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.