Status

#EqualInTech

If you have linked to one of my posts via social media before you probably will have seen the #WomenInTech that I put on my posts. This is because there are huge women in tech communities of Twitter. A place where like minded women come together from different countries and companies, to share their stories and virtually meet their peers. This isn’t common, there is also #WomenInSTEM, #WomenInBusiness, #WomenInConstruction…

But earlier I was on Twitter and I saw this account really laying into the #WomenInTech community for excluding men, just from an original tweet consisting of “I’m so proud of my fellow #WomenInTech”. I don’t often comment on things like this, and I didn’t this time as hundreds of others (not just women) were trying to defend the hashtag community and this man was simply just trolling.

If you’ve read my posts before I discuss more about how everyone should be treated equally. My posts and certainly none of my #WomenInTech peers that I associate with think that women are better than men.

If you google ‘Feminism’ this is the definition: the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.

It is infuriating to me though that this type of community has to deal with such comments, I wonder if their Mum’s never told them that “If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all”.

In the UK, women in the tech industry take up 18%. Some companies may have more, some may have less but that is the percentage of the industry. Twitter is a big place, it has some very strong minded people and some very impressionable. It only takes one person to look at those trolled tweets and to turn them away from pursuing a career in tech because of the hassle it can cause you by strangers online. Just why? What’s the point?

So the next time you see somebody use #WomenInTech, this isn’t an insult or exclusion from anybody, just a connection to an online community.

We all just want to be treated like equals.

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 🙂