Organisers hope to tackle the issue of gender inequality within the tech sphere
Etsy has teamed up with Coding Grace to hold a workshop targeted at addressing issues related to gender bias in tech-workplaces this Thursday evening. Two of Senior Software Engineers at Etsy, Ian Malpass and Toria Gibbs, will walk through the importance of having male allies and offer practical steps to bring equal opportunity and access to a workforce.
The event is open to anyone, as organiser Niamh Donnelly explained, "We want to engage both men and women, especially people working in technology and IT. The event is open to the public ,but nearly full up! There are still a few available tickets here and more info about the event can be found on the Coding Grace website."
As many of the big tech organisations look to promote gender equality in the workplace, Etsy employee, Donnelly says there are many reasons why this is still an issue in 2016.
"We have long-standing gender norms that discourage and stigmatise girls pursuing careers in Engineering, science, IT etc. Many women, myself included, have encountered these issues when attending all-girls schools where subjects like engineering, construction studies and technology are routinely inaccessible. Without influence or support from a young age I don’t see an increase in future numbers of women in these fields," she explained. "Going forward, it’s extremely important that we continue to challenge any idea that girls are not suited for careers in the tech industry. We need to do all we can to encourage girls from a young age to pursue careers regardless of gender norms."
The organisation of this event is a productive step towards equality and will continue the important conversation that is taking place around this issue. What does Donnelly think individual women can do to help?
"Be visible and proactive. Holding or attending events like this one is a great way to raise awareness around gender balance. Offering mentorship can play a big part in giving women the support and encouragement to suceed in what are often highly male-centered environments. There is a real need for more female role models within the tech community. Anything you can do to highlight the great work women are doing will make a big difference."
"Wanting to help a group you are not a part of can be really difficult. The event we are holding provides practical solutions and steps toto identify unconscious gender bias and give helpful tips on how to become effective allies to women in the workplace. Identifying and reacting when a gender bias situation arises in a workplace is instrumental in helping to make environments that are predominantly male more appealing to women."
The event takes place this Thursday. Full details are available here.