Monday, April 27, 2015

This boat leaks: women in tech

Last week, I met a few amazing ladies. These two women we're a little older than me (I'm 40 years old) and shared experiences with decades of doing behind them. Both ladies had been programmers, but were now testers or about to become testers.

Both ladies had started off in programming at time of Cobol. When their organizations moved on to Java, they both had volunteered to learn a new programming language. But their organizations reply really surprised me:

There's no reason to learn programming in Finland, as strategically our company is outsourcing all programming work to India.

Specification work and testing work will stay in large extent. But Java-programmers are cheaper elsewhere.

I was shocked. For me, the idea of sending all programming to India is absurd.

Our boat leaks with fundamental attitude issues.  Two technical women, who want to be technical and are encouraged not to be that. On one side, we work hard in Finland to introduce girls (as well as boys) early on to computing. And then we have major companies that drive the women we get on the industry away from the work by telling them there's no job security with that skillset. And job security matters, at least it did for these two ladies.