#BeBoldForChange? Then be a #MumInTech
On the eve of IWD2017, I’ve had the honour of joining Mums In Technology to celebrate a new cohort of women graduating from the baby-friendly coding school — the very place where my own learn-to-code journey began just 18 months ago.
As a young woman, I pretty much thought gender inequality was something we’d very nearly busted — as girls we were raised to have ambition, to pursue our goals and achieve. In my early career, that was true. I never thought twice about competing with male counterparts. I wanted to be top of the game. Sure I could see there weren’t many female leaders around, but hey — things are changing and we’re a new generation, right?! But it wasn’t long before motherhood was on the cards. And then I understood. Nothing has changed.
Our expectations of men and women in their respective role as parents has seen very little shift. Shared Parental Leave is now ‘A Thing’, but it’s nearly two years on since it’s introduction in the UK and barely 4% of men are taking it up. Childcare is still seen as a woman’s domain. The knock-on impact of that? Part-time workers = women. Stay-at-home-parent = women. And we have all been guilty parties in perpetuating that.
But we are living in a period of unprecedented innovation and exponential change and we have a unique opportunity to make things right. Except that … just 5% of the world’s leaders in technology are women. FIVE PERCENT. Yes, we are living in a time of exponential change — but exponential change, that is being driven by men.
Bar the enlightened few, they do not appreciate what it means to be a woman. To have hopes and dreams, and then find what you once thought to be true is not. This is why we’ve chosen to create a flexible work-from-home team to build Happity, and to use our platform to champion parents who are striving to create Work That Works.
So if you are a mother, understand that you have the power to Be The Change. Because you already know what gender inequality means. Don’t wait for the next generation of girls — they don’t know what you do.