Being a Female Programmer: How is it For You?
This probably depends on where we live and work, but personally, I have not experienced anything negative for being a female programmer in my few years of career.
Like everyone else, I had interview opportunities. As long as I passed the technical challenges and non-technical interviews, I was presented a contract. And on the job, I have been acknowledged by my team.
Tech people are actually simple and practical as long as you are keen to collaborate and work with them together.
Even women in the dev team are still rare, despite that there are many women in other tech job positions (most of my PMs have been women), UX specialists, designers, QAs, business analysts and so on. So there are more women in the team.
The only thing I feel a bit left out is not being in the boys club. You know, all those guys talks, which is fine, as I don’t feel interested in such topics. And besides, something similar might happen if most of the team are women and there are only a few men. Otherwise, we get along fine, we can hold group conversations with people with a wide range of topics, and they are kind and respectful towards me.
However, lots of women I spoke with mentioned that there still some roadblocks for women in software engineering career that come up every day that are very hard to recognize like:
Interviewing a woman with an all-male interview team and then judging them as being “less-confident.” Women have been trained to be wary and cautious when they are alone with groups of unknown men. Put a woman in the room for an interview, even if you have to bring your girlfriend for that.
Having flexibility. These days, startups and other companies are all about the perks. Endless snacks, free drinks, a large ping pong table in the middle of the office - the list goes on as employers raise the bar to entice more promising candidates. And highly attractive perk that most companies often don’t think to offer is flexibility. Women often times, and for various reasons, need to have special accommodations and more flexible work schedules than men. By providing work-from-home days or part-time work, companies can achieve the impossible: they can retain talented rockstar workers (many of them are women). The businesses benefit from retention, and the women find a solution to the “having it all” conundrum.
The Glass Cliff: when management wants to promote a woman to a leadership role, even though she might not be ready for it. If she fails, management might use it as an excuse not to diversify these roles for women again. Even if she succeeds, her teammates could resent her “stealing” an opportunity that she wasn’t qualified for because she was a woman.
Salary’s rate. Women consistently make less than men because they tend to participate in less negotiation. Having a set budget in mind and only go outside of it for extreme circumstances, that anyone else would understand or agree with. If you consistently hear from candidates that they need more money, increase the salary for that position. But you have to do it for the existing employees too.
All in all, in good companies, men are indeed trying to help women, but sometimes they don’t understand, and the best way to understand women in tech is to talk to the women on your team and see if they have any problems. Telling them you want to support them, and let them know you are on their side.
Do you want to build your career in IT-industry without extra stress and with work-life balance? Then I can help you with my weekly newsletter for women in tech (+bonus professional networking cheat sheet).
Thank you for reading! 🙏