Women in IT- Norma
As an ode to the Women this month we will be profiling a few leading ladies in the Information Technology (IT) sector. Statistics show that there’s still a gender bias in the tech industry, and this keeps too many women from even considering such a career. Statistics further show that:- Only 25% of computing jobs are held by women. This is a number that has been on a steady decline for years.- From 1980 to 2010, 88% of all IT patents were by male-only invention teams, while 2 percent were by female-only invention teams. So essentially, the technology being created for a widely varying and diverse population is formed by a generally homogeneous group. Not ideal.- 12 percent of engineers at Silicon Valley start-ups are women. Only 11 percent of executive positions at Silicon Valley companies are held by women.
We chat briefly to Norma about her journey in the IT space.
1. Can you share a little bit about what it is that you do and what a typical day for you is like?
I am a Junior Software developer, newly out of varsity. I mainly handle the daily operations and deliver according to the sprint plans of what is required for a certain project. A typical day for me is coming into the office getting my breakfast before sitting down to getting my work station ready for the day.
Did you always know that working in technology was what you wanted to do? How did you decide to go into IT?
I didn’t always know this till I was in grade ten, when we had to select our career paths in what we want to major in. I had chosen electrical technology which led me to taking computer systems in varsity. Since then I didn’t and do not see myself choosing anything else.
What do you think is the best part of being a woman in the tech industry?
The best part about being a woman in the tech industry is understanding that I am different, and my style of executing a task is and will be different from the norm and different is what’s needed to shake up the industries stereotypical notions.
What advice would you give to a woman considering a career in the tech industry? What do you wish you had known?
Things are constantly changing. With that in mind you need to be open to change and learn to adapt even in circumstances that are not in your favour yet without it ever defiling your morals. Do not just rely on your traditional universities to gain your skill set, also look beyond other ways such as attaining a certificate within a certain field in the tech space which will further enhance your knowledge and skills set.
What woman inspires you and why?
There are a lot that inspire me, and I will sum up what they all have in common… which is endurance for the high and low times.
Do you think we should all code to be in the tech industry?
Not at all, the tech industry is sectioned into other spaces that are not coding based. The tech industry is not just about coding, but having different various roles which together help produce a solid idea into implementation phase.
What have you sacrificed (both personally and professionally) at each stage of your career?
I have sacrificed quite a lot of social time within my varsity days, because not only was I studying but was involved in programs which helped communities and learners at school get hands on work and stretched their knowledge on what they knew about technology.
What would you say to a girl considering getting into the IT industry?
You set your limits by just conveying a certain thought and making it true, you have the ability of achieving anything but all aligned to how your mindset is. Yes, it will get tough yet joy comes after every completion of a task. Understand that you bring a different aspect as a woman and never try to be like the men, because you will take the X factor out of being you.
#WomenInTech #SovTech #IT #InformationTechnology #WomensMonth #Careers
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