This morning, I checked LinkedIn as I usually do and amongst the kittens (no seriously, who is putting all these kittens there?) I spotted this:
Names have been blurred to protect the douche-y.
Zalando is a huge tech company in Germany where a former colleague of mine, a woman, works as a front end developer. A big well done to them, as they are obviously trying to recruit more diversely and support their employees.
But what is up with the second comment? Here is a clearly talented and interesting woman, representing her employers in a professional capacity. And once again a man is taking the opportunity in a public forum to degrade someone based on their gender/looks. FYI, an arm tattoo never was, and never will be what the urban dictionary defines as a ‘tramp stamp’. Why don’t some* men like women in tech?
I am new to the development side of digital, having a digital marketing background, but the more time I spend talking to people, the more I realise what a HUGE problem there is in our agencies and our start-ups. Where are the women? Where are the people of colour, different socio-economic backgrounds, and ages? We can’t all be sub-30 white dudes with a potty mouth. Intellectually, I have always known this but I have only recently become witness to the indifference of the technology industry.
I was angry enough to politely ask this chap to think about what he was saying and whether it was the right forum – which for some reason was subsequently deleted. Now I AM VERY ANGRY. If this was a guy holding a dog talking about his love of agile, who happened to have a forearm tattoo, I struggle to think where an insult or ‘assessment’ like the above would come into it.
And from here on in I will make it my mission to champion women/diversity in tech at every opportunity. Starting with my own team, support of 23 Code Street and beyond…!
* Of course not every man is an ass-hat and are very valued allies. It’s a broad generalisation, but yeah, its getting a bit awkward.
PS. Kittens. Perfect for blogs, not so much LinkedIn in my opinion.