I came across an article today about The Real Reason Women Quit Tech (and How to Address It). A quick scan of the article, which is thoughtfully constructed so you can visually pull out the salient points, reconfirms what I’ve been thinking, as a woman working in high tech since 1992. It’s been a long 24 years. And truth be told, if I could earn the $$$ I do in tech, by doing something else, I’d leave in a heartbeat.
It’s been an educational experience, but it’s wearing thin with me, day after interminable day, month after endless month, year after tiresome year. Seriously, dealing with the institutionalized sexism, racism, and all those pointless -isms that are a pox on our society… it just gets old.
All the “diversity hiring” gets old.
All the “great place to work” surveys get old.
All the talk about “better together” gets old.
Because not much of it seems to translate into anything more than official statements in shareholder reports, as well as rankings in global conglomerate HR reputation horseraces.
At the level I work at — and where the vast majority of the -ism-ish bullshit takes place — none of that ever translates into anything substantial or meaningful.
Because nobody at my level has any impetus for change. All the guys I work with are struggling to make ends meet, and they need every advantage they can get. Changing how they are, how they talk, how they interact with people Not Like Them could mean losing their advantage. And in this cold, cruel world, nobody — but nobody — is going to forfeit what slim margin of advantage they may have.
So, on that note, off I go to work. To my racist, sexist, classist, myopic, self-centered buddies who either have no idea how their behavior affects others, or don’t really care. I’ve been dealing with their devils, making friends with their monsters, lo these past 24 years, so nothing’s any different from how it’s been all along.
The main difference is that I’m sick of it. Well and truly over it. And it’s good to know that I haven’t at least lost touch with my standards. And that I’m still able to be sick of it, rather than succumbing to a variation of Stockholm syndrome and convincing myself that I love it … and all the flaming jerks (lovable as they may be) who make each day working with them into a tiresome chore.
I might look the part of a long-suffering comrade-in, but inside, I know better.
For today, it’s best to overlook that fact of my cynical disenfranchisement, and just get on with it.
Like I always do.