Becoming “The Girl” again
Makers Academy has a really great environment. I really mean that. I’m not trying to sell this place to you, but if you’ve been butting your head against nerdy bro culture every time you try to learn to code, Makers is a good place to consider.
My cohort is over 50% female and looking back through my own history of learning and the experiences others have shared with me, this has a fundamental effect on the learning environment.
The sense of overt competition feels less to me. I’ve not heard a single gross bro joke. The Makers ethos really fosters the idea of co-operation and sharing knowledge in a way most other learning institutions discourage. When one person succeeds, everyone succeeds. One person’s achievement is everyone else’s celebration too. It sounds cheesy but it’s actually pretty cool.
So what does this mean about the world outside Makers?
A friend of mine told me yesterday that many coding bootcamps like Makers are currently flooding the market with female junior devs. He hoped this would cause a big shift in programming culture in the next few years as women gained more experience and took on more senior roles.
But the idea that merely existing as a woman in a currently male-dominated and controlled space will be enough to change the culture that created the problem seems like a leap to me. Will having more women devs actually lead to more women in senior tech roles?
We know women already get passed over for promotions despite being equally or more competent, and are less likely to receive equal credit for equal work. We know women get talked over, and their ideas gain less traction merely for being delivered from a woman’s mouth instead of a man’s. We know women have to do more work to earn the same wage and that roles regarded as primarily for women are deemed labours less worthy of financial compensation despite their social economic contribution.
I guess only time will tell whether enough is being done about the women in tech issue. I just hope that when I have to start thinking seriously about this in 3 months, I don’t find myself regressing back to being the odd one out.