After talking to Suw Charman-Anderson at the Web 2.0 Expo in Berlin, I made a promise. A promise to write about women in technology on the 24th of May. It seemed like a great idea at the time, but now, I am not so sure. Why? Because I do not want to single out a woman. I do not want to put a woman on a pedestal just as much as I would not want to do the same to a man.
Even though I am afraid there are more men in technology than women, lots of women made a huge contribution to the progression of technology. Ada Lovelace was one of the first computer programmers in the world and probably the first to think beyond mere calculations. There would have been no rontgen if it had not been for a Marie Curie. Grace Hopper was the first to build a compiler, the translator from a ‘readable’ language to machine language. And Stephanie Kwolek invented kevlar. And that is just a quick grab out of hundreds of women that invented great things as varied as the forerunners of the windshield wiper and monopoly.
Women in technology are an asset that men need to cherish. Not because they need to be put on a pedestal, but because they have a different angle to everything they come across. Where a man will always look for the shortcut to achieve that thing he is looking for, a woman is much better equipped to look around the goal to be achieved and ask the surrounding questions. Often coming up with an answer that is different and that will deliver a new approach to the same thing. An approach that would often direct men towards new horizons to invent new shortcuts and be rewarded for them. And that for me is the single one reason to write this post. We need more women in tech that are up front and are leading the pack. And as they do, we will find a new future with new chances that will change our approach to the things we have done today.