Women in technology & why I do what I do

There is a lot of hoopla and energy around the conversation of “women in technology” and even “women in business”. Most of it is negative, or tries to paint a doom and gloom picture.

Women in technology

The most common points that come up are that there aren’t enough young girls interested in math and computers, and that the women who are in tech or climbing the corporate ladder tend to drop out when they want to start a family.

The problem with all of these statements is that we’re looking at this whole “women in technology” thing from a very traditional view.

I’ve had an interest in the debate over getting more women into the technology fields for a long time. In high school I attended a “Girls in Technology Summer Camp” for a week and felt like I had finally found my place. In my Software Engineering Bachelors cohort, there were 15 women and 100 men.

Women in Technology

There are benefits to being women in technology. Between the opportunities for growth and learning, and the great geeky conversations with both guys and girls… there’s a lot to be said about how much fun it can be to be a woman in tech. I know there are a lot of reasons why young girls and women shy away from roles in technology, and I would like to address these in future blog posts.

Last year there was a lot of talk about the lack of women speakers at tech conferences. I just wanted to give a major kudos to BlogWorld Expo for having so many women in technology speakers. The image here shows you what I saw when I logged onto the BlogWorld blog last week.

Why I do what I do… and where women in technology come in

When I started my raw food business it was apparent what my motivation was. I wanted to help people get healthy, and teach others what I wish I had known when I started exploring raw food.

With my new “triple threat” marketing and web design business, it wasn’t so apparent. Through working with my clients I’ve come to realize that what’s driving me is something that has been near and dear to my heart for awhile: helping women get tech savvy so their businesses can flourish.

The part of the women in technology piece that always seems to get ignored is that women may be dropping out of traditional corporate career paths, but they’re doing so because they want a different lifestyle.

Women are starting businesses at a higher rate than men. I understand why. Women want the freedom and flexibility that they couldn’t get from a traditional 9 to 5, whether it’s to allow them to care for their kids or take care of aging parents. Some of these women are tech savvy, while others are trying to learn the skills they need to make it online.

That’s where me and my business come in. I’m here to help more women (and men!) get techy so they can rock their businesses online.

I want to add that while I’m drawn to helping women, I still love men! I love learning from and being among men because there’s a sense of camaraderie that allows for a lot of growth and easy communication. I have many male “business idols” and mentors. And I love my man Robin, who is SO brilliant and absolutely essential to keeping me balanced.

My realization…

I want to be an example of a woman in technology who did it her way. I know that when I was in school I didn’t have a lot of role models of women rocking their careers in engineering or computer science. In fact most of the examples I had were in academia or of women who were frazzled and unhappy.

But now I know that it is possible to own your skills with technology and make an incredible career of your own through online business models. And not only is it possible, but it allows for a lot more flexibility to do things your way.

Let’s keep it positive

So rather than lamenting the fact that there aren’t equal numbers of men and women in technology firms or big business, let’s focus on the positive.

There are more opportunities for women in technology today than ever before, and with me on your side there are more resources available to make it a reality.

If you’re ready to get techy with it, join my free weekly Cue and let’s do this thang!

 

5 Responses to Women in technology & why I do what I do

  1. Couldn’t agree more Nathalie. I too love demystifying using tools and technology to make your life easier and your business more efficient. I also have been in on the debate around women in technology since cofounding a tech startup in 2008. In fact it’s the whole reason I started my blog and something I’m passionate about.

    There’s a lot of research on why young girls aren’t drawn to sciences and technology at a young age. My personal opinion is that it is not being branded right. Women are naturally drawn to interesting, exciting and dare I say it sexy things. These areas have traditionally lacked decent marketing and explanation to gain the right interest from perfectly capable young girls AND boys.

    A second factor in this is the ongoing blame mentality from both sides. I’ve read way too many articles where an author has stated their opinions or the facts and the comments section has turned into a `he said/ she said’ gender battle instead of working together to further and better the future for all involved.

    Finally all these rules and traditions are meant to be broken. In countries such as Malaysia there are huge numbers of women engineers and developers – far more then men as these roles suit women as they can work from home and on their own hours.

    The news sites often cite the lack of women CEOs of technology companies in Silicon Valley too (approx 2-3%) yet in Boston they have 20% of women in these roles – we need to start focusing on what is working where and replicate that elsewhere.

    That’s my two cents worth for today :)

    Natalie

  2. Couldn’t agree more Nathalie. I too love demystifying using tools and technology to make your life easier and your business more efficient. I also have been in on the debate around women in technology since cofounding a tech startup in 2008. In fact it’s the whole reason I started my blog and something I’m passionate about.

    There’s a lot of research on why young girls aren’t drawn to sciences and technology at a young age. My personal opinion is that it is not being branded right. Women are naturally drawn to interesting, exciting and dare I say it sexy things. These areas have traditionally lacked decent marketing and explanation to gain the right interest from perfectly capable young girls AND boys.

    A second factor in this is the ongoing blame mentality from both sides. I’ve read way too many articles where an author has stated their opinions or the facts and the comments section has turned into a `he said/ she said’ gender battle instead of working together to further and better the future for all involved.

    Finally all these rules and traditions are meant to be broken. In countries such as Malaysia there are huge numbers of women engineers and developers – far more then men as these roles suit women as they can work from home and on their own hours.

    The news sites often cite the lack of women CEOs of technology companies in Silicon Valley too (approx 2-3%) yet in Boston they have 20% of women in these roles – we need to start focusing on what is working where and replicate that elsewhere.

    That’s my two cents worth for today :)

    Natalie

  3. Yay @NatalieSisson ! I knew there was a reason we got on so well :) I couldn’t agree more on the fact that there are a lot of sensational articles that try to skew things to get the controversy or comments going. The blame game gets us nowhere!

    I also think that the way boys and girls are socialized is different, and that has something to do with it… but after spending 3 days with a bunch of geeks at BlogWorld I can honestly say that there are tons of smart techy women out there. We’re just not used to highlighting them!

    Thanks SO much for the great discussion, I think it’s worth more than just two cents. ;)

  4. Yay @NatalieSisson ! I knew there was a reason we got on so well :) I couldn’t agree more on the fact that there are a lot of sensational articles that try to skew things to get the controversy or comments going. The blame game gets us nowhere!

    I also think that the way boys and girls are socialized is different, and that has something to do with it… but after spending 3 days with a bunch of geeks at BlogWorld I can honestly say that there are tons of smart techy women out there. We’re just not used to highlighting them!

    Thanks SO much for the great discussion, I think it’s worth more than just two cents. ;)

  5. Just catching this after the fact but I really appreciate it! As a young woman who tried to code and couldn’t crack it it’s great to read this. I like your less harsh view. We don’t have to put our nose to the grindstone to get the right degrees and do things correctly. It’s about making it in our own individual ways like you did :) Thanks Nathalie!