More often than not, you must have heard the phrase ‘Coding is a man’s world’. Well, we live in the 21st century and the tables have turned. Women software developers are challenging this notion. Increasingly, women who code are proving to the world that the tech industry is gender neutral and it is talent, knowledge and skills that matter and not one’s gender. Female software developers are on a rise at the global level with remarkable technical acumen and expertise. For those who still believe that women are technologically handicapped and coding is best done by men, it is time for a wakeup call. We have deconstructed the popular myths that perpetuate coding to be a masculine domain. The aim is to illustrate that women software developers are breaking the glass ceilings all around-
Myths about Women Software Developer
Women can’t code
The popular myth that perpetuates the tech as being male-oriented is the belief that women are better in matters of art and abstraction. A general belief is that women are bad at math and science and therefore, cannot code. Well, for those who believe this, an eye opener would be to go through studies that show that the quantity of estrogen or testosterone in one’s body doesn’t determine their potential to code. The truth is that women can code exceptionally well, just like men. Alternatively, there are many men who simply cannot code, but excel in the art of abstraction. Therefore, the first myth that women cannot code stems from the gender roles that society assigns which believes that matters that require objectivity are beyond the comprehension of the female mind. Women can code and that’s the truth.
Vaishali Neotia, CEO and co-founder Merxius stands tall to prove that women can code and are pretty good at it. Her company deals in augmented reality and virtual reality and is a proof to the world
Women who code can’t have a family
The second myth about women software developers is the belief that they cannot have a family, or aren’t good mothers. This belief stems from the assumption that developing software requires sleepless nights and programmer girls can, therefore, not have a family due to time constraints. Again, this is based on the gendered assumptions of society. If a man can have a family being a software developer, why not a woman? Additionally, software development doesn’t necessarily require pulling all-nighters. So the myth that female software developers can’t have a family stands null and void.
For those who feel that women who code can’t have a family, we would suggest you check out Her Second Innings, the brainchild of a woman entrepreneur, that seeks to train women in technology and coding post maternity. Thus, a career in tech and having a family are not mutually exclusive.
Women don’t like technology
Stemming from the first one, this myth advocates that women don’t like technology. Again, the society believes that women have more interest in the field of fine art and subjects of liberal arts. It is argued that since women do not have a scientific bent of mind, they don’t like technology. Such proponents need to wake up and look around to see that women are as passionate about technology as men. Women are making the best possible use of technology to create innovations in every field including software development, virtual reality, crowdfunding, etc. The truth stands strong that women do love technology and are using it through the best possible means.
Women don’t have the stamina for tech
Popular belief says that developing software requires exceptional stamina that women seem to lack. On the contrary, women are far more patient and have greater endurance than men when it comes to executing a task. Studies have shown that women are more dedicated to the technology sector than men. Undoubtedly, software development requires exceptional stamina for repetitive rounds of testing and development. However, it is an overstatement to label women as lacking the stamina for tech. Women are resilient, motivated and determined enough to bring great codes to the table and burst the myth that they lack the stamina for tech.
How would you explain, if not for the stamina, that women- run tech companies return 78 cents per dollar? Whereas, the ones run by men only give 31 cents per dollar.
Women are not qualified enough
Coming from the belief that women are more interested in liberal arts, there is a belief that women are not qualified for a career in technology. It might come as a shock to many that a good proportion of students who take up coding as a part of their studies are girls. Programmer girls are widespread throughout technological institutes worldwide and gain the same skills and technical knowledge as their male peers. However, a perception exists that when these students graduate, males have gained more knowledge as they have a natural calling for technology. This myth is particularly flawed. Both the male and female students have been provided with similar knowledge and therefore, are equally qualified.
In India, 90.77% of women claimed that their academic qualifications and technical skills encouraged them to pursue a career in technology. Girls make up almost 40% of the student ratio as holders of engineering degrees. It is these myths that form a nexus of bias preventing women in large numbers from entering the tech workforce.
Women software developers are less ambitious
A good software developer is ambitious and motivated to bring a new and better code to the table every day. Many people believe that women lack such ambition as they have an inclination towards building a family. While it is true that software development and coding requires commitment, it is absolutely untrue that women are not committed. Women who are passionate about technology are committed to it and ambitious about improving it by the day. Therefore, to say that women are less ambitious about software development is a flawed idea.
Would you still say that women software developers are less ambitious about coding after reading about Ishita Anand? She is the CEO and co-founder of BitGiving, India’s pioneer crowdfunding platform.
Women Software developers have fewer opportunities to grow in tech
One of the final arguments that perpetuate the myth that coding is a man’s world is the belief that there are fewer opportunities for women in tech. To say this is to reinstate the idea that only men are the producers and users of technology. This is entirely false. Women use technology as much as men. Therefore, there is quite a big demand for women coders to understand the female perspective of any software. The problem actually arises when women are held back in the leadership pipeline. They are not promoted to senior levels due to the perpetuation of the above-mentioned myths questioning their skills, passion, commitment and ambition about technology.
Therefore, the problem is not that opportunities are few. The ugly fact remains that women do not have access the to opportunities due to a nexus of stereotypes that women repel coding. Thus, the myth of fewer opportunities needs to viewed from an access lens, where women have equal opportunities to grow in tech if given a chance.
If you don’t believe us, check out the success stories of Vanitha Narayan, Neelam Dhawan, and Kumud Srinivasan, among others. These women are heading some of the most popular tech giants in India, IBM, HP and Intel and literally acing it.
Women don’t want to work in tech
The final myth actually perpetuates and forms the root cause of all others. It is the belief that women themselves do not want to work in tech. Again this is a flawed presumption because quite a few women are zealous about coding. They would love to become software developers if given a chance. It is not that women do not wish to code. It is the circumstances, biases and societal expectations that may prevent them from doing so. Even amidst such problems, women are successfully becoming software developers, proving that they have a passion for technology and coding.
In a nutshell, it is clear that there are numerous myths that surround the working of a female software developer. From entering the world of coding to reaching the senior levels, such myths often act as a deterrent for aspiring women software developers. Thus, it is time to reverse these myths and welcome women coders in a level playing field. At Recro, we believe that female software developers are as potent and talented as programmer boys and therefore, we encourage women software developers in Bangalore to join our team.