Celebrating Women in Tech: Story Time & How You Can Support Us👯♀️
5 min read
Hello everyone! My name is Eleftheria and I work at Hashnode as a community manager; some of you may know me from Hashnode, others from social media, and others may not know me at all! That's ok; I'm here to share my story as a woman in tech!
I am an engineer passionate about building a community, sharing, and learning. Today, as it's International Women's Day, I want to take this opportunity to share my story and encourage others to do the same.
How it started 👩🎓
I started my journey in tech as a student in the Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering department at the University of Western Macedonia (Greece). While only a handful of women were in my program (2/10 were women), I was determined to pursue my passion. I remember spending countless hours studying, programming, and working on projects.
At that point, all my friends were male, and I remember getting into the classes and seeing only male faces. I remember my (male) professors talking to me with disbelief, whereas chatting with the male students like best friends... Nevertheless, I pushed through and graduated with my degree (2nd in my class with a score of 8.0/10).
Graduation Day ~ The dean and me!
After graduation, I worked as a developer for a few years. I was often the only woman on my team. But I always felt proud of what I had accomplished and was grateful for the support of my colleagues.
Quick "funny" story: In the first job I got as a front-end developer, I was the only woman on the whole floor (it was a big company, with 2 buildings next to each other), and since I was the 1st woman, they never thought to have a female WC 🚾 and even after they got me they suggested I should go to another floor to use the female restroom...
Where I am today 😻
Now, as a community manager at Hashnode, I am proud to work for a company committed to supporting women in tech!
With Aakansha Priya and Sumudu Siriwardana at Hashnode's 2022 yearly retrieve.
The role of women 💪
Women have always played a significant role in the advancement of technology, from Ada Lovelace, who is credited with creating the first computer program in the mid-1800s, to Grace Hopper, who invented the first compiler in the 1950s. Despite this, women continue to be underrepresented in the tech industry today. The latest statistics show that women only make up 25% of the computing workforce, and the number drops even further when it comes to leadership positions.
This is a problem that we need to address, not just for the sake of diversity and inclusion but for the betterment of the industry as a whole.
How can we support each other? 💁♀️
Here are strategies for supporting women in tech:
Mentorship: One of the most effective ways to support women in tech is through mentorship. By connecting with other women who are starting out in the industry, we can help to guide them and provide them with the support they need to succeed.
Mentors and role models can be valuable sources of advice and support for women in tech. Encourage women to seek out people who can offer guidance and share their experiences.
Networking: Another important strategy is networking. By connecting with other women in tech, we can build a supportive community that can help us to navigate the challenges of this industry. This can include attending conferences and events, joining online communities, and reaching out to other women in the field.
Advocacy: We need to be our own advocates. This means speaking up when we see bias or discrimination in the workplace, and advocating for policies and practices that support women. By raising awareness and pushing for change, we can help to create a more inclusive and equitable tech industry.
But there is even more we can do ~ for companies:
Provide opportunities for training and development: Tech is a rapidly changing field, and it's important for women to have access to ongoing training and development opportunities to keep their skills up-to-date. Employers can offer training programs or provide funding for employees to attend conferences and workshops.
Foster a culture of inclusivity and respect: It's essential to create a workplace culture that values diversity and promotes respect for all employees. This means addressing issues like bias and discrimination head-on, and providing resources for employees who may be experiencing harassment or other forms of mistreatment.
Celebrate the achievements of women in tech: Women in tech have made significant contributions to the industry, and it's important to recognize and celebrate their achievements. This can be done through awards programs, public recognition, or other forms of acknowledgement.
Advocate for policies that support women in tech: Governments, professional associations, and other organizations can help support women in tech by advocating for policies that promote gender equity and diversity in the industry. This might include things like funding for programs that encourage girls to pursue STEM education, or initiatives to close the gender pay gap in tech.
Today I briefly shared my story as a woman in tech, hoping to inspire other women to do the same.
I'd like to motivate women to start being mentors for others (or ask for mentorship), network in online and IRL events and advocate for their rights and equality.
I'd also like to encourage companies to support women in tech by providing training and development opportunities, fostering a culture of inclusivity and respect, celebrating their achievements, and advocating for policies that support women in tech.
👋 Hello, I'm Eleftheria, Lead Community Manager at Hashnode, developer, public speaker, and chocolate lover.
🥰 If you liked this article, consider sharing it.
Did you find this article valuable?
Support Eleftheria Batsou by becoming a sponsor. Any amount is appreciated!