October 30, 2018
by Jernej P.
873 views

Women at Loop: “Tech is awesome and gender shouldn’t matter.”

October 30, 2018
by Jernej P.
873 views

Undoubtedly, 2018 will go down as a standout year for gender equality. In the UK, for example, the 2010 Equalities Act come into force for the first time. This Act has made it a legal requirement for all large employers with over 250 employees to publish the gender pay gap data for their organizations. No longer will it be possible for businesses in any genre to hide in the shadows. This transparency around pay aims to have a trickle-down effect when it comes to employment ratios and career progression – and no industry is more effected by this than the tech industry.

For too long we’ve been hearing about women in tech as if a female working in the technology industry is as rare as unicorns or hen’s teeth! And we think that should stop – in this year of great equality we believe that women working in the technology industry should be as “normal” as women working in any other industry whether it be healthcare or marketing, teaching or engineering. We wanted to hear from some women within our own workplace here at Loop Email, about their thoughts on being in a minority in this industry – where it all started and where they think its headed.

The sea as an inspiration. Blazka (top right) also mentors students at our annual Summer School Challenge.

Blazka began her career in the technology industry almost two years ago and now works as a Backend Developer at Loop. Her interest in technology started when she was very young, she says: “I have always been interested in how things work, problem-solving and technology in general. These interests combined with being good at math – it made the most sense to study computer science.”

Despite Blazka’s passion for the industry she was wary about starting a career in technology – mainly because it is such a male-dominated field: “It made the most sense for me to go into computer science, but I was still doubtful of my decision because it was mainly male-dominated field. That might discourage some, but I have learned that if I don’t think of myself as less capable, others are less likely to. If anyone says I can’t do something I just make sure to prove them wrong!”

It’s this drive that’s kept her pushing through, in an industry that she says anyone interested in how things work should consider, male or female: “In my experience, working in the tech industry is full of challenges, interesting tasks, team work, and continuous learning. Good job opportunities and ongoing growth of the market is a big plus as well. There is nothing specifically good about being a woman in the industry, but rather being in the industry, in general, is an exciting place to be.”

Modern tech world is about problem solving, extracting knowledge from a large amount of data and artificial intelligence.

Kaja, a Backend Team Lead at Loop, shares a similar story: “I guess I was interested in technology since I was a little kid because I was always hanging on to everything my dad explained to me about computers. There was a short period when I was in primary school where I didn’t know exactly that tech is where I wanted to be, but through a couple of summer camps I figured out what I want to study and then just naturally fell back to tech and programming!”

For Kaja, the key to getting more women interested in a career in technology might start in this early education phase of life: “I think it’s the stigma that it’s a man’s world and the educators not being helpful enough to recognize that a girl is really interested in technology and should pursue it, especially early on. In my case, a lot of my teachers knew I had a knack for all things computers in primary school and I even brought a lot of my hobbies into schoolwork and after school activities, but none gave me even the slightest nudge to go in that direction. And when you are told from a young age that girls go study economics or linguistics or some soft sciences and boys go and study engineering, you create a false belief in the back of children’s minds.”

Technology became an essence of our life.

And while educators are at it, maybe early years influencers need to change their language when it comes to technology careers. Blazka, thinks so: “I don’t know if you can make tech attractive to someone who is not attracted to tech, but it might help to change misconceptions of what tech can be. Maintaining computers, making video games and dealing with hardware may not attract most women, but problem-solving, extracting knowledge from a large amount of data and artificial intelligence might.”

Whatever the journey though, the women working at Loop Email love the job they’re doing. Kaja says, “Once you get into the actual business itself, most of the males are men enough to admit that yes, women can be awesome at programming!”

Having said that, they’re all in agreement with her when she says, “Is there really any difference being a woman in tech to being a man? For me, tech is awesome, we are changing the world at every turn, gender doesn’t really matter.”

Work can also be fun. Kaja and Blazka teamed up for a Nerf gun game.
Jernej P.
Head Of Growth