Traditionally, a number of countries around the world celebrate International Women's Day. This day is a focal point in the movement for women's rights. Today we can see the impact of the struggle in all spheres of life: social, economic, civil, political.
Demonstrators from all over the world encourage people to pay attention to the problems of inequality and gender-based discrimination. The role of a woman, her unique path and the challenges faced by the fair sex are raised at many international conferences. The tech industry is no exception.
Major IT events include separate sections dedicated to women's success stories. Not so long ago, the founder of Lucky Hunter Tatiana Melnichuk took part in one of such conferences.
Participation in the conference seemed to be a logical decision for Tatiana at that time: Tatiana has been working in the tech field for many years, achieved success, becoming the founder of her own IT recruitment agency and even leads an all-female team.
Nevertheless, after speaking at the Digital Tech Conference, Tatiana decided not to participate in such conferences anymore and therefore refused to become a speaker at the next conference.
In honour of a significant event in the history of women's emancipation, we invited Tatiana to become our guest at the Lucky Hunter blog. Tatiana explained why she'd refused to participate in the "women's" conference, and told about the real situation in the IT-sphere.
The Lucky Hunter Founder
A Word on Views
To begin with, I don't want to identify myself with any groups. Sexism, feminism, communism, globalism and other "isms" slightly limit the holistic perception of the global picture.
That's really great that contemporary society raises issues of gender equality, legislative protection of minorities (which women are often reckoned in), justice, combating violence and human rights abuse.
But still, I believe that such acute social issues shouldn't be included in professional events that have very few relation to the vindication of the rights of women. I have several reasons for this:
1. It's useless
By adding an additional section to a tech conference about women in IT, we are more promoting the conference than dealing with the issue.
In fact, the problems remain unresolved, and women, even more, believe that it's quite impossible to achieve success in their careers (after all, if a whole section of the conference is devoted to the women's success, then this is clearly something unique).
The only winner is the organizer of the event, who's caught the hype train by adding a section about women in technology.
2. We lose balance
I more than understand when summits devoted to the problems of gender-based discrimination, domestic violence, the growth of AIDS-infected in Africa etc. are held at thematic events. But I don't understand why to include such sections at the business conferences? It seems that we are missing something.
In our world, there are a large number of problems related not only to women. What about people with reduced capabilities? What about the civil rights of sexual minorities? And what share does a man have in this whole story?
In such stories, we lack the balanced role of every person inhabiting our planet. It seems that there's a preponderance towards only one side. And the question of the struggle for gender equality seems somewhat inappropriate in this context.
When and where is it suitable to discuss gender equality issues?
The tech sphere is one of the most progressive spheres today
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that people should speak about women's problems only in "specially allotted places". It's suitable and more than reasonable to discuss them wherever you want. The only thing that seems unnatural to me is raising the "women's question" at tech conferences. The tech sphere is one of the most progressive spheres today. Therefore, we can conclude that this is one of the most tolerant ones.
We get used to saying that "first you judge how nice, then you judge how wise". Still, in the tech field, people don't judge a book by its cover. It doesn't matter if you are a woman or a man, it doesn't matter how old you are and what you wear.
You should be well-versed in what you are doing. That's the only thing that matters. There is no bias about gender, age, hair colour. Here you are loved and accepted for who you are. And this is the great thing about the IT-sphere.
I'm not talking about the fact that no woman has faced problems with professional growth, because she is a woman. Of course, such stories take place. I can't guarantee that this is impossible, after all, even in the field of IT people work, and some may still have conservative prejudices about fair sex. Still, in my experience, this happens extremely rare.
When we create a section "women in tech" at an IT conference, we emphasize the problem that even doesn't exist
It turns out that when we create a section "women in tech" at an IT conference, we emphasize the problem that even doesn't exist. By supporting participation in such events, I help create the illusion of inequality, foster the women's confidence that only men can achieve success in the tech sphere, which of course is not at all the case.
Dear ladies, I know about many problems faced by the fair sex. I support domestic violence foundations, I sincerely rejoice at any success of women in the struggle for equal rights, but I urge you not to pay so much attention to the "women's issue" when it comes to your success in the IT field.
For many years, the purely "male sphere" ceased to be such. Every woman can touch the heights in the IT field if she works hard and improves herself.
Shake prejudices out of your head. Develop, achieve success and don't be afraid of anything. After all, you and I know who the stronger sex is :) Happy holidays, lovely ladies! I know we will succeed!