Tell us your story.
Technology is in my blood. My mother is a project manager for a tech company with roots in Computer Science and development. My father is a engineer, who works as a senior developer for a software company writing artful code. Growing up, my house was filled with books denoting foreign languages like Java, Objective C, Perl and others. The Mac v. PC debate in our house was as passionate as I can imagine religious debates would be in other households (for the record, we’re Apple fans).
I grew up thinking if you had a great idea, the ability to tinker, and the right garage you just might strike pay dirt and revolutionize technology. However, despite all of that emersion into technology, I never thought of myself as a “woman in tech.” I can’t code my way out of a paper bag, and the idea of mathematical feats of engineering, while fascinating, aren’t something I imagined myself doing. In fact, my only experience with what many would consider to be the traditional “hard skills” (i.e. coding) came in high school when dear friends held my hand through C++.
I decided I was better suited to journalism, but still maintained my passion for technology. I excelled, winning state awards for writing and going to academic competitions. Still, I longed to be one of those women who knew the hard stuff, who could compete with the boys (more like kick ass). Women like my mother. Women like my best friend.
It wasn’t until I got to college and settled into a Public Relations major that I realized my work could go digital. I could blend between agency and the tech world. The only problem? Digital felt a million miles away from what I was being taught in school.
I defied the idea that you had to work for behemoth agencies slaving over media lists, and sought work opportunities that dealt specifically with online strategy. Becoming a “woman in tech” was a deliberate decision with chance opportunities. I come to Social Driver with the majority of my work experience in predominantly digital, startup environments, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I might have more experience in the tech world using strategic “soft skills,” but I would still give C++ a rematch.
What do you most want other women and young girls to know about being a woman in our digital culture?
I want young girls to know that being a woman, especially in tech, is hard, gratifying work. I want them to know they can do and be anything. I want them to know that they don’t have to fit into a box to be successful. I want them to know that I’m proud of them for taking a risk.