I read an article today about why there aren’t enough women in tech. It says, women doubt themselves. This hurts their chances of ending up in Science or Engineering. They think they can’t do it.
It bored me. I am so tired of reading this. We know it. I must read an article a month – a week even – that says this. But more, I notice it when I speak to female colleagues, technical women friends, female university students, female school kids… non-technical women who tell me when it was that they stopped feeling good at math (or, that they never did at all).
Articles don’t change anything. What does, is when you take the time to connect with another woman before she leaves. And you share the doubts that you have, the times when you nearly gave up – the reasons why you didn’t, and the tricks you use to keep on going. Studies show, that she’s likely better at math than she thinks she is. I think that’s a piece of information that should be shared.
When I talk to guys, I end up talking about my job and what I do. When I talk to women, or girls, I often talk about how often I have felt like a complete and utter failure and hopeless case, and then gone and succeeded anyway.
Maybe instead of hitting “retweet” on some other article that tells us how completely hopeless it all is, we’d be better to invest 15 minutes connecting with another woman and encouraging her.
Just a thought.