I really liked the article, especially as a female software engineer. Though, I feel that everything that you listed is definitely required to be successful, I think there are specific opportunities that lead the way and enable people. You and I both went to college, but what about the people who don’t have access to good/higher level education?
I had a similar experience of discovering the field by stumbling into it. I didn’t happen into the field until I ended up in a computer science class my second year of college by accident. I was late to sign up for classes, and it had the word “science” in it so I chose it, and I ended up loving it. Before that, I was a biology major, and I hadn’t had any exposure to anything relating to computer science. I literally didn’t even know what it was until that class. I don’t know if I would be in the field now if I hadn’t been late to register for classes that semester. And in your case, what if you hadn’t watched that movie when you were young?
This is compounded for the people who are failed by underfunded schools that do not properly prepare them for college. Many of these same people do not have the resources to go to college, so their education ends there.
My point is, yes we have barriers. I know that black women have to work even harder than white women to get past the barriers presented to them. I just worry that there are people with larger barriers than you or I have experienced, including those forces that tend to deter women and minorities from entering tech, but also lack of resources/exposure. This is why most of the women/minorities that do get through to tech, are the ones that really excel. Though, we need everyone — not just the few that are the top of the class, to bring about a more diverse workplace environment.