I am a female in IT, proudly. I believe in the empowering of women in this field however, I also believe in equality, especially when it comes to opportunity.
Many women feel that they have to work twice as hard to prove themselves in the workplace as compared to their male counterparts. This may be a challenge but, are we not instilling inequality when all opportunities are targeted to the females?
We often hear of CSI initiatives, bursaries and sometimes even entry level IT jobs directed specifically to women. This might make it seem easier for females to have advantages in the industry which is why they might have to work harder (arguable).
Competition in both the work place and development areas at school should be fair and provide equal opportunity to both sexes. This is a far reach of optimism, I know. It is all good and well to invest in women to be in IT. I’m not being controversial, just proposing that males be given attention to develop as well.
If we are only looking at the girls, where does that leave the boys? Does it imply that they perhaps don’t need any assistance and/or guidance? Imagine being declined a break because of your gender or the feeling of knowing that the reason you were granted an opportunity is because of gender?
Many guys that I’ve asked personally felt that it was almost “unfair” all the consideration that the girls get in the industry. Another interesting point made was that the ladies would be given much more recognition for a completed task that the males have completed equally as well. There are even incidences of a person being turned down because a female was a preferred candidate.
We cannot hold it against the males that the females are not taking interest in the field. Instead, what we can do is create greater awareness. When the prospect of a progression comes, it should be given to the most deserving and it should be fair.
Anyone who has interest is eager to learn. People should be awarded benefits because of their performance. This will breed a healthy competitive environment from the start. The pay and the distribution of work is now equal, the chances given should now also be equal.
Let us not neglect the guys in IT. Let us involve them in the information we spread, the bursaries we give, the gadgets won in competitions, the conferences we host and let us give them the credit and acknowledgement for a job well done.
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