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Josefine Schfr
Josefine Schfr

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The Unexpected Powers of Sisterhood (in Tech)

Apologies in advance, this might get a bit cheesy.

But can we just take a moment to appreciate the massive amount of support women give each other in this industry on a daily basis - without even blinking an eye?

Tl; dr: No hard feelings if emotional outbursts by strangers on the internet are not your thing - just stop reading here. Before you do, though, take a moment to give your favorite colleague a call. The one who likely saved your butt every other week, who supports you with mysterious bugs, has your back in front of the client and always speaks out if something doesn’t seem right. You know who to call.

I recently talked to someone about work and was utterly surprised by the fact that rather than focussing on the actual issue at hand, they raised another issue I had never thought about. How there was a ‘surprising amount of support among women and there seemed to be no cat fights at all’.

I was pretty startled by this. From my point of view, that statement by itself screamed internalised misogyny. Why would there be cat fights? Why should women be particularly competitive or assertive in an environment where they are already underrepresented? Why do these sexist stereotypes still exist? But after I got over my initial anger, I realised the reality couldn’t be further from it.

I have never worked in an environment before, where there were as little women as in tech. Yet, I have never felt more supported by my female colleagues. Now looking back at the past two years, literally 99% of the people who really went out of their way to support me, didn’t identify as male. And not to blame or point fingers. Just a fact.

They created an environment where it’s ok and encouraged to ask an extensive amount of questions; where it’s ok to struggle, to have bad days and who help you get back up. They are here for it: the fight for more equality, the passionate discussions and dance parties. And they are so incredibly happy for you if things turn your way. I have no words for what it means to me to have a little squad of cheerleaders who celebrate everyone's win like their own.

Thank you so much for making everything a little better - every day.

I’m not crying. You are.
And now please go call that colleague. And the other one. Make sure they know.

Top comments (4)

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Bernd Wechner

Interesting read. Reminds me of different cultures and complacency (mine). To clarify, I work in IT and sit in a room with 11 IT pros, of which yesterday there were 3 women a sad drip from a year ago when there were 5. Across the business we have better balance because of women in sales, finance, science and managent. Still, balance is often on the agenda when we recruit.

And while I see conflict and collaboration across the board, I find the conflict has zero observable correlation with sex and seems to correlate perfectly with personality and style. Conflict most common between the conservative and progressive mindsets and between the blunt and the politic combination line communication styles.

The complacency I mentioned arises from the forgetting that not all businesses are alike in this space and I have no overview of the industry, let alone internationally (for what it's worth my experience is in Hobart, Tasmania which for some is nearly the end of the world and may not represent global patterns well).

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Madison Swain-Bowden • Edited

I have found this to be pretty true for myself - and that's what solidarity is all about! 💖

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