(This became a bit of a rant. I’m not against what you’re saying, more just frustrated that we talk about rock star females in tech, but we never call males who make it to the same level of achievement “rock stars.” They’re just males. Who’ve made it.)
I feel like males have a huge advantage in tech. It always feels like it’s perfectly appropriate for them to be a rock star, above average, ordinary, or below average. And they’re still accepted as being another “member of the club.”
Yet, for females, you’re expected to be a rock star. And a tech rock star (for females) seems to usually mean that you have leadership qualities. Being able to program is not required.
I’ve read Lean In, and I’ve heard Sheryl Sandberg talk in person, and I think she’s great and has a lot of insight. But her career path is not one I ever dream of emulating. Melissa Mayer is a bit more realistic for me, as she also has a comp sci background. But really, all I want are some female role models who a) don’t have to be a c-level exec, b) who don’t feel the need to dress up to be heard/taken seriously, c) who do program and have taken a (or are taking) a technical route for their career d) and some who don’t *want* to be c-level/managers and are happy to just stay where they are.
I want females to know that they can enter tech and whether they are rock stars, above average, ordinary, below average they are all still welcome to be part of the club. And that because they might not be a rock star, no one will use that to decide that females shouldn’t belong in tech. After all, no one decides because that one male is a terrible programmer, that males shouldn’t be in tech.
I want us to talk about females in tech as females in tech. Because a female makes it to a c-level job title in tech, apparently she’s a rock star. But males get to just remain males. I think this difference in terminology makes the c-level job look much more obtainable to males (you don’t have to be a rock star to make it) and much *less* attainable to females (you’re not a rock star? well, then tough luck).