By Paula Cusack, UX Designer
Tech university & I.T. courses: An all-boys club?
From a young age, I have always been very interested in technology. My biggest hobby is video games and I’ve always wanted to work in a career where I’m designing something for other people to use and for them to experience. That, for me is important and I hope more women see the potential.
I also think it is one of the biggest growing industries and find any new technology to be very interesting. I do not think of it as an industry that’s going to slow down at any stage, and it will become more and more integrated into everyone’s lives as it grows.
But there is room to improve to achieve greater gender equality and inclusion. In my opinion, the place that needs a breakthrough is our education system. Technology university & IT courses need to be more tailored and targeted towards women. It does not help that most of the time, it’s men who are teaching these subjects.
I feel that if these courses were marketed more towards women—by creating a more welcoming and diverse environment of both teachers and guest speakers—would encourage more girls to pursue STEM courses. I know a few girls who wanted to get a Computer Science degree but decided not to because they would be the only girl in a course with all male students and teachers.
Seeing things differently
I think there is an assumption in tech spaces that females cannot do the same quality of work that men can. This is false. A huge percentage of women feel intimidated in a workplace that is all men. I think men in tech need to be encouraged to let female employees speak more and not talk over them. A lot of the time, women see things from a different perspective and have good ideas that may be looked over. We could improve this and hopefully, will help us #BreakTheBias.
To me, the main thing that needs to be recognized to #BreakTheBias is that women can and do want to work in tech. However, as it stands, it is a hard field to get into that can be completely saturated with men, who may not think the same thing. I believe more women need to be vocal about working in tech to encourage more women to do the same.
Where I am now
With our setup in LiveTiles now, my opinion is that it is very important to have a workplace culture where you have a good relationship with your peers, who are flexible about how and when you start your work, has a good work-life balance, and a management that is approachable and fair to work with.
I would personally not like to work in a high-pressure environment or workplace where I’m constantly under stress. I like being able to switch off from work once I have finished for the day and not have to worry about work when I am at home.
The diversity in LiveTiles is good for the most part. What I think perhaps could be improved is to market open roles in a way that would entice more women to want to work here or set up an internship program aimed solely at women or other minorities. This would give them a fair chance to get job offers within the tech space.