This month, I was honored to be featured in a Q&A for the Student Affairs Women Tech Talk “Highlight a Woman” series. The wonderful women at Student Affairs Women Tech Talk share a passion for technology, and their site serves as a forum for student affairs professionals in technology. Even though I’m not in student affairs, I have found the site to be a tremendous resource for academic women in technology more generally.
Here are my favorite parts of the Q&A:
What role do you feel women play in technology within higher education?
Increasingly, we’re seeing greater participation from women, but more significantly, we’re seeing concrete results from that participation: greater attention to the relationship between gender and technology, from gendered expectations that have shaped our experiences with technology to gendered expectations in the workplace. As we see greater involvement from women of color, we add challenges to expectations based on race, ethnicity, or nationality to that mix. Moreover, we model engagement with technologies for our students – and it’s very important for them to see women working with technology.
What advice would you give other women interested in working with technology?
As in many other fields, we often feel like we have to do everything – know every technology, code in every language – to keep up with male colleagues. To some degree, women in technology do still have to “prove” themselves in ways men don’t necessarily have to, going back to the gendered expectations by which technology is encumbered. My advice is to keep on top of technologies but be realistic about how much can be mastered and how quickly. Yes, some of the expectations derive from those external, gendered expectations but some are also the result of imposter syndrome and our own worries or anxieties about our relationship to technology. Don’t let imposter syndrome become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
The full feature is available here.