International Girls in ICT day
On April 28, the International Girls in ICT Day was celebrated all over the world. To mark this day, we had a meaningful conversation with three of our communities: Geek Girls, As Raparigas do Código and Women in Engineering.
What are the main changes you have witnessed in the role of women in technology?
In the past few years, we have been witnessing a greater interest — from companies, universities, and society in general — in creating awareness regarding the gender gap in technology. Most efforts comprise the creation of programs for women entrepreneurship, women coding bootcamps, women in tech events, and educational programs that encourage young girls to follow STEM careers. – As Raparigas do Código (Miriam Santos)
Recently, women in society are highlighted in all aspects that are relevant. For instance, in the new Portuguese government, we have women ministers in areas never seen before (…). – Wie Portugal (Andreia Artífice)
The role of women in tech companies is now more at the center of the discussion, and that’s a positive evolution. We currently see more women being considered for lead and management positions. We know many companies are taking steps to actively reach more women for job openings and to build more diverse teams and working environments. – Geek Girls (Vânia Gonçalves)
In your opinion, what should we still work on in the future regarding the path of women in tech careers?
Despite the awareness regarding gender inequality we have been witnessing in the past few years, the “fight” is far from over. With respect to tech companies, there are still several glass ceilings to break. Companies should ensure that their hiring processes are free from internal bias, and focus on diversity as much as possible. (…) Companies should make diversity and inclusion two of their core values. (…) A work culture that values honesty, vulnerability, compassion, creativity, and courage. Companies should also create learning opportunities for women to progress in their careers, and possibilities for women to gain visibility in their fields of expertise. Lastly, bring the “fight” to the office every day! These aspects need to be discussed and taught on a daily basis, not just to celebrate Women’s Day or ICT Day 🙂 – As Raparigas do Código (Miriam Santos)
The most important and the most difficult thing is the change of mindset. Recognize value, skills, and abilities. Another very important aspect is respecting differences and treating people respecting those differences. This is not only in the relationship of man and woman, but in all aspects. We should not judge a person by their sex, religion, belief, disability, etc. – Wie Portugal (Andreia Artífice)
Companies still have a lot of work to do in the scope of gender-balanced, inclusive, and diverse work environments. We need to work on building a culture of inclusivity where bias and prejudice have no place. Only with such a culture we’ll be able to attract more young women talent and retain current professionals. – Geek Girls (Vânia Gonçalves)
If you could advise all future professionals in this area, what would it be?
The most honest advice I could ever give to anyone (…) is to be authentic, kind, and brave. (…) Try to make a difference, support others, join an initiative, become a mentor, and stand up for equality. Embrace the world with a young heart: help when you can, and learn when you can’t. – As Raparigas do Código (Miriam Santos)
Don’t fight, be intelligent! Live your dream, you can do as well or maybe even better than your colleague. Progress in your career always with respect, respecting others and demanding that they respect you. – Wie Portugal (Andreia Artífice)
Never doubt you cannot pass it, make it or achieve it, whatever that is. And if you ever feel undervalued or unheard, speak up! Silence doesn’t need to be the default response. – Geek Girls (Vânia Gonçalves)