Watch The Founder of Girls Who Code Perfectly School Trevor Noah On Why Culture Makes Or Breaks Women In Tech
On The Daily Show with Trevor Noah guest Reshma Saujani, an Indian-American lawyer and politician, discussed the initiative to encourage young women and girls to pursue studies and careers the booming tech field, where they are falling behind. But there are two moments in a girl’s life where we can reverse the trend.
Gifs: The Daily Show/cc.com
Purely in historical terms, coding used to be seen as repetitive, unskilled labour, like typing (look at any pictures of “computers” or “coders” from the 1950s and you’ll see a room that looks exactly like a typing pool) What happened is that coding became seen as a technical skill, which meant it became higher paid, which meant it couldn’t be for women.
This is important, because it reverses what we assume is the direction of the narrative. The PERCEPTION of coding had to change first before the job itself could change. Coding was always difficult, technically skilled and demanding work, but until it was seen as such, it remained “women’s work”. We see the same with roles today that are seen as “feminine” – nursing, for example, is incredibly challenging skilled work, but as soon as it is seen as such it becomes specialised care, which then becomes professional and masculine (and higher paid).
You can’t fix this by focusing on young girls. When someone is constantly moving the goalposts, you have to stop those fuckers first.