Now I understand why so many women start an IT career and leave it. Collectively I’m over 15 years in some sort of an IT support role. I have enjoyed the work, solving puzzles, and the reward of having provided a solution. The people I have supported, and interacted with has also been tremendously rewarding, (honestly the ‘jerks’ I have supported have only made up about 1% in all). So having said all of these positive things, why do Women leave their IT career? For me, it was my boss, my bosses boss, being guaranteed a smaller pay check because of my gender, and a lack of promotion/recognition. There are some other matters such as being treated as incompetent, but this I always tried to twist into being a benefit – people reveal allot if they believe you are stupid. All of these negative matters were not always the case, I have had some excellent bosses, recognition, and fat paychecks that exceeded my male counterparts.
I believe from my own experiences, Women do not leave their IT career for a lack of understanding or ability in their chosen field. Women leave because they must constantly prove their ability, even when their talent is above and beyond their male counterparts, most of all their management. For example in my last job by the numbers, I exceeded both of my male senior managers, (yes they were expected to do the same work as me.) Again by the numbers, I closely met a male counterpart, for whom he had another person help him ‘stack’ his numbers – that is creating and closing tickets; I did this task independently, meeting and exceeding expectations without recognition, (yes I’m bright enough to pull the numbers from the database, I am an efficiency geek). My male counterpart who had less time on the job was promoted within a few months, and I on the hand (at 7 months pregnant) was let go without notice or reason. Thinking about all of this makes me sick.
A snapshot of who I am now IT/Education:
- Well over 19 Computer certification, (MSN, Dell, A+) most in the area of support. 2000-2015,
- Formal education Business major, (some computer courses to pad my GPA),
- Started my first support job in 1997. (I will further explore my on the job experience in this blog.)
Currently I do not work, I have no plans to work for ‘the man’ ever again. I do not submit my resume to anyone, and I am regularly contacted by job recruiters. I am not listed as actively looking for employment on any website. I am another perfectly good IT professional leaving the job field.