One thing I always get asked in an technical job interview is “How do you feel about working in a male dominant environment?”. My answer is usually always the same “I’ve only ever worked with men in IT so I’m pretty used to it”. But honestly, I really don’t mind. It doesn’t make a lot of difference. However it does baffle me how people are still asking this question in this day and age; both men and women work in many of the same industries nowadays.
Ok, so you’ve heard of Spotify right? Well its a very popular music streaming service and this is a picture of :
Lynn Root, 28, back-end engineer, Spotify
Three years ago Root was working in banking—but then she took a computer science class. “I did my final project in [the coding language] Python,” she recalls. “The idea of creating something out of nothing electrified me, and I said, ‘Screw finance!'” Now she’s an engineer at Spotify and a global leader of PyLadies, a mentorship organization for women in tech who code in or want to learn Python.
Her words to live by: “You don’t need a degree in computer science to work in tech,” she says. “You need gumption and focus. It’s OK not to know something as long as you show that you’re intelligent enough to learn it.”
From the outside it seems that the technical industry is dominated by men and can be intimidating for some people to go and ask for help with a technical problem or even to be working in the same office! But when you look under the cover, there’s so much more. Providing they know what they’re doing, I’ve found work places and customers alike, often prefer female technical support. For the work place, it makes the company look good and helps their image in terms of equality and discrimination. It can also help balance out any high levels testosterone in the office resulting in more focus and productivity. It is also good to have a different way of thinking on board. After all, females use technology too! And if females use technology, surely it would be beneficial for the company to have female input. For the customer’s point of view, approaching an office which has a female in can be less intimidating. Women can also be more sympathetic to customer’s technical problems and fear not to criticize the customer. Now this isn’t meaning that men can’t also be like this, but it is just more common and natural for women.
My advice to women in the tech industry or even wanting to be in the industry, is to not give up! Don’t be intimidated by all the men and their knowledge. After all, you have one very big advantage which makes you unique and desirable to the female-lacking tech industry … you’re a woman!