What It’s Like to Be a female at a Tech Conference

What It’s Like to Be a female at a Tech Conference

Not long ago, I went to my conference that is first as engineer. To provide a little bit of context, before we made my job transition into software engineering, I became a musical theater performer. Theatre, unlike STEM, is an industry that is in serious need of males. Really, might like to do musicals? Can you form of carry a tune? Have you been a guy? You’re cast! But we digress…

This might be you, guy.

So, imagine my shock once I went to my extremely engineering that is first as a lady… it felt similar to this:

Here’s exactly how my inner-monologue sounded:

“So…many…dudes… oh! Is the fact that a lady? Hmmm, no… she’s from the catering group. Oh delay! is a different one? NOPE only a guy with a person bun.”

The irony of most for this? i’m generally providing speaks on variety at these seminars. Which, hey, is fantastic! This means that the individuals operating these seminars note that there clearly was a issue therefore we need certainly to correct it. But, seriously… this begs the question that is important Where are the women in technology? Or, to place it more casually… where my women at?

I do believe it is crucial to see by using the numerous tries to get “more women in tech” and diversity that is“add teams”, it is crucial to approach this matter with passion and passion, but in addition with a feeling of humor and forgiveness. You’ll notice that this informative article will not originate from an accepted place of anger, but from a location of understanding. As being a feminist, and an engineer that is female we allow it to be a place become approachable rather than get upset at individuals with regards to their missteps or assumptions of me personally in this industry. Much me out over assuming he’s an engineer based on his plaid shirt and Patagonia jacket, I wouldn’t ever want to be aggressive towards a male for assuming I’m not an engineer like I wouldn’t want a male engineer to chew. We don’t appear to be the stereotype- that are classic happen. We must all find a way to possess a conversation that is healthy this.

And thus, I’ve built a premier 5 list of all common experiences that I’ve had as a lady at these seminars. Women, here’s things to expect/perhaps everything you’ve skilled. Men, right here’s an understanding:

A lot of people Assume I’m Maybe Maybe Not a Developer ?

As women engineer at a technology seminar, we find myself constantly needing to show myself to many individuals I meet. Be that by dropping engineering buzzwords, putting on certainly one of my engineer inside laugh shirts (“World’s Okayest Engineer” is one of my own favs), or just saying my task name; most of the time, individuals assume from them or “someone’s daughter tagging along to the conference” (to be fair, I used to play teenagers during my acting days… but I digress) that I must be “some girl they hired to run a booth who is trying to get some swag”.

To offer some context, I’m a quirky 5’2? girl that is blonde glow eyeglasses and, on event, displaying pigtails or even a bow during my locks. An individual may think “oh- she must be Zooey Deschanel’s stylist” at first glance. But we vow I’m an engineer you dudes. Therefore, once I earnestly visit your booth to know about your product or service and also you glaze over me personally within the audience, right here’s exactly how I’m going to respond whenever you started to obtain a real time demo from my booth later on that day:

Restrooms Are Empty

Ah yes, those types of uncommon occasions where in actuality the women’s line is… well, non-existent. I’ve started initially to have a great time using this by having impromptu photoshoots inside them. Enjoy these gems:

Ghost town Party time!

” data-medium-file=”https://i0.wp.com/shift.newco.co/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/thumbs-up.jpeg?fit=225%2C300&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i0.wp.com/shift.newco.co/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/thumbs-up.jpeg?fit=660%2C880&ssl=1″ > Party time!

The Upon Party Can Get Embarrassing ??

Consider being really the only females at a bar on Saturday evening (this will be regrettably perhaps not The Castro or Capital Hill in Seattle ??????). Now that is amazing bar that is same but rented down by a very good technology business with several available pubs.

Okay cool- so now you know how we have actually believed at virtually every after party I’ve visited at a technology meeting. Luckily for us, I’ve just had 1 embarrassing oh-god-please-leave-me-alone situation therefore far (pro-tip, never phone anybody a “hott nerd” to split the ice). But I’ll share certainly one of latin brides free chat my favorite moments from DockerCon:

Scene: DockerCon AfterParty on Rainey Street. Chloe approaches a Taco Truck.

Chloe: I’ll have 2 seafood tacos be sure to.

Person Order that is taking great- could I obtain a title for your order?

Chloe: You can simply say “the only girl here” since… well…

Person Using Order: Ha! That’s true!

You’re Probably Not planning to Get Any Shirts in a Women’s Size

Or presenter coats. Or socks for example. Yeah, just don’t expect any attire to fit you remotely. ??

I’m always thrilled whenever a swag booth carries women’s sizes, and simply take lots of pride into the proven fact that Codefresh always comes with an amount that is ample of attire in most sizes. Shoutout to Mapbox, Dropbox, GitHub, Docker, and women that Code if you are the companies that are only have actually supplied me personally with tops I’m able to sport proudly without experiencing like a 5 yr old wearing her dad’s top at a sleepover.

We (usually) Find Another woman that is awesome Vent With That Is Cool

Though here may possibly not be numerous, you will find frequently a number of other lovely, smart, interesting females at these exact things. My example that is favorite of will have to be Shilpa Rao, a 15 year-old who we came across in the meeting flooring at DockerCon. Shilpa and I also wandered the expo floor for a little together and talked about exactly what it is prefer to be a lady (and adult that is young at a technology meeting, and exactly how often it may be tough to have individuals look past stereotypes. Shilpa appeared to be experiencing comparable presumptions as being a more youthful individual when I had been as a female engineer. Jokes she is the co-founder of STEAM Team– a youth led organization geared towards bringing education and resources to the children of underprivileged communities in the Bay Area, and she even edited the following video for her company on them, though.

Be aware of that one, you guys- she’s tough. Keep smashing those stereotypes, Shilpa!

In Summary…

In the event that you identify as feminine- i really hope this informative article either resonated with you or has assisted you emotionally get ready for the sea-of-dudes that seminars could be.

It’s important to consider that although the ratio is mostly male, having a feminine existence is one of the primary actions towards changing that ratio.

The greater women who attend these activities, the greater we’ll have actually individuals thinking beyond your field with regards to “what a designer appears like”, the greater part models we have for ladies (like Shilpa), in addition to more allies that are female have at these occasions. Blog at it about it, tweet about it, and use #ilooklikeanengineer or #changetheratio hashtags while you’re. Contemplating going to a meeting, but afraid of feeling away from place? TAKE ACTION. You belong here, as well as your sex ought not to dictate that.

Of course you’re male, i really hope this provides you an understanding of your brain for the girl the thing is at your booth. The next occasion, try and talk using them before they need to grab your attention at your booth. I’ve high hopes that people could all be more mindful and available to changing our preconceived stereotypes of exactly just what an engineer “looks like”. There are plenty tastes and types of designers (not merely using a start-up top wearing/male), let’s decide to try difficult not to ever discriminate.

And, lastly, shoutout into the seminars diversity that is providing, including variety speaks with their conferences with their routine, and achieving a broad understanding of this matter! I will be exceedingly excited for Open supply Summit united states by The Linux Foundation. As a presenter, We have not merely been expected to perform a class on the best way to make my talk more inclusive, nonetheless they have actually a diversity track that is entire! Also, shoutout to Solomon Hykes at Docker for the tweet that is followingit is awesome!):

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