First, we want to recognize, that although Women’s History Month was in March we believe that the role of women in the workplace isn’t a topic that should be reserved just for March—we think that this important issue should be discussed year round.
According to DevPro Journal “Women make up more than half of the United States’ workforce; however, it’s estimated that they only hold less than 20% of jobs in technology—that’s a lower percentage than the amount of women who held IT jobs in the 1980s.” Despite the foreboding statistics, the women who are a part of the tech industry have a positive words of advice for the future of women in testing. In honor of March being Women’s History Month, we interviewed numerous women who work in Software Testing about their careers, how they got there, advice for young women, and more.
What we found was extraordinary. Not only are these women leading teams on a day-to-day basis, a majority of them are writing books for their fields and speak actively at a variety of conferences worldwide. Some of them are new to the industry while others have decades of experience. All of them spoke to an importance of community within women testers and contribute to said community through numerous outlets including creating, or participating in organizations, or mentoring young women in the field. A majority of these women fell into the Software Testing field by accident—but, nonetheless found passion in their work albeit accidentally. Let’s take a look at some of these rock star women testers.
We wanted to highlight a few of these women:
Jane Fraser started her testing career in 1994 after applying for a Test Analyst position at Ventura Publisher; despite not knowing what a tester was, she perused the requirements and found them doable. Jane attributes a lot of her success in her career to asking questions. “Being afraid to admit you don’t know something will hold you back,” she says. Similarly, she urges today’s generation of young women entering the field to become a lifelong learner, as staying ahead of changing technology requires constant reading, listening, and learning. Today, Jane is a Test Director at Anki, a company using robotics and Artificial Intelligence to bring to life consumer products with an unprecedented level of intellect and interactive capabilities. Despite the low number of women in the field, she feels she encountered more bias in reference to her title as a tester than opposed to her gender.
Interestingly enough, many other respondents too found other characteristics about them that called for discrimination and bias in the workplace including title and age. However, all women we spoke with recognized the egregious gender gap in STEM fields and hope one day it will dissipate. LogiGear’s very own Global Project Lead, Mimi Nguyen-Reisinger shared that she “[Thinks] the gender gap in STEM fields will disappear in the future if we have more women enter into tech field and have their success recognized. Women and girls should be encouraged in school by administrators and faculty to be more interested in STEM fields.”
To hear more about what Mimi, Jane, and the other rock star women we talked with in the Software Testing field, be sure to download the Women Leaders in Software Testing eBook! Don’t delay, this eBook is quite exclusive and will only be available until June 2019!