The common misconceptions of women in tech and how to overcome these

Advice for getting into tech

“Women lack the education for a career in tech.”

Girls receive the same level of education in STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) as boys, at least until the age of 16, so I don’t agree that there is a lack of education, but more a lack of interest – something, I feel, that comes as a result of the fact that in the past, young girls have not always been encouraged to pursue careers in STEM. As a result, we now have a generation of women with little/no interest in these type of careers, however, times are changing and we are starting to see that the next generation of women are beginning to receive that support. Hopefully, this will mean that we will start seeing more women enter tech careers over the next couple of years.

“You have to code to work in tech.”

Often people are under the impression that to work in tech, you have to be a developer or engineer or something quite technical like that, but in reality this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Nowadays, “working in tech” can mean anything! For example, my role at CoinCorner is head of marketing – I don’t code or do anything even a little bit “techy” – so while coding roles are certainly a big part of technology, they are only one avenue. From marketing to customer support to compliance, tech is much more than just coding!

“Techies are nerds that work in cubicles and never see the light of day.”

Do cubicles still exist? Certainly not at CoinCorner, that’s for sure! Our office has an open-plan layout with panoramic windows; our teams (including management) sit at work benches together and are able to speak to each other at any time. We’ve found this to be extremely successful in promoting an open and transparent culture, helping to break down the walls (literally) that can often prevent effective communication between team members.

“Girls don’t like/care about technology.”

Wait, what? Who doesn’t like technology? Technology has given us amazing opportunities to connect and make our lives easier – smartphones, social media and cryptocurrency, to name a few! I feel it’s important to note that technology isn’t the far-removed concept that it perhaps was in the past. Technology is all around us (and has been for many years!) and is something that most people interact with in some way on a daily basis. The assumption that girls in particular don’t like/care about technology is simply inaccurate as most of today’s young women have grown up with technology as much as their male peers. It’s also the same for older women too – over the past few years there has been a huge uptake in older women using social media and technological devices.

In addition, there are now a lot of resources available for women with an interest in not only using technology but learning about the background of it too. For example, there are many STEM organisations specifically for girls/women – Code First: Girls, STEMettes – which are proving popular. This proves that girls are interest and do care about technology!

“Gender stereotypes”

There’s a stereotype that “boys are better at science and maths than girls” and it’s introduced to children at a young age. This can easily discourage girls from studying STEM subjects, affecting their confidence to even have a go at any of these types of subjects.

Education sets the tone for many people’s career choices and it’s important to look at how schools are shaping curriculum. With more encouragement at school, I might have pursued STEM related subjects, however, I wasn’t given the right support at the time and felt I should pursue more humanities-based subjects instead. Although this hasn’t affected my ability to get into a career that I love (marketing), it did limit my choices somewhat at an important stage in my young life.

Furthermore, there is actually very little difference in the average ability of boys and girls when it comes to STEM subjects – meaning that there’s no reason girls shouldn’t be encouraged to pursue courses in these areas. In order to attract more girls to study STEM subjects at university and pursue STEM careers, we should tackle these stereotypes earlier at primary and high school levels.

About the author

Molly Spiers is head of marketing at CoinCorner – one of the UK’s leading cryptocurrency exchanges. Considered (almost) a veteran in the crypto industry, Molly joined CoinCorner back in 2015 (before crypto was “cool”) and has helped grow the company from start-up to success. Molly was recently named as one of the “Women To Watch: Top UK Women in Blockchain 2019”.

In her spare time, Molly enjoys going to the gym, playing netball and spending time with her husband, Mike, and son, Charlie.

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