Guest Blogger: Krithika @kyetchina
To this day, I’ve been to over 20 hackathons, judged one, and organized three. I’m currently a sophomore in high school, and am involved in the computer science industry. I volunteer for a non-profit which builds apps for India, and I teach little kids how to program during the summer. I also program and write my own apps for fun.
Whenever I attend hackathons or tech conferences, I always get asked “what is it like being a woman in tech?”
Although it’s very fun and exciting, there are a few cons.
There has never been an instance where I haven’t heard a degrading comment about women. Even though I’m not an extreme feminist and I can take a good joke or two, things like this can become irritating, fast.
Often, these remarks are made:
“Here, design this! Girls are always good at art.”
“You wrote that? You must have received a lot of help from the guys.”
“You won because you’re a girl, that’s all.”
It happens everywhere, not just at hackathons. I’ve heard that it even occurs during interviews.
There’s honestly no reason or need why people are shooting out these blatant and unnecessary statements. Many females are transitioning into computer science, starting from the ground up, and remarks like these are just one reason why there’s not an even contribution from both genders in this field.
The best way to solve issues of these sorts is to stop asking women how they feel at hackathons. It makes the individual feel out of place! Just let each individual be, and the gender gap will close.
Also, encourage everyone around you, whether they’re female, or not! A sexist joke or comment, especially when you’re dealing with a minority group, is never a good idea.
Although being a women in the technology field is challenging, I honestly have fun because I’m doing what I love. There's a certain satisfaction when seeing people surprised by my accomplishments, but I hope one day it comes as less of a surprise.