I’ve been there before as the only female on a tech sales team. I’m there now as the only female student in my coding bootcamp. It can be lonely—if you let it be. Or….it can be awesome.
This is my reflection on the article The Loneliness of the Female Coder (a great article, if a bit of a downer)
Here’s how to Rock as the Only Chick in the Tech Department:
When someone makes a crude joke, and then it gets awkward when he realizes there was a woman at the table and apologizes:
=> Make a cruder one, and watch him go pink to the tips of his ears. Call him “Pinky”, then tell him you’ll stop calling him “Pinky” when he stops weirding out about making crude jokes in front of you. Make sure you do this in front of all his “boys”.
When someone feels the need to explain to you in small words what a “bug” is:
=> Thank him profusely, and tell him you always thought of roaches when people said “bug”. Then go up to the podium and give your speech about information security (in front of his boys).
When you feel like a fraud–like you have to prove that you’re as good as them because you’re female:
=> Hold on to that feeling, but DON’T QUIT. You will work harder and be more awesome because of it.
When they always hold the door for you because you’re a lady:
=> LOVE IT! Don’t get weird about this. They’re paying homage to your awesome femininity. (Say thank you.)
When your sense of humor is OUT of ORDER because you’re having a really bad day and your boss takes credit for your work:
=> CRY. Loud, wrenching sobs. Draw it out, and wait until he offers you a raise to shut you up.
When it gets so bad that you’re ready to quit:
=> Call me.