8th of March is one of the most debated international days around the world. While some women enjoy the attention and bouquets of flowers from their colleagues, others would prefer equal gender representation every day of the year. So we decided to ask our colleagues the following question "what men can do to support women in tech industries?" The result? A cheat sheet for all the men that will create much more value than just a simple flower bouquet.
1. First thing first - respect.
"Are you a female programmer? Why did you choose such a masculine profession? ". This is a quote that majority of women in tech hear on a regular basis. Tele2 SSC, a software development & design specialist shared her thoughts on what they expected from their colleagues. Women do not expect or seek special treatment. All they want is for men to be friendly and respectful and judge our actions based on knowledge, not the gender.
2. Recognize women's efforts and achievements at work
Olga Luksa, Head of Sales Support Support Group of Tele2 SSC, shares her opinion: "One of the things men can do without special effort is to make sure that they recognize women (in fact, any person's) merits and effort in work when discussing projects with their colleagues. For example, instead of saying "We found a serious bug in the code," one can say: "Jelena found a serious bug in the code."
3. Be an equal partner at home.
As an example, software engineers are often required to work long hours to complete critical projects so husbands and family members must share the family responsibility load. "Without husband's support, women can easily burn out, "says Tatjana Riblova, Head of Tele2 SSC Technical Customer Support Team.
While modern men have stepped it up on the home front, several research papers suggest that women who pursue their careers are more likely to feel exhausted. Women work hard at work, but when they go home they start their second shift. For women to truly succeed in the work environment, they need to have an equal division of work at home, from child care and dishwashing to clean bedding and shopping.
4. Become the supporter.
Support women in tech initiatives. Communities like Riga Tech Girls or Vilnius Girls Code are always looking for volunteers for various workshops that encourage more women to pursue their careers in IT. Showing up shows that you care and what could be a better way to be part of the changing society than becoming the mentor yourself.