Determined & Destined For Better.
After several years of experiencing phenomenal growth from the internet boom, along with steady commercial growth in web, the unexpected happened.
From boom to bust, the market crashed..
Today, the significance of the internet crash aka “The Dot Com Fall Out” aka “The Internet Bubble Burst” created a landscape of economy and systemic obstacles within its occupational arena. So, with the collapse of the internet boom, I myself faced two personally major obstacles.
- 1. Do I ride out the downturn in the economy, caused by greedy investors and unrealistic returns on start-ups like Pet.Com, QuePasa.com, DigScents.com
- 2. Do I quit the tech industry now? Bail, and close up business? Frankly, the economy was heading south, rapidly.
As the dust settled, tech as you know survived, but only emerged as a male dominated field featuring the likes of Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Michael Dell, Jerry Yang and David Filo (Yahoo), and Jeff Bezos. In addition, investors in the industry were affluent men that frankly only invested in men they perceived as the next success story.
Even my hometown, San Antonio, showed no difference regarding diversity in tech.
Sexism was alive and well, and the tech industry did not rise above sexism like their stock.
Sticking To Your Vision
It was 1994 when I entered the tech arena, and I had the vision to use technology to bridge and improve communities globally. The idea was to help others make better choices.
I was determined to do better even if the business I fell in love with had a societal issue; lead tech into a path its community would celebrate and feel proud to be apart of its diversity.
As my story unfolded, the tech industry had no choice but to recognized my work. I became unavoidable; the face of Webhead, top technologist, and the CEO of the company I founded.
Through the years, I shared experiences with other women stories of men willfully practice gender imbalance, murmuring predator-like comments, and multiple times witnessed inappropriate behavior swept under-the-rug.
Yet, despite techs societal landscape, I never wavered. I was destined to influence tech and break through its abysmal sexism we sadly, are still witnessing today. I was determined, and I knew I’d shown them all..
In summary, keep this in mind and never wavier from it. Culture, society, and its determinants have a strange, unconscious way of indirectly influencing you. Frankly, even if you are very careful, realistically, there will always, always be a factor against you. As cliche as it is, you have to take tips down, look at them every morning and set reminders on your phone.
- Don’t quit and stay in the game (the battlefield)
- Do not conform to cultural and societal expectations ever of ‘technology isn’t for women’.
- Stick to your vision, but fine-tune it.
- Establish a deep network of big customers
A culture of harassment usually takes shape when its leaders marginalize individual groups thereby causing less diversity and more homogenization.
Encourage those around you that, despite how disappointing tech’s current environment is this is an new generation. We’re here to rise above the systemic discrimination, and determined to instill a new culture. You’re here to change it. Celebrating yourself, and embracing all that encourage the right culture. Tech needs you now more than ever. Go get it.