Female programmers: Not a woman, nor a programmer?
Written by Ivana Vasic 09 March 2018

Have you ever had a feeling that you are the victim of discrimination? In your workplace, among your friends, even in your own home? Unfortunately, discrimination has deep roots in every aspect of today’s people and we are not even aware of that fact! When we are speaking of discrimination, we can tell that women are more often its victims than men, right? Our colleague Ivana will give you a little deeper insight into this topic, and what she thinks about all this, read below:

 

“In many ways, we can be victims of prejudice.

One way is when we are personally victims of discrimination. The other is when we have some prejudices that limit us. For example, we believe that there are certain conditions or exact steps for reaching happiness, and if we do not fit into that picture, we refuse to be happy. There is also a third way that prejudices are impacting our lives, which is when we look at people who have prejudices, as well as those who are discriminated against, and we are sorry that people are not able to take everything that is good and nice from life to enjoy and use it to its maximum!

The phrase “Woman Programmer – not a woman, nor a programmer.” was spoken by an educated man.

This suggests that even educated people can be the victims of prejudice. I think it is careless to say who is a better programmer, because someone may have speed, other, knowledge of the field, third, a persistence, and fourth may better understand the needs of the client … And everyone can be “better” in different situations. And it is absolutely unnecessary to spread the story to the sexes, because there is no point, and it is individual. Among engineers, there are significantly fewer women than men, which is a consequence of our nature, but also of our upbringing. I personally know few women who, according to their programming skills, can stand side by side with the best male programmers, while also being feminine and beautiful, and some also cook perfectly. I add this about beauty and cooking, not because I think that this is something that makes a woman a woman, but because I believe that’s what the quote above alluded to. But it is true that there are some differences in quality brought about by each side, in programming, and in relationships with people, which, again, should not be generalized. Everything, of course, is individual.

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My observations are that, even among developers, men appear more confident in themselves. I deliberately say “appear” because I know that we are being confronted by the same doubts, but we deal with them differently. Let’s say, when we get a problem which we have not met with before and we do not know if we will solve the problem within the timeframe, it is more likely that a man will say that he knows how to solve the problem (even he doesn’t), while the woman will openly convey her doubts to the superior. Also, if there is a barrier to solving a problem, a man will ask for assistance freely, while the woman will try once, possibly twice, and if someone is prevented from helping her at that moment, she will no longer try, as to not be a nuisance. (At least no one can say that we weren’t raised right…)

I also noticed that men are more focused on the amount of work they do during a working day, while women want to make sure that the job is well done, and to pay enough attention to the details. The entire process is essential to women, including the needs of the client, the needs of colleagues … They try to give everyone their best, if possible. Empathy is not our weakness, but it’s what gives quality to our work.

As I have already said, I believe that these differences are the result of different education and not a difference in our abilities. Both male and female programmers can equally write a good code, and there is no room for prejudice. I would love to see the desertion of these rules of what makes the woman a woman, and the man a man because it would make it easier for everyone. And I look forward to meeting every new female colleague, welcome!

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