I never could find a research paper that demonstrates a causal link between carrying two X chromosomes and the inability to code. Yet according to the Stackoverflow 2020 developer survey, fewer than 10% of professional developers identify as women or non-binary.
Looking at our recent outpouring of feminist blog posts, female-in-tech-awards, and other conferences, you’d be forgiven to think otherwise. But we are still a small minority.
Logic dictates that even fewer of us are mothers. According to the Stackoverflow stats in 2019 just under 40% of professional web developers had children or dependent minors (that’s across genders).
At the same time, over 75% of developers work overtime at least occasionally. The average working week for developers is over 40 hours.
You know the stereotype: the mother who arrives late and disheveled after the school run; needs to interrupt a day of work to pick up the little one who developed a temperature; takes all the holidays she can get… How can she possibly compete?
That stereotype of a working mother used to make me smile and shake my head. Two kids later and I’m not laughing anymore. I am that stereotype. I embody it.
As it turns out, professionally, I am absolutely fine. I am amazed at how much I get done on how little sleep! At how I hardly ever forget anything (The key is to WRITE. THINGS. DOWN. How revolutionary?!)
I surprise myself with new insights. If anything, I am more efficient than I have ever been.
I can’t quite put my finger on why but my gut feeling is that it has to do with being more grounded and not sweating the small stuff anymore.
Studio 24 has been instrumental in developing my confidence as a working mother. They hired me when I was 4-months pregnant with my first child (and yes, I had told them). This, to me, set the tone: this is a place that is not scared of mothers.
They allowed me to work part-time when transitioning back to work. I went on two 6-month long maternity leaves (the duration of which I decided – I could have taken more).
Despite all the holiday requests, sudden rushes to the nursery, and other re-thinking of my working hours, I keep being put on important, demanding assignments.
My career – and I can call it a career – is progressing nicely.
There is progress in the studio as well. When I started 4 years ago, I was the only female developer (albeit not the first one to ever work at Studio 24). There are now 3 of us (out of 8 tech staff). Overall there are 8 women, and 13 parents out of a total of 19 workers. And we are in the middle of improving our hiring process to be more inclusive.
I would definitely recommend to parents or anyone else who needs to be creative with their schedule and work-life balance to come and work for Studio 24.
And finally, I’ll leave you with a message to all the girls out there. Coding is fun. Never let stereotypes keep you away from your fun.