Not just a hashtag: Women in Tech make the world better

I have news for you: You don’t have to be a woman in technology to be passionate about #womenintech! My life’s work/obsession has always been around learning and education. I have degrees in English and Health Innovation, and I taught writing and literature in high school and college for fifteen years. Before starting at GoDaddy, no one would have considered me technologically-minded. But, guess what I am passionate about–women in technology! My career at GoDaddy brought this topic to my attention, but I am embarrassed that it wasn’t on my radar sooner. I may not know how to code, but I know for sure that I want my daughter to feel free to pursue any avenue that interests her, and that includes STEM subjects.

 According to Women and Information Technology’s “By the Numbers” from 2017, we have a ways to go. For example, of all the Computer Science bachelor’s degrees awarded at major research universities in 2015, only 16% were to women. Computer Science and Information Sciences bachelor’s degrees — 18%. Sigh.

 This is a callout to you–moms, dads, students, humans: it’s time to get behind #womenintech. It’s not just good for women, it’s good for everyone. Businesses benefit from diversity; children benefit from moms, aunts, and sisters in the tech industry; communities benefit from women reinvesting their incomes locally. This is not new information. It’s all over the internet! One of the best articles I’ve seen on this topic (see link below) included this amazing quote from Jen Pahlka, the cofounder of the United States Digital Service: “We realized that if we were going to fix America’s problems, we should look a little bit like America.” America is 50% women, so our problem solvers in the tech industry should match that percentage of women.

New technologies will continue to define how we interact with the world. Each smartphone is cooler than the last. Coding is a language, and men and women can attribute vastly different connotations to words. Side note: that fact really helped me understand some of the arguments I’ve had with my husband! We were not on the same page around what we were saying, even when we were using the same words. Marriage is a learning process, but I digress. While that’s a small, personal problem we’re working on, imagine it on a global scale with a new app. The implications are much larger. Again–check out the article referenced above on some more great stories about this topic.

 Ok, I’ll step off my soapbox for now, and I’ll leave you with this. The future is coming regardless of what you support and believe. You can help to shape the future you want or you can live in the future you get. I want a future with more women in technology, so I’m not going to shut up about it. And I want you to care about it too. It’s important, it’s relevant, and it’s the future I want to see.

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