On the road to diversifying the IT industry, we tend to focus a lot on the work we still have to do. How do we get more women to code? Why is the interest for higher education in data science decreasing in Sweden amongst female students? How can companies attract female applicants? We have a long way to go, but with Pink Portrait, we want to put a face on the women and non-binary in the industry.
There is a lot of talk about the lack of female representation in the industry. While talking about it is important, only talking about it from that angle makes us who are in the industry even more invisible. Every now and then, there is a power piece written in the media about a true role model, who tells it like it is. Amazing success stories about outstanding people who have overcome major obstacles and pave the way towards a better future can be super inspiring. But it can also feel alienating and be hard to relate.
But why is it so important with diversity in the industry? Maybe women just aren’t made to code? Should we force people to become interested in something they don’t like? There is so much more to it than just breaking stereotypes, or that it “would be nice” to have a more diverse workplace – we are digitalizing our society at a rapid pace. Developers are practically building the new society, and it’s not sustainable or justifiable that it is being built by a homogenous group who aren’t representing the society as a whole.
Representation matters. I can not stress how strongly I believe that. I thought for a long time that I wasn’t suited to code, but now I’ve been working as a developer for almost three years. While I’ve been lucky to have worked with amazing colleagues, there are certain things that constantly reminds me as a minority that I don’t really belong. We might be aware that the “stereotypical” idea of what a programmer is isn’t accurate anymore, but we can do so much more to show who a person in the IT industry can actually be.
That’s why I want to highlight women and non-binary who code and work in IT. I want to showcase us and take up space – while also talking about the IT industry in general. IT is a huge part of our every day life yet, it’s still a huge mystery for many. What kinds of jobs are there? What is a front end developer, data analyst, tester, IT consultant, cloud developer and what do they do? Pink Portrait is a series where I will answer that, by interviewing women and non-binary in the IT industry about their jobs, experiences, and stories. Hopefully it can inspire someone – if nothing else, further nuance the general public’s idea of IT and programming.