How Women in Tech are Breaking the “Geeky Chic” Stereotype
Picture your average twenty-something businesswoman. A girl transitioning to adulthood, trying to make her way in the world. One might picture the classic pencil skirt, blouse, and pump combo, topped off with a manicured hairstyle and fresh makeup to a achieve a polished, professional look. Now what if I told you that this businesswoman worked in the Silicon Valley tech industry. Would you still picture that polished girl? Or would flip-flops replace pumps? Would jeans and a t-shirt replace that skirt and blouse?
The tech industry has been known for being the pioneer for many fronts since the tech revolution of the 1990’s, but fashion may not be the first one that comes to mind. However, this industry is paving the way for new technologies that are not only advancing fashion, but advancing how it is transmitted to the masses. The fashion industry is not an industry run by elites anymore, but is now a new innovative frontier that anyone can be a part of. There are nothing short of a plethora of websites and apps that are out there now that can help an average Jane make their mark on the fashion world. Whether it be with Youtube, where people post videos about their shopping hauls or how to achieve the perfect look for summer, or Instagram, where people can post their #ootd (outfit of the day) in hope of gathering likes from admirers, tech is revolutionizing the fashion industry.
So is it really fair that we stereotype these entrepreneurs and businesswomen as having general lack of style in the workplace? The fact is that fashion does have a place in tech. Its influence is everywhere and it’s difficult to ignore. From the workplace to the software to the community — people care about style in this industry.
Women have paved the way in fashion world throughout history, and the changes to the industry have given women a chance to shine in tech. Many women have been at the forefront of the fashion revolution that is taking place in the tech industry through all sorts of mediums. Lisa Hammitt, VP of the Cloud Marketplace at IBM is one of these women. Hammitt is a cofounder of a technology called “The Magic Mirror”, a social network where people can post videos of themselves in clothes while shopping. The user community can then offer a wider and more honest critique on an outfit than they could get from their close circle of friends. This technology and others like Hammitt’s are on the brink of turning shopping into a truly “social” experience in the modern meaning of the word.
Innovative apps and technologies are not the only way that women have been a part of the tech takeover of fashion. Women like SF based fashion blogger Ahn Sundstrom of “9to5Chic” are storming the blogosphere delivering fashion tips to anyone and everyone who wishes to read. Youtubers, such as Michelle Phan, can offer a similar experience in the form of a video blog. Bloggers like Sundstrom and Phan are insanely popular with women of all ages, and there is a reason for that. They expose everyday women to the fashion world and help them to develop a style of their own through technology.
The tech industry has caused new sources of innovation in the fashion world to sprout from anywhere one can imagine. It’s possible for someone with the humblest beginnings to spark the next big thing in the fashion industry, all possibly while never leaving their home. If this innovation continues, then nothing but the sky is the limit.