This year’s International Women’s Day campaign theme is #ChooseToChallenge – a theme we from TechFace can only agree with! But what does it mean to choose to challenge? How can any bias and inequality be challenged? Who needs to challenge and how can each and every one of us become part of the movement? With this blog post, we want to shed some light on why and how we choose to challenge the tech world and how you can do the same!
Why we need to choose to challenge (in tech)?
In 2020, less than 15% of the employees in the tech industry in Switzerland were women. A number, that has been increased slowly in the past years. At the same time, the number of open positions in tech has been strongly increasing. What this really means is, that technological products, services, and solutions are becoming more and more part of our daily life. But who are the users of these products and services?
“A challenged world is an alert world.”
Do you remember the airbag case? The team who built the airbag consisted only of men. Thus, they considered only a man as the main driver when calculating the average height and weight to build the airbag for the driver’s safety. Neglecting female drivers lead to the fact, that the airbag could have deadly consequences for female drivers. Subsequently, later research proved that women were 47 percent more likely to suffer severe injuries in car accidents.
We are living in a time, where technologies influence all our lives. Using technology is part of our daily routines. We not only use technology to simplify our work, but we also rely on technology to take care of our health, safety and security. And therefore, we have to ensure that technology is built by everyone for everyone. So given that there are less than 15% of women in the tech industry working, are we sure that we build technology for everyone?
We choose to challenge, that technology has to built by everyone to ensure, it is built for everyone!
How to chooses to challenge?
The world is changing rapidly. Technology allows us to advance our lives and careers in a way, we would not have been able without it. Think about all the possibilities we have to communicate, share information and provide education.
However, at the same time, we follow traditions and accept unconsciously limitations, due to our assumptions. We have been taught by our parents, our surroundings and upbringing, how the world should look like. This is especially true for the tech industry.
“From challenge comes change, so let’s all choose to challenge.”
And exactly in the midst of these beliefs and limitation lies the key to choose to challenge. Are we really doomed to accept the past, the limitations and beliefs, because we have been taught so? Taking care of our own thoughts and actions and challenging these, are the first step to choose to challenge. Being able to observe and questioning the status quo, will enable us to choose to challenge. Change can only happen if we start to talk about and expose believes and limitations with us and others.
We choose to challenge, by demystifying beliefs and limitations in tech.
Choose to challenge yourself – find your purpose!
One of the most difficult steps is to choose to challenge yourself. When was the last time you challenged yourself? Are you limiting yourself because you believe you can’t or shouldn’t do it?
“Individually, we’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions – all day, every day.”
We are confronted every day with our own thoughts making us believe we are not able to reach our goals or dreams. But a dream can only be a reality if we not only believe in it but if we work towards it. Therefore, we have to get up every day and challenge our thoughts and actions. Are we doing what we are enjoying? Are we letting others limit us with their own beliefs to reach our goals?
We choose to challenge ourselves, so that we can find purpose in what we do and enable you, to build your best career in tech.
#choosetochallenge by the TechFace Team & Advisory Board Members:
Chantelle Larsen: I choose to challenge and speak up when people focus on gender. To flip their perspective to consider intersectionality: black, LGBTQ+ and abilities.
Stefany Barker: I choose to challenge the tech professional and executive stereotype every day. Wearing heels or an afro or our heart on our sleeve doesn’t make us any less techie or any less executive.
Lena Schwerzmann: I choose to challenge the woman and mom stereotype: Being courageous to live my life without bearing in mind what others think of me, that is the real freedom – for my private and professional life. – Lena Schwerzmann
Barbara Frank-Nick: I choose to challenge people who think what others are/do/have/aim/etc. instead of starting a discourse to explore the other person‘s world and learn to understand.
Hela Maria Jaffa: I choose to challenge gender perceptions of what is expected from a man and a woman, and how I view myself. I choose to challenge limits placed on me as a woman by my cultures, biased mentalities and outdated views. I choose to call out sexist jokes and to stand for gender diversity, equality and women’s empowerment, here and everywhere.
Priska Burkard: I choose to challenge and call out beliefs and unconscious bias that leads to accepting inequality as the status quo. To challenge my own capabilities to change for a bigger impact.