Women in Tech: Marching to the beat of their own drum

We have a bunch of smart, creative techies at Quirk. Some of them happen to be women.

I caught up with Cape Town QuirkStation’s Technical Ops Manager, L-zanne, and her female team members to discuss their experience of tech, the importance of skill over gender and what the rest of us are missing out on.

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  1. The tech team isn’t only for guys – and this isn’t a new thing.

“Women in tech” isn’t exactly a new idea, although by some people’s reactions, you’d swear it is. Some of the biggest influencers of the tech and coding world have been women. Think of Ada Lovelace, who wrote the first programming language, Grace Hopper who created the first compiler and Angie Byron who is one of the top leaders in the Drupal community. These women started out in tech and paved the way for others – both male and female.

  1. We’re all “in tech” in our own way.

As individuals who form part of a digital marketing agency, we all have to have our finger on the tech pulse in some way. An interest in tech isn’t only reserved for developers, much the same way as idea generation isn’t only reserved for the strategists or creatives. Whether we realise it or not, we take inspiration and lessons from different pieces of technology every day.

  1. Gender doesn’t matter, skill and perseverance does.

At the end of the day, whether you’re a man or a woman shouldn’t make a difference to how you are treated, so long as you can do the job. If you can write code, then that should be the only ticket you need to get in. People who work hard to refine their craft will get much further than anyone who happens to know some basics and further relies on a preconceived perception of their gender to get ahead.

  1. We should be discouraging gender-specific roles and careers, and encourage skill and passion instead – wherever that might lie.

This has a lot to do with the notion that girls love pink and boys love dirt – which isn’t necessarily always true though, is it? If we encourage our girls to follow their passions and dreams, rather than to question them, we empower them to be confident in themselves and their ideas. As long as they’re happy, does anything else really matter?

The women in our tech team are far more than just that – they push the boundaries to bring us some of the best work in the industry. And if we’re honest with ourselves, we shouldn’t be surprised with their accomplishments just because they are female.

Women can play just as well with the boys, without necessarily wanting to turn it into a competition. Anybody, regardless of gender, can do anything, as long as they set their minds to it. Marching to the rhythm of your own drum might not always be easy, but it will always be worth it.