A Brown Woman In The IT World — Why Women Leave STEM?

As I started working in my current job, I started to sense of why women opt-out of this career field. On the primary ground, technical fields are usually viewed to be jobs for men, which I am very sure nobody knows why.

“In the face of adversities is where you emerge the strongest”

I am a brown woman working in an international setup filled with westerners and mostly male dominated team as a software programmer.

My introduction itself portrays the adversity that I face day in, day out. According to world statistics, there is a decline in women working in the IT sector over time.

Only around 15.4% of women who hold a degree in the technical field end up working in IT between the ages of 30-45 and after 45, it declines further to around 9% of women still working in IT.

I have always questioned these statistics because for me, I can only relate to being a software developer and nothing else.

Why women quit?

As I started working in my current job, I started to sense of why women opt-out of this career field. On the primary ground, technical fields are usually viewed to be jobs for men, which I am very sure nobody knows why.

But apart from this, from my personal experience, many women quit the IT sector because of the working environment they are exposed to.

When I started my job, I knew the odds, but programming for me was the job I was the best at. I am the only woman in a team of 10 people. Out of all of whom are natives of Germany and can speak the language flawlessly.

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And then there is me, who is still making a heartfelt effort to learn and speak the new language.

With the combined consequences of male domination and the language barrier, comes the fear of being left out of most conversations where I can give my technical insights or, at least, share a laugh.

These questions always run in my mind, is it because I am a woman, or is it because I am a foreigner? Is it because I don’t speak the same language as fluently as you? I have broken my head over this for more than a year!

Adapt to your environment or lose out

A year of facing such adversities lead to a lot of new learnings. I craved for people to give me a space where I could put forward my ideas. I looked forward to people giving me a consideration.

But that’s never going to happen, because I am the one expecting it to happen from others, while sitting around sulking about it.

Be the change you want to see

The change has to come from me, I am the one who needs to create a space for myself, I am the one who should put me into consideration, I am the one who should put forward my insights, although there is no ear for it.

The one who wants to stay put in this job is me, so it has to be me who makes all things possible. My solution to all my problems was to find the strength from within.

I am a woman who pushed out of all my comfort zones and chose this career, and I am extremely proud of it!

Image Source: Startup stock photos via pexel, free Canva Pro

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