Thursday Thought: Why Aren’t There More Girl Geeks?



In the last few weeks, I’ve discussed finding your passion and how to successfully transition into a new career. Today I want to educate you about a field that your life revolves around, yet very few women explore; the tech industry. Out of all the career advice I’ve provided to date, my most important dose of wisdom is to switch to a career that is growing. In this day and age, it’s essential for survival in the workforce. Many people place too much focus on right now when they should be thinking about the future and what role they will play in it.

:: The most successful people are the ones who know something others do not ::

They are able to find a hole in an industry and fill it with their own ideas in order to create a promising career. A prime example: the tech world. The video below provides great insight into the lives of passionate women who are shaping the future. But despite making their mark, tech still lacks gender diversity in Canada and the United States. Furthermore, this fact also illustrates one positive: there is room for growth and improvement.

:: Such a dope video. Watch, Listen. Learn ::  

The National Post reports that Canadian women are underrepresented in advanced technology industries.

“If we can’t attract women and continue to lose women in the technology area what is going to happen over time? If we are down 30% and it’s been a steady drip that means we are not preparing a workforce with the right skills for economic growth.” says Ms. Gordon, founder and CEO of Toronto-based Helix Commerce International Inc., a company specializing in business innovation, collaboration commerce, and talent management service solutions.

“They are opting out because they want to balance their lives better. Women are saying unequivocally that they are not getting a mentor to help them navigate up, and give concrete insight and encouragement,” says Ms. Gordon. “At the same time, we also know we have to mentor women younger and younger and keep those connections going for life. If young girls are mentored early, as they enter high school, they will stay in maths and science. If we lose them there and technology doesn’t seem to be interesting then these numbers will continue to drop.”

Last year, I came across another great read inside the Huffington Post  about why there aren’t more girl geeks. The article featured one of the most iconic women in tech today, Stanford University graduate, Marissa Mayer who is also a self-proclaimed “proud geek”. Once a frustrated student who was unclear of her future, she is now the CEO at Yahoo! (When the article was written she was a Senior Executive at Google). Her work influences how hundreds of thousands of people access information on a regular basis and she is a prime example of how a woman can make headway in a male-dominated field. This girl geek followed her heart when making the decision to work at Google after declining 14 other job offers shortly after graduation.

“I wanted to work at Google because the smartest people were there, said Mayer“Work with the smartest people you can find, do something you’re not ready to do, find an environment in which you’re very comfortable so you can find your voice, and work for someone who believes in you — because when they believe in you, they’ll invest in you.”

Am I the only person who finds the tech industry so darn interesting? If I had to choose another career, I would dive head first into this one. But since doing research and discovering more about the industry, I found this information valuable and had to pass it on. Perhaps this post peaked your interest or maybe it didn’t. At the very least you’ve been schooled about new subject matter which effects both women and girls and you can possibly help someone else you know who’s still “searching” or may not have the guts to Lean In.

The biggest take away is that we should be ‘working with the smartest people we can find’; no matter what industry. Surrounding yourself with talented, creative and intelligent individuals is the best (but not the only) route to success.

And to all the ladies who currently work in male-dominated industries, my hats off to you! It’s not easy, but I truly admire the fact that you are creating a footprint for others to follow.

Peace & Love,