I hosted a webinar with my Dad called Young Moms in Technology. We touched on the types of discrimination women (and especially moms) face in the field of technology (really, it’s applicable to any field, but my experience is in technology). We also talked a bit about my experience as a young person in technology.
Unfortunately, I’ve experienced discrimination for being a woman and a mom first hand. I’ve had co-workers not believe me when I tell them I’ve solved a problem. I’ve had my work scrutinized closely. I’ve been passed over for promotions for which I was the more qualified candidate. I’ve been paid less than male counterparts who had less experience and education than I did at the time.
These situations were not ok. And I’ll admit that I didn’t stand up for myself and demand justice (really, though, I was raised as a polite, southern girl – I rarely demand anything. I would have asked politely instead). I do think that you should ask for justice. I believe that the more awareness we bring to the discrimination, the more opportunities we create to fix the problem.
Another point we touched on in the webinar is about what it’s like to be young in a field where experience is everything. From my experience, it’s not easy. Employers, clients, and companies want people who know what they are doing, and young people (millennials) have a stigma for being inexperienced. This is not to say that every young person you meet/interview will be qualified, but don’t be so quick to judge on appearance of youth alone.
I do appear much younger than I actually am, and it can be frustrating to get people to take me seriously sometimes. Even if I work hard, I have had to continuously “prove myself” to a client just to be seen for the talent and knowledge that I have.
I guess my moral of the story is: give everyone a fair chance. Being a mom, a woman, a millennial is just a part of my life; labels that I own. I also possess the labels Consultant, SSIS developer, hard worker, and dependable.
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