My story is a bit boring: I've (almost) never had the feeling that somebody treats me different in tech because I'm a woman. Sadly there are a lot of stories which are different from mine and not positive at all.
My way to Tech
I grew up playing with lego and with dolls. I always could be more creative with lego, and that's why I chose to work in tech in the end. It gives me the possibility to be creative and at the same time I have some boundaries that prevent me from losing sight of what's currently important.
When choosing what to study at university, I was aware that there are a lot more men than women in tech. And in my group that was also true: We started with 3 women and ~90 men. At the end of my Bachelor's degree I was the only woman. But: for men it was the same dropout rate. At the end we were 30 people in total.
I never had the feeling that professors or other students treated me differently. The only difference was that my name usually was the first one my professors remembered. If that's good or bad is in the eye of the beholder.
I had situations in my job where I worked in teams with about half of the team being women and in teams where I was the only woman. I wouldn't say one is better than the other, it's just different.
Some years ago I spoke with a colleague about International Women's Day where I mentioned that I would also like to do something fun on International Men's Day. He answered me that that's not necessary, because the other 364 days of the year are in the hands of men. He didn't say that in an overbearing tone, but very cautious and in a low voice, as if he waited for my approval and this was the correct answer to give me.
This made me incredibly sad, because that's not the reality which I live in and want to live. We should all be proud of ourselves and each other and our differences. Since then I always make a cake on that day and bring it to work.
Recently I had the first situation at work where I felt like one person didn't respect me because of my gender. This was not nice at all and made me feel very angry. It turned out that I was wrong: This person not just disrespected me, but my whole team, so also my male team members. Still not a great situation, nevertheless I was feeling slightly better when finding that out.
At the time where I still wasn't sure about my feelings and told people in my team and around the team about it, they immediately said they are there for me if I need help to manage that situation.
And that's what it should be all about for me: To be taken seriously, in daily work life and if there's a problem. This situation made me very thankful for the awesome people I currently work with.
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