Guest post by Yvonne Chypchar.
Yunha Kim, the CEO of Locket, posted the top three reasons it sometimes “sucks to be a female CEO.”
If you are aggressive, you are a bitch. If you are emotional, you are PMSing. If you are soft, you are too feminine. Whatever way someone finds you, they can always justify it is because you are female.
You may get more sales meetings because some of the guys that you are pitching to have a different agenda. Since it’s difficult to distinguish it early on, you may end up wasting some time. If you turn down their advances (and it gets awkward), doing deals with their companies can become difficult.
Hiring engineers can get tricky. When you reach out to prospective developers, you may get emails like this:
Yunha is the CEO of her company, and it’s still tough for her. What about your experience as a developer, IT specialist, trainer, marketing coordinator, tech writer/editor, QA specialist, VP, director, support person or even CEO? How are you managing?
I’m writing a book on the tech industry from the point of view of the women who currently inhabit this special land. I want to collect your funniest and most challenging experiences in the tech world.
This book will let women recognize themselves, laugh out loud, and shake their heads in agreement or in shock and compassion. It will be a record of women of our time who worked in the tech industry.
It’s 100% confidential. It’s not about hurling invectives or any other organic material at colleagues or companies. It’s about what you experienced, what you felt, and what you decided to do or not do. No judgment, no shame.
If you want to tell me your story, or know someone who wants to tell her story, email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Women in the tech industry from all over the United States and Canada are sending me their stories. The responses have been fascinating. There’s also some great material here, at TED, worth checking out: How Dame Stephanie Shirley Upended Tech World Sexism in the 1960s. An excerpt:
How far we’ve come, however, is entirely due to the efforts of women like Dame Stephanie Shirley, who founded the female-only software company Freelance Programmers in Britain in 1962. She did so because she wasn’t getting where she wanted in her previous tech job — “no matter what I tried to do there, I was getting blocked.” So her company employed women, many of whom worked from home, because they were smart and got the jobs done, jobs that used their expertise in software programming to work with industrial companies like Tate & Lyle.
But what’s truly wonderful about Dame Stephanie is her spirit. When equal opportunities legislation forced a change of structure to her business, she recalls tartly, “We did let the men in… as long as they were good enough”.