Katie, you must know by now that there’s a whole lot of whiners, complainers, green-eyed, sour-grapers out there. Unfortunately, those types adore pushing others down to give themselves a lift. Women have been an easy target for far too long, & I blame the “quiet ones” who will tell you they support you, but then become mute & do not step up to call out this rotten behaviour. I’m glad you’ve had support from friends & family- because that really makes the difference.
As a self-taught techie (in business as a residential IT consultant/computer & network repair) I get the surprised looks when I show up to many jobs. Ironically, I’m often called to clean-up a botched job by the previous male tech, so there you go.
Now, I have a daughter entering uni carrying certificates in IT (she’s dbl-mjr games & art design + global politics & policy) + a son finishing his dbl-mjr in computer science/computer systems engineering & is currently a paid intern at the Cisco IoE in Perth, Western AU.
All that to say, I admire your fortitude & high-road-taking & I’m sure that you’ll influence many other girls/women for the better. We influence best when we operate with principle. Good on ya! :)