‘Women in Tech’ is an interesting discussion and causes great debate at Orange Bus. We have a fairly strong proportion of men and women in the agency, across most teams – a part from development.
So, what about the new generation of women coming through from schools, colleges and university – do they know about all the opportunities there for them and do they have a gender-neutral perception of the roles available?
Engaging us in a Facebook debate, our friends Creative North – a North East apprenticeship initiative – asked “How do we get more females involved and working in the [technology] sector?” and this was my response:
“We should be getting the females that are in technology more visible in the community – and DEFINITELY in schools. Kids at A-Level/in college need to see women saying ‘yes, this is an opportunity for you.”
We also need to show the other sides of roles in digital that aren’t as obvious. I think people tend to think more along the lines of more women developers, more women designers etc. But what about account managers? Project managers? Digital marketeers? Financial roles?
These are all jobs in tech, but we’re not showing them to anyone right now, male or female, from a young age. I, for one, fell into my job, I never thought I would be doing it, but I know for a fact it’s the right career for me. I feel like there’s 17 year olds that don’t even know these jobs are available, and if they do, they only see the boring side. We need to be looking at the new generation and getting women involved from there.”
This leads us on to last week’s Beers with Ideas on Friday 15th April, a cheeky little (actual) Netflix and chill with a social awareness aspect – watching the American documentary CodeGirl. It’s the story of some groups of high-school aged girls from across the globe who all applied to The Technovation Challenge – which provides a technology entrepreneurship programme for girls. They were invited to design an app which solved real problems within their community, such as waste removal, access to clean water, preventing impaired driving, and creating positivity in their communities.
OB Ideas room transformed in a cinema for CodeGirl
Our friends from Creative North and Duo Global Consulting joined us for the screening, and afterwards our conversation turned to getting more women – both those working and those in schools – more aware of the opportunities there are in the digital and technology sectors. Hopefully we can come together to do more, especially bringing awareness of the women that are part of Orange Bus and the different career opportunities that we’ve been able to take up – not just the delivery roles, but Marketing, Project Management, Account Management and Operations. Highlighting the women who DO work in tech can hopefully inspire the next generation of women to do the same.
And, as for changing the perception of a male-dominated developer community – that’s a bigger fish to fry…but we’re on it!