This International Women’s Day is an opportunity for all to face stereotypes that affect women and celebrate advances in gender equality and equal participation in society.
With this post I want to put a spotlight on the feelings of women that work in a male-dominated workplace.
Working in a male-dominated environment
Technology is still a man’s world. In fact, the role of women in tech has been decreasing since 1991 when 36% of the technological jobs were occupied by women. Nowadays, women account for only 25% of the jobs in this sector globally, as detailed in a study by the National Center for Women in Information Technology. And in Spain these numbers are lower. Only the 18% of the jobs are occupied by women, according to the Government.
In general terms women are underrepresented in tech companies, as we can tell by the numbers of the female to male ratio in the main tech companies:
And what are the numbers in Datio?
In Datio we are 82 people, 15 of them women and 10 occupy technical roles. So women make up just 18% of our total workforce.
But this is not a post about numbers or the situation of women in the tech world. Recently I have read a lot of posts about working in a male-dominated environment but most of them are full of numbers and statistics, or offer diverse tips about how to survive in “boys’ clubs”. What I really want to achieve with this post is to know how women feel working in a mostly male workplace.
How do we feel working at Datio?
I talked with some of my women colleagues and, in general terms, these are the conclusions:
- In Datio, being a woman hasn’t affected our professional experience. We feel that gender equality is a fact here and we have the same opportunities regardless of gender. We work in teams through collaboration and exchange of ideas and it doesn’t matter whether we are a man or a woman. In fact we think it is an advantage because with different kinds of thinking, we get better ideas and we have the opportunity to learn from everyone.
- We believe that Datio is making the effort to increase women’s representation at the office and balance the male-female ratio.
- We feel comfortable working at Datio. Perhaps it may have to do with “start-up culture”, but we believe that everyone here, regardless of gender or condition, takes part of decisions, and this is reflected in daily relationships. We treat each other with respect and consideration. We encourage each other to do our best. And most important we create an inclusive and supportive work environment where we can be ourselves.
- We think it is funny working surrounded by men. They don’t take themselves too seriously, they use humor everyday and their conversations make us laugh. They can talk about everything (technology, girls, films, sports, scatological stuff…) and the fact that they do it with no filter enhances the feeling of being treated like peers by them.
- Sometimes there are inappropriate comments or situations but nothing really important. Things like trying to flirt with you, sexual conversations or talks about the weight or physical appearance of other women make us feeling uncomfortable.
- The relationship among us (women) is really good. We support each other morally and in terms of work.
Although we have earned a lot in terms of equality and we are very lucky to be in a workplace where gender discrimination is not really a problem, there are still areas to be conquered like pay equality or more positions of responsibility. Part of it has to do with the evolution of society towards real equality but also with our responsibility to demonstrate and defend what we are capable of, in professional terms.
Over the last years I’ve been working as technical writer in a company dedicated to media software solutions. Currently I’m learning new professional skills related to Big Data, Gamification and management of Social Media. I’m really enjoying this period, which I find exciting and motivating.