On Gender Equality in Tech: Don’t Feed the Beast
I just read an article that is making the rounds right now by someone who encountered a hurricane of crazy at her last job, and I wanted to relay to every woman in every single segment of the tech space that you DO NOT have to put up with that kind of BS. Ever.
There are loads of companies out there with positive, healthy work environments that promote gender equality. There are also companies out there that are soul sucking black holes filled with immature, pathetic excuses for humans whose sole purpose in life is to beat others down.
For the love of all things holy DO NOT feed the beast by allowing your awesome skills to be utilized by an awful organization. If you run into an issue and escalate it, and it’s not resolved by HR immediately, GTHO. Line up a new gig. Freelance if you have to, but don’t stick around in an environment that is going to crush your spirit. Life is WAY too short for all of that.
I was incredibly fortunate to land in 2 back to back companies that promote gender equality cross company in all departments and at all levels of leadership. (The current one is InVisionApp. And we’re hiring.)
This proves that awesome companies that promote gender equality DO exist, they aren’t as rare as people seem to think, and that there is absolutely no reason at all for you to subject yourself to months or years of BS because, “It’s this bad everywhere.” It is NOT that bad everywhere.
There are definitely companies out there that allow horrifying things to occur in the workplace, but there are also tons of fantastic companies that mentor, provide opportunities for internal career progression, and help you grow professionally in ways that will help you in the future whether you stick around or decide to move on.
If you find yourself in an awful company, apply like crazy for other gigs immediately and incessantly until you’re out of there. If you keep working there and choose to just accept the awful treatment, or stand by and watch the awful behavior toward your coworkers continue, you’ve become part of the problem. Know that you should feel 100% justified in identifying the situation as wrong, feel empowered to leave, and know that you’ll have an entire segment of the tech community cheering you on and supporting you from the sidelines when you slam the door on your way out.
As a person who worked 3 jobs simultaneously at one point to make ends meet, I know that not everyone has the luxury to quit their job on the fly. But if things are awful in your workplace, don’t just “suck it up”. If you’re applying like crazy but can’t find a position in your area of expertise right away, just figure out a way to adjust your lifestyle so you can afford a job that pays less until you find a gig in the industry of your choice in a positive environment. Or, freelance for a while. Or, found a startup and be the change you want to see in your industry. You’re never as trapped as you think you are.
Chop the stereotype off at the knees by bouncing and taking your skills and talents to a company that supports equality and positive work culture. Join one of the many successful companies that are closing the gap, and contributing to creating a positive future for the next generation of workers, in which train wreck horror stories will be a thing of the past and/or will be associated with epic business failure.