The area of technology and the engineering industry is made up, for the most part, of men. Absence, invisibilization and discrimination against women is experienced every day.
In Mexico, only 20% of people who graduated from a UNAM engineering career in 2018 were women, according to UNAM’s statistical portal.
In the United States, a woman working in technology areas earns up to 63% less than a man, according to a Forbes report published in 2018.
Read: ‘I never imagined seeing something like this, a city without women’: This is how the 9M unemployment was lived in the capital
In large international technology companies, such as Google, this is no exception: in 2017 it was revealed, as an employee’s own initiative, that Google offered bonuses that benefited men over women in the same position.
In a country where women would need to work five more days to earn the same as a man, this #9M women stopped to ask for a stop to the machismo they live.
Among civil society organizations and technology companies, thousands of women joined the unemployment, such as SocialTic, Codeando Mexico, Civic Data and PODER.
?This #8M we join the call for unemployment, strike and feminist march to accompany the voices that denounce this capitalist, racist, colonialist and patriarchal system.?✊
#Pronunciamiento #8M2020 #DiaDeLaMujer #DiaDeLaMujer #NiUnaMenos #NiUnaMas #Marcha8M pic.twitter.com/gcZFZfgbPA pic.twitter.com/gcZFZfgbPA pic.twitter.com/gcZFZfgbPA
— PODER (@ProjectPODER) March 8, 2020
In Civic Data we join the #9M, not without first making visibility of all the women who make it possible for this organization to function every day. We prepare this thread for you to talk about all of them:
— Civic Data (@datacivica) March 9, 2020
We gather the testimonies and experiences of four women dedicated to technology to understand the machismo that is experienced in the fields of technology and understand why the gender disparity is so high.
«Misogyny always comes from the old guard»
Aldama (@geateaucocoa) works as head of development at a technology company in Mexico and has more than 10 years of experience developing software.
«Despite having 10 years of making software they want to explain everything to me from scratch, they assume that it is my first time managing customers or using any technology. Interestingly, I’ve been done less for being a woman than for being trans. When I studied engineering, the sexist comments always came from the older masters: misogyny always comes from the old guard.»
«As the head of the office, it’s my turn to actively balance the atmosphere, when the men get together they make their own club and start making comments that are more for a canteen than for an office.»
However, Aldama considers herself fortunate to be visible in a field where men predominate.
Read: #UnDíaSinEllas: The Strokes Left Behind in the CDMX
«I’ve been asked if the reason I like video games is why I grew up as a kid»
Ophelia Pastrana (@OphCourse) is a female technologist, economist, youtuber and strong LGBT rights activist+.
«Mexico has a history of holding feminist events since 1916. We women deserve better treatment from whoever is in power. Our country rebounds in Latin America as one who kills its women and their girls. We leave because you live we love each other,» he says and shares in a video posted on his YouTube channel.
«Fortunately the sex-generic gap is falling and video games changed with this. I remember with a lot of pity the attempts to attract female audiences with titles based on cartoon franchises for girls like Barbie, Polly Pocket and My Little Pony. As… It wasn’t a we’re going to make games for girls but a we want girls to feel like gamers, but if it became clear that executives thought very poorly about the ability of a girl who wanted to play a video game. The most entertaining girls? The ones that absolutely dominated Mario Kart Or Guitar Hero. When one is trans, things get weirder. Real story: I have been asked several times if the reason I like video games is because I grew up as a child. Now it turns out.»
«In Mexico being a software developer has been very hard»
«I have a very strong character and I am usually agrevis in the face of any attempt edoity of harassment, so I have not experienced violence because I have not let it happen,» says Zura Guerra (@grafofilia), a software engineer currently based in Argentina.
When asked about her experience as a developer in Mexico, Zura comments:
«In Mexico, being a female software developer has been tough. I’ve been touched by condescending comments, people claiming my work and ideas, men with less experience climbing faster than me within companies. Surprisingly, in Mexico, harassment has been found in people 35-40 down.»
«Definitely what has helped me is my job: even though inexperienced men of my generation have achieved important positions quickly, I have noticed over the years that they do not last long in those positions. For me it has been better to take advantage of this negative bias towards women in the most positive way: my work and only my job is what continues to make misogynistic men ultimately have to accept me on their teams. In the end, business is business.»
«We need uphold colleagues and leaders who inspire us»
«We are at an important moment in the technology industry. Certain branches, such as Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence, and the Internet of Things, are solving problems exponentially. We need more women to get on the boat and together, to fivers the solutions that are being created, says Cinthya Ayala, freelance programmer.
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