To Whom it May Concern,
I am a woman who is an IT professional and you may have noticed that there is a lot of focus on women in the IT field right now. But I did not get my job because I am a woman and I do not think I get preferential treatment, in fact I think the opposite. I think that too often I have to prove that I’m smart, but not get pegged as a know-it-all; that I have good ideas, and not get called bossy; that I am the person to present an idea because I am articulate, not because I can work my magic on them.
Most days I don’t notice that I’m a woman in my workplace, I’m just happy to be a woman and unhappy to be at work, I’m kidding of course! Actually I am because I love where I work. But seriously, from my personal experience, the hardest part about all of the attention on women in the technology field right now is that my male colleagues think we are getting preferential treatment and being hired for jobs that we’re not qualified for, positions that they should of course be getting. I have had this said to me multiple times by male colleagues that I respect.
For the record, I think unqualified people get hired all the time, whether they’re male or female. Do I think there is a push to get more female applicants? Yes, definitely. But do I think they’re preferentially getting hired? No, I don’t.
So then, are you getting uncomfortable with seeing more women co-workers? Why do you think that women are getting preferentially hired? Is it because you are seeing more women in IT positions? Maybe even leadership IT positions?
Breaking this down a bit more. Why don’t you think we are seeing more women in IT positions because more women are applying to them than ever before? Why don’t you think it’s because statistically, more women are entering the IT field? Why don’t you think that the female candidate that got hired is actually more qualified for the position then all of the other applicants? And furthermore, why do women still make less than men on average? Why do we still make up far less than half of the total IT workforce?
These are the questions that bother me, that is the tone that offends me, and now I’ve been able to articulate why, because honestly, when you first brought it up I just thought, what a dumb thing to say to me. But you wanted me to explain so there you go.