.”, this could be why women don’t want to have that pressure whilst also trying to be heard in a male dominated industry, such as technology. I think there is an expectation to an extent as there are certainly more complications when wanting to advance your career and wanting a family, but it is important to remember this depends on the individuals involved.

Take a look at the full article:

http://www.womeninstem.co.uk/women-in-tech/government-initiatives-push-to-get-women-in-stem

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Equal Pay Day

It’s crazy that in 2018, women are still considerably underpaid for the same jobs that men get paid for.

What confuses me, is that governments and companies are crying out for more women in business, STEM and to create a diverse business community. But why would women want to go into any work, when they know they are going to be patronisingly paid less.

My opinion in all of this is not that I should be paid more than a man, nor chosen for a job over a man, but just to simply be treated equally.