Diversity talk: It’s important to receive support from tech communities
Women are underrepresented in the tech sector —myth or reality? In addition to the Women in Tech survey, we also launched a diversity series aimed at bringing the most inspirational and powerful women in the tech scene to your attention. Today, we’d like you to meet Liz Parody, co-organizer of Pioneras Developers.
Is tech a boys-only club? So it seems. But the light of smart and powerful women is finally shining bright. We root for excellence and justice and, above all, we want meritocracy to win. This is our way of giving women in tech a shout-out.
A research study by The National Center for Women & Information Technology showed that “gender diversity has specific benefits in technology settings,” which could explain why tech companies have started to invest in initiatives that aim to boost the number of female applicants, recruit them in a more effective way, retain them for longer, and give them the opportunity to advance. But is it enough?
Women in Tech — The Survey
We would like to get to the bottom of why gender diversity remains a challenge for the tech scene. Therefore, we invite you all to fill out our diversity survey. Share your experiences with us!
Your input will help us identify the diversity-related issues that prevent us from achieving gender equality in technology workplaces.
Without further ado, we would like to introduce Liz Parody, co-organizer of Pioneras Developers.
Liz Parody, co-organizer of Pioneras Developers
Liz is co-organizer of Pioneras Developers and alumni at The Recurse Center, a free, three-month, project-based retreat for programmers. She won a grant to study in the Recurse Center in New York and she is currently studying there.
Liz became interested in technology two years ago. Her boyfriend was a programmer and she was very curious about his job, he could work remotely and he was very passionate about programming. He told her that there are a lot of opportunities for women and that she should pursue a tech career because she has all the capabilities to do it. Then she found communities for women in tech in her city (Medellín, Colombia) and she decided to change her career and become a programmer.
How did you end up in your career path?
I studied International Business in college. I end up in my career path because there are a lot of opportunities for women in tech and I received a lot of support from the tech communities my boyfriend and I are involved in. I also found it very interesting to be able to build things using technology and, overall, it is very intellectually stimulating for me.
I received a lot of support from my family and boyfriend (he is my role model), also from the tech communities in my city: Pioneras Developers (for women) and Colombia-dev. I was the only person that didn’t believe in myself sometimes.
I am proud that I was the first Latina to ever be a speaker at EmpireJS a major tech conference held in NYC and that I’m one of the organizers of the biggest meetup for women in my city Medellin (Pioneras Developers, we are 400 women).
Why aren’t there more women in tech?
I think it starts during childhood. Little girls are not encouraged enough to pursue STEM careers and it’s related to culture. Some of the challenges that women in tech face right now are lower salaries, discrimination and sexism.
Diversity leads to better products and results. According to an MIT study, diversity in the workplace improves performance, morale and the end product. If there are more women engineers, we can build better teams and better software. Women who code act as role models to millions of girls — they show them that programming is something they can do. However, according to the World Economic Forum, the world will not achieve gender equality until 2095.
Tips & tricks
- Don’t give up. You only truly fail when you give up.
- The industry is fast-growing, competitive, awesome and it has a lot of opportunities.
- Tech is the future and we should build that future.
Don’t miss our Women in Tech profiles:
- “Technology reflects the people who make it”
- “In the right company, working in tech is a great career”
- Why women fall out of the tech pipeline
- Breaking the mold: ‘It’s not that you’re good — it’s that you’re female’
- How to avoid the culture of male programmers
- Creating an equal playing field is about more than just teaching someone coding skills
- The more women you see in STEM, the less intimidating it is for others to join
- The tech industry tends to lose women along the way. Change is underway
- How to get (and stay) into the tech industry: Tips & tricks for women
- Transitioning into a tech career? Silicon Valley culture is one of the biggest initial obstacles
- Abby Kearns: “Diversity ensures continuous innovation”
- “In technology, you become a lifelong learner — More women should embrace this career”
- Cultural impact is not driven by gender, but by diversity
- Everyday superheroes: “I don’t have a role model, my career was based on my mistakes”
- Diversity talk: For tech, it’s less about a pipeline problem and more of a marketing problem