Happy Women’s History Month to all the amazing women in tech!
This month, we celebrate the contributions of women throughout history who have shattered barriers and made significant strides in the tech industry.
From Ada Lovelace, the world’s first computer programmer, to Grace Hopper, who developed the first compiler, women have played a pivotal role in shaping the technology we use today.
Let’s continue to celebrate, empower, and inspire the next generation of women in tech!
#WomensHistoryMonth #WomenInTech #GirlPower
LT: What inspired you to pursue a career in technology?
SG: After being less than successful at starting a photography business I realized there were serious gaps in my learning. I knew loads about lighting and photography things but didn’t know anything about how to run a business or marketing or how to actually get the type of clients I wanted or what to put on my website so I vowed I would go and learn as much as I could so next time I did something I would have those pieces of the puzzle. Somewhere along the way, I realized what I really wanted was freedom and the chance to pursue the lifestyle I wanted instead of being on someone else’s schedule for the rest of my life. I worked in a lot of 9-5 fluorescent dungeons with fake plants over the years and knew I would do anything to avoid that fate again. I met a lot of people while living in the San Francisco area that had the freedom and lifestyle I wanted. A lot of them worked in tech in some capacity, so I started researching that and eventually took the leap and signed up for a course to learn web design and coding.
LT: What challenges have you faced as a woman in the tech industry, and how have you overcome them?
SG: Not being taken seriously (or taking myself seriously) was challenging at first. I remember feeling a little hesitant starting out “Could I really learn this I have an arts background?,” but then I kept meeting so many women in tech and they all had different backgrounds and didn’t seem to have any superpowers that I could see so I thought “Hey, maybe I can do this too.”
LT: In your opinion, what can companies do to improve diversity and inclusivity in the tech industry?
SG:Being more open-minded about the learning path a potential candidate takes is a good start. As long as they know their stuff it shouldn’t matter if they went to a 10k boot camp or have a computer science degree. We all arrived at the same destination, we just took different paths.
LT: What advice would you give to young women who are interested in pursuing a career in technology?
SG: First of all, know that you can absolutely do this! Start with all the amazing free resources out there to build a solid foundation and then start building things that you’re curious about or excited about because that’s the best way to learn. Find a supportive group or community to learn alongside so you’re in the trenches together and can also celebrate wins together. I’ve been fortunate to have had other amazing ladies to look up to and learn alongside.
LT: What technologies or trends in the tech industry are you most excited about?
SG: I’m excited to see all of the creative things people are doing with VR. It will be so cool to see what amazing stuff is possible in the next few years.
LT: How do you stay current with the latest developments in the tech industry?
SG:I’m in lots of online groups so I hear about things that way and Tasha, my boss is also really great about sharing articles and interesting stuff. Conferences are another great way to stay updated. I went to my first WordCamp this year and was blown away by all the stuff I learned.
LT: What are your goals for your career in technology, and what steps are you taking to achieve them?
SG: Ultimately my goals are to make cool stuff, help other people make cool stuff (the ones that are maybe stuck where I was all those years ago), and have the freedom to travel and live abroad for periods of time while working. I feel like I’ve been on a quest with lots of little side quests to learn all of the various pieces I needed and how they all fit together. I’m now in the process of combining all these things into a business.
Susan Goodwin is a Business Ops Specialist (she builds websites) at Lavender Turtle, winner of the 1993 blanket fort building championship, and founding member of The Society of Unstuckness, where she seeks to help creatives get unstuck and navigate the online world so they can do the things they're meant to do.