I find it ridiculous whenever I come across statements such as “why do women matter in tech?” It’s like saying “a baby doesn’t need food to grow” or asking if hospitals are relevant in Africa. It is normal to have access to careers that you are qualified for regardless of your gender. But of course, a lot of humans out here still feel that the world should be run on the basis of “gender bias”. This is why as ridiculous as the question may sound, we still get to ask such questions on a daily; why do women matter in tech?
This question was probably birth from a place of ignorance and disregard for the female gender but today, many women have and are changing the narrative
I strongly applaud women who have taken the bold step, of leading organizations, groups, and the government to a place of not only creating awareness but most importantly creating avenues for younger women and girls to thrive in the tech ecosystem.
I can proudly say Data Girl Technologies, Africanwits, Afritechhub, and a host of others from Cameroon in particular, are a product of such brilliance.
Many blogs, articles, speakers, conferences, and organizations are usually geared towards promoting women in tech. Somehow, these people do their best to show to the rest of the world how important it is for women to join tech and the relevance of the female gender in the tech ecosystem.
Whenever I come across information addressing women in tech, it’s very common to hear things along the lines of “women are underrepresented in the tech ecosystem, women are smart and so need a seat on the table, women make better leaders than men, women need equal opportunities, women are the future of tech, women have far too long been ignored, etc”
All these statements are correct, and of course should be reason enough for women to be valued in the tech ecosystem.
However, I find it insane that women keep highlighting their values for validation. My first worry is, are we not humans enough? Don’t we deserve to be treated per the value we provide? Should our works not speak for themselves? How long are we going to keep reminding the entire world of our relevance in the tech ecosystem?
I believe that when it comes to tech, The discussions need to shift from gender to value. Let’s be more concerned about what innovations and new technologies need to be implemented and what new skills need to be learned in order to better our lives and that of future generations. Let the women groups continue to exist but let it not be on the basis of a gender struggle but on better management of niches, and the need to be effective.
While we look forward to that time when it will no longer be about your gender, I encourage women to continue using their voices, platforms and skills to educate more girls on their values and relevance and on how much they mean to the world in the tech ecosystem.
Women matter in tech because every other human being who has a relevant contribution to the ecosystem, matters!
They matter because they are worthy, skilful, and open to every possibility, opportunity and dream that others have and they provide as many solutions as others do.