We are doing it wrong is the perfect headline for what I want to share here.
I’ve been actively supporting girls in STEM for the past years. I’ve been actively joining meetups and conferences which intended to support women in tech. In all of these events, the participants are girls which already are part of the technology. In 90% of the cases such events turned out to be recruiting events. Yes! A recruiting event only for girls. It feels pathetic, doesnt it? Isn’t equality what we are standing for? Then why are we differentiating ourselves? How would we feel if there would be an event only for men, a recruiting event with great opportunities only for MEN?! I would be the first one against it and many other girls will claim for equality. Then, why do we treat ourselves differently?
Few days ago I received an invitation to join a community supporting girls in technology. I was interested and excited, but I ended up quite disappointed. After I showed interest on this, I got asked “how are things going at AM” (my current position). After checking their website, I realised that they were collecting profiles “to sell” to the companies which want to have a 50:50 gender equality in their team. This was very disappointing. If there is a cause to stand for, don’t turn it to business because you are destroying that CAUSE. We shouldn’t pretend to be hired somewhere just to improve the image of a certain company. Thats not what we want.
We are doing it wrong because we are trying to be treated differently, we are trying to abuse with this cause.
If we want to close the gender gap, we should start doing it with the next generations. We are responsible for the next generations, we should serve as model for young girls and raise our children with a different mindset. We should fight the stereotypes in young generations. We already decided to be part of this field and as mentioned we are a minority. We struggled to fit in this so-called men’s world, but we should make it easier for the ones who want to come in. If we want our position to change, we should do it together with the men, they should be welcomed in our events and communities. They should understand our challenges to fit in “their” world and collaborate on making it easier for us.
Making it easier starts on treating ourselves equally. It starts in very young age, where you go to baby shops and you see the girls clothes are designed to be pinky and boys ones are designed to be blue and have cars painted on. It starts on the toy shops, where the boys and girls sessions are divided by colors and the purpose of the toy. You mostly see barbies and beauty toys for little girls. Its exactly here where it starts and here we must work to fight such stereotypes. We are doing it wrong and we all should change this.
We all should work together to change this. For us and for the next generatoins.