10 years in tech

Next year marks my 10th year in tech. A staggering 56% of women leave the tech industry 10-20 years into their careers, which is double the rate of men.

And contrary to what many of you reading this might think, we’re not leaving to start a family. We’re being pushed out by biased management and the toxicity of having to work in an environment which is inequitable (by design) for women.

It’s death by a thousand papercuts. It’s being asked to take notes for the gazillionth time in a meeting where you’re the only woman present. It’s being told that “wow, you’re pretty good at this” as if that’s a compliment. It’s being passed over for promotions, because the position was filled (by another dude) before it was even advertised. It’s being asked “where are the sandwiches?” at tech meetups/conferences, because someone who looks like you can’t possibly be a dev. It’s being called a “diversity hire” by dudes with half your experience/skill set. It’s constantly being told in performance reviews that you’re not quite technical enough yet, although you’re the most senior member on the team and in charge of all system design.

There were numerous times I thought about quitting. And thankfully each time I managed to convert the anger and frustration into energy to propel me forward. But my heart breaks for all of us who don’t, because we really shouldn’t have to 💔

Looking at the top picture, which was taken on my first day at Klarna, I just want to hug her. I want to hug her and tell her that “it’ll be OK, some things will suck, but you’ll get through it and in between the papercuts you’ll have soooo much fun”.

Basically (so far), it’s worth it 💜