On Being A Woman (In Tech)

This weeks Girl Geek Dinner (which is more snacks than actual dinner) is about Women in Technology and breaking down the barriers. Another topic on the blog and elsewhere has been about the perception of women in technology. Lisa had a great interview published and it got me to thinking about some stuff I’ve had happen to me lately.

We are different, apparently, us female SEOs. I did miss the memo and so when Ive been reminded, its always been a shock. Im not sure what it is, but somehow my DNA must have an anti-tech bent to it so that as a woman, I cannot possibly be good at anything technical. Or reading map directions. So I suppose the female SEO is a genetic abnormality, making me odd (but I knew that already).

There have been some great female SEOs and usability experts and web developers that have done the conference circuit, blogged and made a name for themselves while paving the way for the rest of us who followed silently. These women have really been excellent role models for everyone – not just seo-chicks *winks* They have really helped change attitudes.

Despite all these fantastic women have done for us, I have experienced discrimination as recently as May 2007. In my darker moments it seems like it doesn’t matter what I know – the perception is that as a female I can’t possibly know what I’m doing.

I don’t want special treatment for being female. It would be nice to be recognised for what I know, how long Ive been doing it and for the contributions Ive made by writing my own articles (as well as blogging here) along with speaking at conferences. I did start young but so did all the guys in the class with me plus the sysop who ran our line in to the internet. We all started early together.

The people I have worked for in the past have been spectacular at supporting me and believing in me – especially when they saw my results. And to my female programming teacher who tried to stop me taking the PASCAL programming class because ‘programming was no place for a girl’ I still say icon_razz-4731501-1660524

Join me at Girl Geek Dinners Thursday August 16th for which FREE tickets are still left. For geeky women, by geeky women men can come but only in the company of a woman. You sign up for FREE at http://londongirlgeekdinnerparty.eventbrite.com/ password: girlygeekdom