You’re not *JUST* a… Woman in Tech

It’s true. And I would say it’s true for all of women I know.

When I first started interviewing for software developer roles, I remember sitting down with a recruiter and being told “positive discrimination works in your favour”. Yes, he told me that I was pretty much guaranteed the job on the basis of my gender.

Now at the time I thought, that’s great! I wanted to get my foot in the door and start learning in the real world. I never stopped to question what he had actually said. I mean, you add “positive” onto the front of anything and suddenly it sounds ok.

It wasn’t until I met another female developer at a meet up. She was friendly and asked me about my coding experience, and I told her about getting my first job in development.

That’s fantastic!

She told me

Yes I’m happy. I know they just hired me because I’m a woman but…

I replied

She cut me off. I felt like a kid being told off by the head teacher when she told me to never think like that. To never put myself down. I had earned that job offer. I deserved that role.

And it was insulting to me to think otherwise.

If it had been any other role I would have never questioned my suitability.

  • I was one of the top students in my class
  • I was eager to learn more
  • I had a decade’s worth of experience in the same industry that the company targeted

That was a few years ago. And it’s a strange experience to hear other women saying exactly the same things to me now. And me responding in exactly the same way that she did.

So if you’re a woman entering the job market, especially as a developer, then just remember that you’re never just hired because you are a woman. No company can afford to take on a terrible employee in an attempt to diversify. You have earned your place.

And when we start seeing the statistics improving, and the workplace becoming more 50/50 then hopefully we won’t see women even considering that they’ve been hired based on their gender.

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