Taking The Time To Highlight Women In Tech


A portrait photo of Angela ByronA couple of weeks ago, we came across an interesting infographic about women in tech.

Sharing it on our social media accounts, it’s gained a lot of positive press since it was published, as although it highlights a number of fantastic women who have been – or are – involved in the technology industry, it reiterated the fact that although technology has long been considered a male-dominated industry, there are many individuals of the opposite sex who are seeing the same – if not considerably more – success within it.

But what we found disheartening about the infographic is the fact we know so many people will have not given credit to these women – or most women – in the industry.

We understand that a lot of this is trying to change the view of the industry as a whole, which is something that will just happen over time as certain gender-specific views change (i.e., when someone says a parent is staying at home full time to look after a child, it’s not automatically assumed it’s the mum).

However, we feel it’s important we all take some time to find out just who’s behind the technology you know and love today.

For example, did you know that one of the main evangelists behind the Open Source and Drupal movements was female?  Angela Byron, who currently works as the Director of Community Development for Acquia, is largely a self-taught programmer and in April 2011, became the first female to be featured on the cover of Linux Journal, 17 years after it first launched.

The Open Source and Drupal movements are hugely important parts of tech history and whilst we’re not saying everyone needs to know Angela Byron was one of the key figures behind them, we do feel it’s important to not assume males have taken leading roles in some of the industry’s most notable aspects.

And there is some good news for women in tech, which is that females in the industry are getting more coverage than ever in the media.

For instance, whether you’re involved in the industry or not, most will be aware that the CEO of Yahoo! is Marissa Mayer, who previously worked for Google.

Having been mentioned regularly over the last couple of months in particular, we feel confident such coverage has only highlighted the fact women play a more vital role in technology than most first realise.

We’re fully aware that in many ways, it’s not important whether we know if it’s a male or a female who’s responsible for a certain part of technology – as long as the technology is created, that’s the most important factor.

It’s the same with the IT support in Newcastle we provide – our clients aren’t concerned about the gender of the person helping them, but instead how great their knowledge and experience is.

However, what we do feel is important to understand is that women take – and have taken – much more of a leading role in the industry than you’re likely to be aware of and as much as it seems like a male-dominated environment, the reality is some of the most notable aspects of the industry from the last few decades have had women at the helm.

Image:  Simon Law

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