Authenticity: Women In Tech

Daily Origami is a way for us to record our off the cuff thoughts, feelings and observations about the world around us. Published every weekday, Monday through Friday.


Jennie here. 

There are two different realities for women at a tech conference:

Experience #1:
Women Who'VE Had to Claw / Intimidate Their Way to Respect

There is a woman I deeply respect in my industry. She has been working in this male-dominated industry for years and has built an extraordinary reputation for herself. Everyone I know respects her for her intelligence and work ethic.

She built up this track record over an extremely long period of time, having hustled her way through the ranks from low-level associate to a chief strategy officer. Today, she has her own business and works with brand name companies to elevate their market strategy. When I met with her last week, she had prospects and friends coming to her to pitch their new business ventures.

She’s a survivor, and one of the many women who continue to shatter the glass ceiling.

Experience #2:
Women Who Are Treated Like Pieces of Meat

For women starting out in their careers, it’s often difficult to be taken seriously. Oftentimes, young women aren’t treated like serious professionals (unlike their male counterparts with similar levels of experience) but are sometimes treated like objects. 

Two of my co-workers (one male, one female) were setting up the company booth on the conference floor this week. During set up, a random conference attendee stopped by and looked in on our booth.

The male co-worker: Hey there! Can I help you with anything? I can get you our brochure,a t-shirt, or enter you in our giveaway.

Random conference attendee: Oh, no thanks. But how much for her?

He was pointing at my female co-worker, talking about her as if she wasn't standing right there (and within earshot). Then after chuckling at his own cleverness, he disappeared into the crowd.