In our new regular retail feature ‘Dealer Discussion’, each month new industry community Tech For Techs (TFT) will asks retailers, resellers, technicians and service providers to give their opinions on a particular topic or theme.
To tie in with our latest Women In Tech issue, TFT’s group members discuss if it’s important to support women in the industry and what their experiences have been.
Nick Rutter – Director of Nicom IT Services Ltd – http://nicomit.co.uk/home/
“Women have such a better mind for detail. They pay more attention to detail, many a time my wife has pointed out what I did wrong or how to fix something. I’d be lost without my tech partner Sarah Rutter. We don’t meet many women in this industry but when we do they’re a special kind.”
Gav Powel – http://www.newportcomputers.co.uk/
“I’ve honestly no insight or opinion on why we should specifically support women in tech, I just think people should do whatever they want to do and should be supported accordingly. I’ve only ever really dealt with a handful of people in the industry though, and tend to avoid industry events, so my experiences are somewhat limited.
“If you’re talented, you’re a great addition to the community; if you’re not terribly good but prepared to learn, that should be encouraged, man, woman, space alien masquerading as human.”
Sarah Bowen – Director, Hometech Centre Ltd – https://www.hometechcentre.co.uk/
“Running a business and being a mother is hard. There is very little support for working mothers across the board, not just this industry. The cost of childcare is astronomical and in many cases something that many people can’t afford to put their children into and have to rely on family and friends to help out.
“Like many independent shops/companies in this sector we work with our spouse, we both bring our own set of skills to the business and it’s impossible for it to run without each other.
“Many a time I’ve been standing in my store speaking to customers when you can see they are clearly not speaking to me and directing the conversation to one of my male co-workers standing next to me. I can only put it down to ignorance on their part.
“However I get a great deal of support by being a part of various industry related Facebook groups and attending networking events and I’ve never felt judged or unsupported just because I’m a woman working in IT.”
Louise Barrett – Solwise Ltd – https://www.solwise.co.uk/
“Being a woman in the tech business has its ups and downs, like it does in all industries. After 20 years in the business not much surprises me anymore but also after 20 years in the industry I certainly do get more respect than I did back in the beginning. Men used to overlook me thinking I was the receptionist and not someone that actually knew about tech stuff, thankfully that happens on fewer occasions these days.
"My favourite backhanded compliment was ‘wow, I didn’t expect a girl to know that! I’m impressed.’ Another chap came into the office and exclaimed ‘oh, you’re that bird off Youtube!’ I try to take these things with good humour; life is too short to get upset when it is just thoughtless words rather than an insult.”
Anne Napoliello – Owner – https://techrx.tech/
“I don’t know that it is necessarily important to *support* women in the tech industry, but I think it’s important to *have* women in the tech industry. The distinction points to the need to encourage girls as students of technology, science and math.
“As a parent and former teacher, I have observed a concerning pattern: girls who demonstrate sheer brilliance in the aforementioned subjects in elementary/primary school often turn sharply away from the exact subjects they had shown such strength in. I will leave causality to the experts to sort out, but I do have my own hypothesis, briefly: I believe there is a strong societal undercurrent encouraging girls to focus their energy and efforts elsewhere, mostly on more superficial/less academic issues.
“Kudos to the women who have made it, who have received encouragement, who were able to stay true to their internal compass that guided them to their place in tech.”
Lisa Hendrickson – Call That Girl
“Anytime I see topics like this, I am always torn on how to reply. I don’t need anyone supporting me, I have been self sufficient since day one. I found that relying on anyone for the most part has been disappointing to say the least. One book I may have been interested in buying back in the day was "how to be a woman in tech" and then hopefully the author would write a tell all of all the issues she’s had – and write it with a lot of humour. I’ve had some horrible experiences with know it all women too, who felt they had to out tech me or whatever. Women compete pretty hard. Luckily most of the women in the FB groups are awesome, the ones that suck, I have blocked.”
Caroline Howell – https://www.putertutor.co.uk/
“I don’t know that if it is any more important to support Women in the Tech industry than to support everyone regardless of gender. I might feel differently if I was the old gal in an office full of men but I’ve been running my own business for nearly 16 years. I have grown and evolved in that time with the help of other people in tech. There are supportive Facebook groups and forums where people offer advice regardless of gender.
“Being a woman is my unique selling point, and yes there have been occasions where guys have tried to take advantage, just like in any other industry!
“Do I need special help or more support just because I am a "lady"? No, but if that server is really heavy, then sure guys support away! I don’t mind being in the minority, it makes me feel special.”
Tech For Techs
These views are that of the individual members of the community and not of Tech For Techs itself.
Launched in January 2018, Tech for Techs (TFT) is a new community for technicians of all kinds, including on-site call out services, retailers, resellers, managed service providers, vendors and distributors.
Free to join, TFT is run by the team behind retailer Chips Computers and offers up insight and information in the industry, as well as product reviews, price comparisons, free directory listings and more. Visit www.techfortechs.co.uk for more information.