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Women in Tech – Is social media endangering feminism?

As a business owner working in technology, I consider myself to be a role model. Now I don’t for one second consider myself to be in the ‘role model’ realms of Sheryl Sandberg or Marissa Mayer, but a role model none the less. And, whilst I applaud and support feminist views, I would not necessarily call myself a feminist.

It became important for me as I was growing up to prove my abilities were just as good as my male counterparts.  But sadly, over the years I have found myself working in environments where no Men In Techmatter how hard I worked, or how long I worked, or how much extra revenue I brought into the company; I simply did not earn the same, or was afforded the same level of promotions. Thankfully, founding a company has given me an opportunity to ensure that equality and progression, certainly in my own corner of the universe, are the same regardless of gender (race or religion etc.).

Ten years ago, when I first started working in the technology market, there was just a handful of women in what I would consider to be leadership roles. It has been inspiring to watch the numbers of females working in technology grow, and yet despite companies actively engaging females into leadership roles, the number of women in tech roles is still very low.  There are also companies who offer more incentives to get women in to the workplace. But is this right?  As a recruitment company, we are bound by morals and legislation, to not discriminate against candidates. So can we accept incentives for finding female candidates for technology jobs? For me the answer is simply ‘No’.

Could incentives like this actually be harming women’s opportunities within the workplace? Put simply, is the decision to hire them being overridden by the need to fill a quota? Certainly for me, people should be judged on their ability to perform the job they are being hired for, irrespective of their gender.   In return, they should be paid the going rate, which should be just one rate.

In more recent times, I have become concerned with the impact of social media on feminism, and how it might actually be doing more harm than good.  For example, just before Christmas we witnessed a very respected actor trolled (mainly by women) on Twitter for daring to call a dearly departed actress and friend – ‘beautiful’, despite the fact that he also praised her talent and her intellect. We have praised the likes of Boxed who took the initiative to offer ‘discounts’ on the cost of essential female products, that are more expensive than the male equivalent. When in fact we would prefer the items to be priced more fairly on a permanent basis. And of course there is a constant barrage of online comments, made by both men and women, which undermines what feminism is about and only proves that as a society, shocking revelations and claims, are preferable to rational reasoning.

Women In TechI understand that we do not live in an ideal world, and that as individuals we need to filter out the negative comments that are made on social media. But as a recruitment business owner and a person in technology and a leadership role, it would be great to see us shifting towards a society that does not ‘troll’ people for giving compliments, and employs and rewards people on their merits and ability to perform the job. Otherwise we are in danger of positive discrimination going disastrously out of control.

Now, I fully expect there will be many people out there who disagree with my comments, but feminism is about equality of the sexes, something that I firmly and passionately believe in. I would not however wish to be given an unfair advantage because I am a women.

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Resource On Demand (ROD) is Europe’s first specialist Salesforce Recruitment Agency. They were founded in 2007 and are highly respected across the entire Salesforce ecosystem. Their specialist areas of recruitment include; Salesforce (SFDC); digital marketing and marketing automation technologies, which include Eloqua, Marketo, ExactTarget and Pardot; Human Capital Management (HCM) technologies such as Workday and SAP HCM and SuccessFactors. For more information contact ROD on rod@resourceondemand.com or on 020 8123 7769.
2017-02-09T11:22:00+00:00 Discrimination, Women In Tech|