Women in Tech

This post is something I’ve been wrestling with for a while.  This is the first time I’m expressing my thoughts on this topic in written form.  Here’s the big question:

Is going into management a cop-out for a technical woman?

For a few years now, I’ve known that someday I want to be in management.  I like managing people, projects, budgets, schedules, giving people advice (which I can do anywhere, but it seems to be heeded more often when it comes from a supervisor), etc.  I also like programming and being technical, which is the main reason I got a degree in Computer Science.  After realizing that there is a huge gender gap between men and women when it comes to technology, I’ve worked very hard to try to lessen the gap.  I attend conferences, do outreach events, connect with other women, and suggest upcoming events all in hopes of getting more women involved in technology.  Not only that, but being a minority in my field, sometimes I feel like I have to work extra hard to prove myself.

I know I want to be in management and I know I’d like to stay in technology, but am I somehow betraying the movement to lessen the gender gap for technical women?  Do I like management because being technical is too hard?  Many of my strengths align with those of a manager’s, so really I’m just playing to my strengths.  At the same time, I wonder if I’m trying to take the easy way out.  By playing to my strengths, I’m not developing my more technical skills since I think there are others who are better programmers than I am.

Although being in management isn’t going to happen tomorrow, I know I’m going to have to deal with these issues at some point.  Perhaps I’m trying to justify what I perceive as the lack of technical knowledge and skills that goes along with management by wanting to stay in the technology industry.  That way, I would still be able to help women in technology.

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One thought on “Women in Tech

  1. As a fellow tech woman, I have similar aspirations. Someday I would like to manage the team (or a similar one) that I am on. I love the technical part, I adore being a computer geek. I’m the only woman in our office. I’m not a programmer, I’m a PC/Software tech. I make sure the proper software is installed in each classroom on our college campus and fix broken computers. I love my job, if being a manager meant that I didn’t get to replace dead motherboards or install software on 30 computers at a time I don’t know that I would want to go in that direction.

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