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To The Men Who Stand with Women in Tech — Thank You

I recently read I’m so tired and I’m not even a woman and it kicked me right in the feels reading from a male perspective who actually empathizes with women. I’m thankful that these things are noticed and grateful for all those who do something about it.

 

In the past 6 months, there’s been a lot of news about the “Culture of Harassment”, about the Uber CEO’s inappropriate emails, and a number of women coming out with their own stories. While my heart hurts hearing about these things, I fully believe that for every negative, there is a positive, and for every douchebag out there, there’s a real man offering support.

 

I know, because I wouldn’t be where I am in my career without them.


 



 

When I was interviewing for a job my last year of college, I was rejected for a position because the recruiter said I wasn’t technical enough. (Mind you, I was graduating with a degree in Computer Engineering.) I applied for the same job a semester later and received an offer. I later volunteered at a recruiting fair at my alma mater with said recruiter. He remembered me and afterwards, wrote a glowing praise email to my boss. My favorite comment from which I will never forget: “…where she is long and humility and short in ego. She has a long and successful career ahead of her.” That email set the tone of my career.

 

When I was a QA analyst, I had weekly one on one meetings with my boss. From the beginning, I think he sensed my insecurity, but saw potential in me. He pushed me to take classes and certifications, genuinely cared about my career growth, and let me move on when opportunity knocked. I credit him with teaching me to stop focusing on the minutiae and zoom out to see the bigger picture.

 

When I was given the opportunity to be a project manager  —  something I thought would’ve taken years longer — my direct manager walked me through processes, but still gave me room to grow. He encouraged me when I was nervous about presenting to the VP, answered all my stupid questions, and showed me that really understanding a business model can give you an upper hand in finding a technical solution. He still jokes that if I ever needed a job, he would make room for me, wherever he is.

 

Then there was the manager who had my back when I made a mistake. The director who unknowingly gave me a confidence boost when he allowed me to take responsibility because he “wanted to empower me.” The executive who told me to keep going in my career because “it’s hard to find people like you.” And I can’t forget my male colleagues who reminded me to be fearless and just go for it.

 

It’s no secret that the IT world is saturated with men and I hate knowing that so many bad apples have given many women in tech bad experiences.

But I’m a woman in tech and I’ve had so many good experiences.

 

There’s still room to grow in terms of equality, but we should celebrate the wins along the way. Women are not better than, but the world is better with women. To the ladies out there, keep your head up. And to the men who stand with us, thank you.




Roxy

Roxy is a millennial minority woman in tech with a passion for women's empowerment. Born and raised in Hawai'i, she currently resides in Dallas, Texas with her crazy English Bulldog, Yeyo.

15 Comments
  • So well-written and impactful Roxy. I agree with you, “for every negative, there is a positive.” In the journalism field, I’ve been blessed to have mentors, both men and women, who have helped me navigate my career. While we can’t turn a blind eye to the negatives, let’s celebrate the success stories too! Bravo!
    xoxo,
    Liv
    http://www.livslookbook.com

    August 1, 2017 at 8:02 am
  • What a wonderful insight into what happens in the tech world (and so many others) both on the negative side and the positive side.

    August 1, 2017 at 9:36 am
  • Well written article. “I fully believe that for every negative, there is a positive, and for every douchebag out there, there’s a real man offering support.” Not only did that line make me laugh, but it is legit! Nice read.

    August 1, 2017 at 9:38 am
  • what a great post my friend!

    August 1, 2017 at 10:24 am
  • I really love your perspective in this article. I think it is easy to only remember the negative stories we hear without giving credit for all of the good experiences that are out there. There is definitely a need for improvement, but not everything is bad.

    August 1, 2017 at 6:39 pm
  • there are still so many issues with women and jobs. The right person for the right job should always be the way people are hired.

    August 1, 2017 at 6:52 pm
  • loveyoumoretoo
    Reply

    Wow. I had no idea this was going on. It doesn’t surprise me at all. Thanks for bringing light to this situation.

    August 1, 2017 at 8:17 pm
  • I remember those days when tech was only men but things have changed a lot. I worked in the tech industry for over 20 years and in the first 8 I was always a minority. A marketing female professional working among engineers focused in marketing plans. Go figure =) I do not think IT or Tech are the only industries that face such issues. Many companies have lack of diversity. But that issues should not deter any goals. It is all about teamwork and good attitude. As well as hiring the correct person for a job not based on gender or race.

    August 1, 2017 at 11:17 pm
  • While there is LOTS of room of growth, we as women have come a long way in all areas of our careers. And yes, it took both men and women to make this progress happen!

    August 2, 2017 at 11:01 am
  • Great read! I couldn’t agree more.

    August 2, 2017 at 11:45 am
  • madhami
    Reply

    I am a woman in IT and I’ve also had so many amazing experiences. From PM to VP, I grew and moved up the ranks. But i’ll say this: I’ve always worked for women. It was just my luck and the companies I decided to go to. Not sure if the trajectory of my career would be different had i worked for men, but I will say that most people in my field are men. Good article and great perspective.

    August 2, 2017 at 12:39 pm
  • “for every negative, there is a positive” is so very true! This is excellent!!

    August 2, 2017 at 12:39 pm
  • It is still so surprising how in 2017 women are not treated equality to men. However we did come a long way and I applaud the people/companies that treat women equally.

    August 2, 2017 at 1:15 pm
  • I’ve never been in tech so thank you for this insight. It’s very difficult to be a woman in career, no matter the area. We got to be strong 🙂

    August 3, 2017 at 12:38 am
  • Years spent working in the corporate ladder, I’ve had similar experiences and then there were also terrible ones. I think it’s amazing that you are recognizing men who stand with us. They show us that there is definitely a chance to create a better world for women in the coming years.

    August 3, 2017 at 11:22 am

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