Wow. It is amazing how a simple comment can transform me back to previous years.
You see, I am a software engineer by trade. Even though I am an entrepreneur now, I always have and will always be a software engineer. I have a love and passion for creating software. I am a woman working in what has been in years past, described as a man’s profession. The term, gender discrimination, came about because women were not encouraged to enter a predominately male profession.
I thought that time had passed but a comment this week made me think it is still alive and well.
I recently completed graduation of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program. The Goldman Sachs, 10,000 Small Businesses program, is a $500 million initiative developed to help small businesses in the United States by providing entrepreneurs with an integrated program of practical business and management education, access to capital, and business support services.
Because of the program, I am moving full forward in a growth opportunity identified during the Goldman Sachs program. The growth opportunity revolves around System Integration, in particular, Human Machine Interface (HMI). On the suggestion of a classmate, I decide to attend a conference in that area in Florida called The Annual CSIA Executive Conference held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The conference is put on by the Control System Integrator Association (CSIA).
I am so excited to attend the event. I have a few other System Integrator friends, and I tell them about the conference and how in particular I am excited about the Women in Industry Networking Breakfast. One of them tells me this comment. “That breakfast is just for the wives. There won’t be any professional business women there.”
BAM. There it was. The exact issue I have battled for three plus decades.
Luckily, the next day I received a very warm welcome from the President of CSIA, Lynda Patterson, who was very thrilled to host a Women in Industry Breakfast. I am excited to meet her and learn about her plan of having women engineers in the field of System Integration.
The discrimination is usually very subtle.
I have had to prove my technical prowess, and then I have respect from my male counterparts. The sad reality is discrimination against women is extremely common at work in a predominately male profession.
It is the effect of the slow and painful fight on the section of women around the world. It is essential that women strive to accomplish their goals regardless of adversity. Throughout history, all around the Earth, woman empowerment is the only way to change a mindset.