It is highly important to involve women in STEM and computer science professions and there is no better time to promote that than now. Many women these days are taking advantage of technology innovation around them and themselves becoming more inventive by the day. Here are some ways you can effortlessly participate in STEM and technology:
Learning is easier now! Courses can be taken online, there are boot camps (S/he Hacks Africa), events and other short courses across the country. From web development to mobile app, do aspire to develop several skills but be an expert in one. While you gather this knowledge, try as much as possible to express them in every place either you are given the opportunity or not, make your voice heard. When you express your knowledge, it will show you forth and express you to others. Never forget, you are as good and as deep as the knowledge you have.
BUILD A STRONG NETWORK
You are as strong and professionally sound as the network you keep. A network helps to leverage on the expertise of others that you can enjoy which necessarily may not be available to you if you work alone. You don’t have to know/be everything when you can leverage on the network you have to do what you cannot do. Partnerships, collaborations, events, networking should never stop for a professional who wants to keep improving. Instead of competing with fellow women in your niche, collaboration brings more advantage.
DON’T CREATE INEQUALITY FOR YOURSELF
It is not true that any of the two genders can successfully exist without the other especially in the work place. Innovation requires a balanced view that takes into consideration the requirement of each gender. This is why a well-balanced collaboration with the male counterpart in the work place is highly essential. Technology in itself is not gender biased, computers do not know the difference in male or female gender roles. Team work across gender will bring better solution to challenges. The way and approach of women in Technology is definitely different from that of men but working with the male folk will bring well-balanced and structured solution.
CREATE THE ENVIRONMENT THAT WORKS
Find or create the environment that works for you, don’t be limited by a work environment that restricts your productivity as a woman. Be bold to negotiate conditions that will make you fit in properly into the work space just as your male counterpart. Don’t assume that the same work place and environment men use will suit you without considering your peculiar responsibilities because your productivity is your responsibility. You might desire an environment with gender features, for example, the provision of babysitting facilities in your work place might help you settle more comfortably rather than worry over your baby, so be bold to ask for it.
One of the reasons for the gender imbalance in the Tech world is the unwillingness to share success/knowledge and this is common to women. Develop yourself so much that you have enough knowledge to share. It is important to note that knowledge shared is knowledge enhanced. This will greatly enhance the general productivity of women and as such reduce the gender literacy gap among women in the world of Technology. So, next time you learn something new, remember to share with another woman close to you, spread the knowledge until it is acknowledged that women professionals are as good if not better than their male counterparts.