It may be hard to believe, but it was until I got a degree in economics and got a first position related to making products for a tech company, that I knew what IT was like. At that stage, I was always overwhelmed, full of confusing terms about Big Data, NLP, Chatbot, Speech Processing technology,… running around in my head. To understand the product, I had to sit around with the devs, try to listen to everyone, and then translate into my own business language in the most “real” way 🤣🤣
As a female in a company where more than 95% are male, I am fortunate to have enthusiastic support from my friends, so I don’t think much about it. It was until I moved to the human resources segment, although it didn’t happen at my company, but when I had the opportunity to interact with many candidates, some hiring managers or C-levels at companies in the market, I am able to get the job: listen to many stories, prejudices and difficulties that girls have had to go through and will still face if there are no more positive changes. That has motivated me to stick more with the tech industry.
I really want female to be given more opportunities to express themselves and be more confident in the IT industry. According to what I observed and shared by my friends, there are two aspects that “barrier” women from entering the industry:
- People often hesitate to hire a female software engineer. Sometimes, they will tend to think that women don’t spend much time on coding, work, or don’t OT much. Then there comes a time when the female get married, become mothers, take care of their families, etc., causing them to neglect their work and affect the company’s projects. Even if they are recruited, they also think that female software engineers will probably be for a while, then switch to BA or QA. See, there are too many prejudices in the working environment that get in the way.
- Traditional education style of Vietnam, I mean. I don’t know about the others, but where I grew up, I see that girls are very limited in what career orientation is good, leisurely and stable. Like me, when I was a child, my parents drew a picture. Go to this school then do this job. But in the end, I still didn’t follow the family’s path. hat makes me not have opportunities to interact, try to see what I like, what I am good at. Oh dear, at that time I thought computers were for playing games, programming was for installing Win.
So, in summary, I hope female are not too negatively affected by the surrounding environment. Just focus on your goal, on your direction. Changing people’s perspectives and prejudices is a very long story, don’t let it affect your future. We should learn how to manage my emotions so that we are not afraid of anything, in any profession. So be confident guys 🦸
Fun fact: Ms. Huyen My is the Cofounder of Shecodes - connecting and supporting IT enthusiasts, not just for women. When it was founded, there were people who were skeptical about SheCodes that no one would join, because there are no female Coders! Guess what, in the 36-hour programming competition Shecodes held, more than 200 girls participated!