When I started this blog I had a hidden motive to show that women can thrive in the tech industry. I wanted my writing on manufacturing executions systems, virtual reality, and pitching tech startups to motivate and inspire other women in STEM.
I’m fortunate to have readers respond to my experiences with their own. Here are nine insightful reader comments on working in tech from women I admire.
On Women in STEM
“I work in STEM and you’re so right about there being so many awesome opportunities!!! I made a big career change – agriculture to technology – when I became a military spouse and haven’t looked back. STEM is such an exciting field!!!” – Hannah
“[Sandberg] wasn’t saying that girls should be bossy; she was focusing on the fact that girls that exhibit the same leadership traits as boys are often labeled that way. So instead of developing those skills in girls, or even redirecting the behavior, we shut girls down. I agree that being a leader is very different from being a boss. Unfortunately, boys are more often given the opportunity to learn the difference than girls.” – Tisa
“I am always reading these articles saying that women tend to be more risk averse in work, and I’ve never felt that way – it is heartening to hear stories of adventurous women in tech.” – Joy
“I totally agree with you that education and visibility will bring more girls and women naturally to tech and that’s where we should lead. Sometimes I feel that companies want to reach their gender equality goals in very forced ways (I know of stories about this) and that’s not the way to go. Having a more open culture where diversity and respect is valued will naturally bring more women to these areas and someday there will be plenty of us in tech conferences where usually only men used to be.” – Cátia
“I really empathize with your mix of experiences – particularly on feeling like being the lone female makes you memorable. I have been in many army bases filled with middle aged dudes, and I felt like an alien dropped down from another universe! But I was certainly remembered. I think it is so amazing that you got into programming as early as you did. I wish that more women did that. And your achievements since are remarkable. You should feel so proud not as a woman, but a human. (But yes ok, also as a woman in a field lacking diversity, you should feel extra proud.” – Joy
On Balancing Motherhood with Career
“I actually started motherhood relatively early in my career, and I also found that it forced me to become especially vigilant about time management, teamwork, delegation, etc.” – Mandy
“This was a great post. As a working momma, I often find myself trying to grasp the work-life balance, although I am sure most people think I have it more together than I normally do… I love your perspective on changing the way you think about work. I look forward to the day where my perspective isn’t a “9-5”.” – Cynthia
On Professional Development
“It’s true that most companies aren’t looking for candidates with certificates but it doesn’t hurt, and I think does help when it comes to interviewing… I wasn’t looking for a certificate program, I feel like the program found me. It is precisely what I want to study and grow in, and it’s a good academic check on where my baseline is now and how much I can grow in the 9 month program. If you find a program that will teach you something you want to learn and challenge your skill set in new ways, do it!” – Marysa
“What a great feature + awesome insight! I loved your dad’s response to the question: “should I go to college or start a business?” I teach business at the undergraduate level and am always being asked by students that are interested in entrepreneurship whether or not their bachelor degree will be worth it. Your dad’s right – it depends on the business.” – Hannah