In light of today’s tawdry-but-alas-unsurprising round of sexism (not to be dignified with a link), let’s have a counternarrative.
This startup I’m contracting for? It’s pretty much all women. And I don’t mean that it’s a tech company where everyone except the developers are women. I mean the CEO/face of the brand/technical project manager/former sysadmin/mad knitting genius is a woman, and the business manager, and the designer, and the UX consultant, and two of the three developers. (The third is married to the founder.)
And it’s this glorious disruption of all the stereotypes. We’re competent and pragmatic and zero-drama. And that’s that.
And it’s strange and wonderful.
And while we’re at it, most of us are parents of young children, and I’m really loving that too, because everyone took for granted that our schedules would be insane in late August due to the total unavailability of our normal childcare options, and we’d have to leave in the middle of things to pick up a kid, and okay so I’d bring my kid over to the CEO’s house so my kid could distract her kids and she and I could get some work done, and failing that maybe things will get done at 6am or 11pm or whatever but they’ll get done, somehow, because we’re grownups, and no one’s going to judge me for the fact that late August is insane when you have a six-year-old, and it’s okay. I have a crazy amount of work to do this week and my next couple of invoices will be epic, but it’s okay.
Oh, and while we’re at it? This is the sort of company that only exists because of diversity. Walking argument for why having more people with tech skills is good for tech, as well as for the people. Because having the idea demanded both significant tech skills and significant domain knowledge in knitting, and there’s just not a lot of people who have both, and really, most of the people with the knitting domain knowledge are women. And once you have both, well of course computers are a thing you can use to make bespoke knitting patterns around people’s unique measurements and style choices…but the idea simply never occurs to you otherwise.
I think the world is full of ideas like this — the economists’ proverbial twenty-dollar bills just lying on the ground — that no one has seen yet, because too much of tech looks with the same eyes.
And here we are looking with different ones, a tech startup full of women. And it turns out that’s totally a thing you can do. So we are.