I’ve been asked how it is to be a woman in IT. From my point of view, many valuable posts about the women in tech already appeared in different channels from newspapers to interviews, blog posts and podcasts on the Internet. Frankly speaking, it took me a while to perceive what I can add to all these stories and is there something more what should be shared. Finally, I realized that there was no better story than my honest story. If this text can inspire at least one woman to consider her future in technology – I am obligated to express my thoughts.
It was quite recently, about 7 years ago, just after my studies when I joined a technology company (Microsoft Partner) and at the same time, I became a female fighter in IT. What pushed me to try my hand at this area? No technical studies nor a big teenage love for computers. It was a curiosity and a Microsoft brand. Yes, I am aware that the second motivation can make you smile but this is a fact. Microsoft colors and prestige always caused my excitement.
But let’s start with curiosity. I always heard that IT was for boys. It’s a man world where women are not necessary, or even worse that women’s personality suits better to other industries; accounting, HR or marketing, for instance. This opinion overwhelmed me. I wanted to experience firsthand to confirm or reject this theory. You can imagine how surprised I was when I’ve started my first work in IT where I was the sole woman in my team. Moreover, each department, no matter if dev or HR, was dominated by men! I completely couldn’t comprehend “why”. Regardless of the IT industry, we work in, some areas in companies are the same, so why mainly men worked there? Key blocker – stereotypes. Tech means coding, coding means men. Unfortunately, the stereotypes that we women believed in. I heard many times from my girlfriends “me in IT? I’m not an engineer” or “Edi, why do you work in IT if you’re not an IT specialist?” Does it sound familiar? If we still think that technology is booked for men only and there is no room for other professions, the number of female employees in tech will never grow. Well, my dear female friend if you still afraid to embark on your journey in the tech world, please ask yourself first if it comes from your experience or this is a platitude that drives your opinion. And yes, you don’t have to be an engineer and coding “skill” is not obligatory.
Let’s jump to the second motivation. I am certain that if I would seek each of you about your dreamt employer or the most qualified company to cooperate with you would have some leading brands in your mind. I enjoyed mine. It was Microsoft. Microsoft, for me, was always a synonym of the best technology, the best business model and the best example that it’s possible to connect people in terms of technology in a human way. In addition to that Microsoft says that we all are equal no matter what’s our origin, race, gender or religion. It was the best recommendation for me to start thinking about my future in IT. I assumed that if a technology leader claims that there is a place for everyone to work in tech, it must be the truth and I should follow my guru. It was a truth. Looking at my current position and ambitions, my journey in the IT industry continues and is not going to end. I fell in love with technology. Every day I challenge myself, and I want to be better, I want to know more, I want to achieve more and share my enthusiasm with the community. And what should be highlighted I’ve never had a feeling that I don’t fit men’s IT world. I met more often with welcome reception and appreciation that my women’s approach helped in many cases in acquiring or closing the projects.
In addition to that the IT world is very flexible and employee-friendly. Your future depends on you and how you want to lead this journey. If you wish to switch from one profession to another it is possible. IT companies truly take care of employee’s professional development and let spread their wings in new areas. I changed my role from a business-marketing person to a consultant and got big support from my current employer. Amazing! I am not sure if it’s so easy in other industries. So, dear women if you read my tiny article, please do not afraid to try, do not afraid to experience, please do not be afraid to click. Who will run the IT world? 😊
Community Lead at Predica, SharePoint Saturday Warsaw Organizer, aoS Ambassador, and Polish ShareCon365 support. But all these positions are not important, it is important to stay human, share good energy and knowledge because it’s all about the people! #SharingIsCaring #Microsoft #CommunityRocks