Who am I? Know myself. Find my place.

Being a female software engineer is not easy.

I just went to a diversity event a couple days ago. And to be honest, I was reluctant to go to this event in the first place. I believe that every individual should be recognized by their performance, not by whether they belong to a minority group or not.

It turned out that I learnt quite a lot in this event. It changed my opinions on diversity events and even some of my opinions.

It all goes back to the ultimate questions of philosophy - Who am I? Where do I come from? Where am I going? The first question may be the hardest one to answer.

So, who am I?

I am the only female software development engineer on my team. The male to female ratio in my undergraduate college is five-to-one. I belong to the “minority”.

In the diversity event, the keynote speaker mentioned that, sometimes female engineers had to work even harder than their male colleagues to get recognized. I immediately felt related. I still remember clearly the times of overnight study at college and overtime working in the office.

For years I had to think like a male and act like a male to get things done. But it does not change who I am. And being one of the minority shouldn’t be an excuse to get special treatments or benefits.

For a long time I hate to be labelled as “female software engineer” because I have worked so hard to earn my place and gender shouldn’t be a label to describe me or anyone.

But I have found peace in myself now.

I love the imperfection in me. And everyday I am grateful that I can learn from my male and female peers and seniors.

Diversity event is a place for open and honest conversation. It is a place to rediscover who you really are and celebrate our differences.

It is great to know myself and find my place.

It is great for us to know ourselves and be grateful to everything that make us who we are.

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